Friday, March 05, 2010
Fresh is in my mind the best of all the recent food movies. If we could make this film required viewing in our schools it would change the world, and along the way take the biggest single bite out of our obesity epidemic of any movement so far. The reason is that instead of dwelling on the problems that mass food production is causing, it focuses on the solution. And the cool thing is that it’s a lot easier than most of us think.
The problem with all the Fright Club style films is that they make us think the problem of the world are too vast to do anything about. Sure, they get you mad. Maybe they even inspire you to activism. But that’s a tough road to hoe for most of us. Fresh addresses the problems but its focus is on the solution, using examples of the individuals that are doing something about it and how effective they are.
Here are some hopefully statistics:
- One farmer makes a living on 3 intercity acres in Milwaukee.
- Another, on a small spread in Virginia, practices holistic ranching by moving his animals around the farm to complete a natural cycle so he doesn’t need to use any fertilizers or pesticides or even plant crops. He gets the highest yield possible out of his acreage, which stays exceedingly healthy, and brings in $3,000 per acre, compared to the $150 per acre that our subsidized industrial farms yield.
- Another quit using the “recommended” pesticides and antibiotics and now saves $14,000 dollars per year and has healthier animals.
- Food from mass production farms and ranches yields 40% less nutrients, which has been reflected on the labels and, for some reason, isn’t causing a national outcry (this is the obesity epidemic by itself, as well as adding to other aspects of our health care load. It’s not tricky math. If you need to consume 40% more calories to get 100% of your needed nutrients there is no other possibility than becoming obese.)
The film brings to light the fact that food production isn’t the complicated quagmire we're led to believe. We can all produce food in our own homes. Local co-op farms can feed entire communities. In exactly the same manner that we can turn our homes into generating plants that can meet our energy needs, we can grow food locally that meets our nutritional needs. And the result will not only mean a healthier world but a more economically sound one. The stats are unequivocally one sided. We can feed ourselves better than any big corporation.
There’s a line in the film where someone says “the only thing Americans fear is inconvenience.” To change this we don’t need revolution. We don’t need any great leaders. And we certainly don’t need a bunch of corporations telling us what to do. All we need is some very simple grass roots education and we’ll do it ourselves.
To start, bookmark the Fresh site and sign up for their newsletter.
The film is only available for screenings. Though you can purchase a private screening it would be more fun to attend a public one. If it's not playing in your community you can organize a screening yourself, which they will help you organize. Go here for details.