Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: (okay Thursday) Getty Edition

Monday, January 4, 2010

Food Inc

thanks to those who voted in the schmancy movie poll over there to the left. Cause let's be clear any viewer participation at all (be it comment, follow or vote) in this blog makes me feel UBER special. So here goes.

Time for another edition of: Monday Movies: Masterpiece or Meh? (or something in-between)

Watch this movie.
Don't wait.

I"m so tempted to end here. Bwha hahaha! It is tempting.

But I won't. So let me 'splain.

You know how we just go along eating the food, you know the food that we get at the Crazy Chicken (El Pollo Loco) or MickeyD's (um, I don't go there dammit) or that nice restaurant where we're spending 20 bucks a plate. We think 'Gosh, I'm sure it's safe. I'm sure the animals that we're eating were treated with... okay they were killed but at least fed and had a little bit of animal joy, some lil piece of what I would consider to be humane treatment. I don't really know where this food came from but since that chef is so swell and the food tastes SO Good, you know, it's gotta be good.

And scene. End of thought process.

Food Inc asks you to actually think about your food, about the places it's been, who is getting paid along the way and what is at risk. It's one of those 'eye opening' documentaries. I've been known to avoid these films, I'll think. 'Gawd, I can't see another movie about government corruption (duh, we know!) or how evil we are to civilians in Iraq, or entire villages of people that are starving, I'll really start crying and never stop.' Because I know it, I know it and it's upsetting and I feel powerless and there is rarely anything if much I can do. But I do watch them, occasionally. And get upset.

I was feeling pretty bold when I sidled up to Food Inc. But I was pleasantly surprised. While I did get a little smack down of reality that was tough to swallow (get it?) , I also got a nice little edu-macation and importantly I liked the filmmaking alot. No small thing for me, if you're going to scare me or inform me or inspire me, thanks so much for taking the time to make killer graphics or really interesting visuals that wouldn't be caught dead in a Ken Burns film.

If you've read The Omnivore's Dilemma, you know the dealio. The movie is based on this book by Micheal Pollan and he tells the story of how the majority of our food is 'industrialized' down to the control of seeds and comes from 3 or 4 corporation who are trying to squash (trying? well, often succeeding) the little farmers. Most farmers are working for these corporations and let's just say it's not a good scenario.

So while I have a lot more to learn and a whole heck of a lot to think about, I am very glad I watched this film. The images of the industrialized chicken houses and slaughter houses and the facts about how 90% of what we eat has CORN in it (as in derived from, or fed, or syruped or whatevs) shook me to my core. I cannot continue to eat what I was eating and pretend I don't know what is going on.

And of course I was looking at the film with one hand over my eyes, but the other one waving with a little Amen brother! Tell it! This shizzle has got to change. It's funny how the little one who is still eating what I'm eating (and now a whole lotta baby mush that I make at a furious pace to keep up with his little growing belly) is making me care, really care about these issues. And of course not just what he is eating now, but more than that, what planet and food system will he inherit.

But what's awesome about Food Inc is that I felt immediately empowered with the information I need to make a few changes that I DO believe will make a difference. At first I decided to become a Vegetarian. And then I decided that I would like to support farmers who treat the animals well and let's get honest I really like chicken, but it does mean I just can't eat the random 'don't know the backstory chicken' anymore. So I become an Integritarian. And OH yes I did just make that up, and OH yes I feel prettttty proud of it.  As in, I eat with integrity.

What's tricky about that is all of the food labels that can kick your ass in a fit of semantic confusion. Does organic mean free range? Nope, not necessarily. Does free-range mean they get to wander the forest? Nope, rarely at best. So I'm still digging through all of this as well as bugging the butcher at Whole Foods about his Organic chickens from Mary's. So far his answers were pretty darn good, but I'm thinking I'd like to go to her farm and see for myself so that I can be sure to feel good about eating what she produces. In fact the film features a farmer named Joel Salatin who literally has happy pigs rolling around behind him in the interview and they are literally - as happy as pigs in shit. I thought...I could eat the animals who lived that sweet life. And apparently this guy sells to Chipotle Mexican Grill, and they are one of his biggest customers. Pretty darn cool. Chipotle claims that their chicken and pork is completely 'natural' as in, not from industrialized farms. And their beef is 50% there. Ok, a place I can go out and eat chicken if I'd like to...they make being an Integritarian easier. Godblessem.

I do feel like I can be a part of a massive necessary change by voting for a different world with my  dollar. By refusing to support those thoughtless, heartless and dangerous industrialized foods at every turn possible. And so, I buy the organics. I go to the farmer's market. I am done with the meats unless I know what farm and how and why and I must say I'm pretty afraid of the fishes. The food choices are slimming (as in what's avail) of course it wouldn't break my heart if that was the result on my butt too. When I went all evangelical about this on Facebook a few weeks ago a friend of mine told me she pulled corn and evil meats and the rest out of her diet when this movie came out last summer and has since lost a ton of weight. I just saw her the other day and I'm here to tell you, watching this movie just might make you hot. She looks GOOD.

Next on my netflix in the 'I'm feeling brave' category.
King Corn.

Alrightee then. We'll see if I get to enjoy any movies between now and then, I'll try to give you some more swell choices for next week. Thanks again for playing.

Rock on super chics!