Friday, March 05, 2010

Fresh


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.

15 comments:

Theresa said...

Awesome insight. I'm all for it!

tperko said...

We participated in a co-op for produce last year with a local family farm, it was such a great experience, and we saved some money too!

screwdestiny said...

Thanks for posting about this, Steve. I'll be sure to watch the movie, and hopefully it will make me feel less crappy/angry than watching the other ones do.

MmeSimon said...

Guess what? I WILL make this required viewing in my classroom :)

Steve Edwards said...

Excellent! And pass the word to other teachers! It won't depress you. That's the beauty of this one. It's inspiring more than sad.

Brian said...

I joined a local farm last month. I get raw milk every week. It might be better than beer!

Steve Edwards said...

Raw milk is like a different food. I used to drink it all the time but now it's hard to get locally. We do have a place but it's far away. We had to sign a "will not sue" contract to get it. This is because you can't consume raw anything from mass produced cows because theyare so diseased.

CT Olson said...

Thanks so much for this Steve I think you are right - natural is probably a lot easier than we fear and industry has led us to believe.

We have a local farm that already produces milk with no hormone cows, that feed on grass etc. It keeps much much longer than store bought milk and the taste is so different. Not sure if they would provide raw milk or not as it is illegal in many towns here in Mass to do so. It's actually a town by town thing in our state. But if the health inspector never knows ...

Brian said...

It is illegal to sell raw milk in CO. I pay a boarding fee for a cow. The farm graciously takes care of "my" cow and gives me the products.

The cows are free range, organic, blah, blah, blah. Just plain cows, like all cows before they were very recently industrialized. They test every week and have never had a case of disease.

InsaneXer said...

I'll request my Health teacher to show this movie in our class. This and Food inc are 2 of my favorite food related movies, I'll even email the district to see what they think about it!

Steve Edwards said...

The grass roots movement has begun! I'm interested to see what your district has to say about it. They're probably somewhat funded by some of the offending corporations.

InsaneXer said...

As far as I know our health course books come with yearly updated DVDS and Movies for students to watch (about specific topics). Since this does not relate to our course, they will probably decline. But either way I sent the email.
Wish they would accept it!

InsaneXer said...

Like I predicted, Sadly they refused. Their main reason was that then they would have to reschedule the whole course. Also they said their main topic (relating to exercise, nutrition, harmful drugs) does not relate to fresh food. Even though they did give me an explanation in person, I am kind of thinking they dont like the idea of showing this in school.
Oh well, maybe next year.

Steve Edwards said...

Hassan,

Just spoke with the director. She says a lot of schools are playing it (and it's getting a theatrical release) and if your school can't afford the screener price to explain their situation and they will try and make it happen.

InsaneXer said...

My school can probably afford it but a better plan (personally) would be to bring inn the DVD at the last day of school and watch it. Most kids might not like it but who cares :P