Did you ever watch a documentary and it hits a nerve with you? Makes you think or cry or delivers a gut check to your belly? I’ve had two experiences like that in my relatively short life. The first one was watching Fahrenheit 9-11 in the middle of a crowded movie theater where I broke down sobbing over the blacked out visuals and the audio of the 911 attacks. The second was in my living room this Thursday night watching Food Inc.
I’ll be honest, the first few minutes of the film I was kinda half-ass watching, half-ass trying to finish Notes From a Cracked Ceiling (that’s a whole other post). And all of a sudden my ears tuned in to an alarming statistic. “McDonald’s is the single largest beef purchaser in the U.S.” Not some grocery store conglomerate, not Wal-Mart, but McDonald’s. Therefore, if you want to follow my thinking, that means that mass production is catering to McDonald’s and not me. So even if I’m buying a piece of meat that is expensive or hormone free, unless I really REALLY know the farmer, there is no guarantee that what I’m grilling is any safer for me than a BigMac. And that friends was a major gut check – literally and figuratively – for me.
Later in the film we meet several farmers that are trying to buck this trend of grossly mass produced and over processed foods. Farmers raising and killing their animals humanely. Treating the process with respect and – dare I say it – a certain sense of humility. And while I think the larger message is to know where your food comes from, Food Inc. definitely makes a great case for vegetarian weekdays – through the blunt exposure to slaughter houses, stock yards and holding pens.
The biggest absence of Food Inc. are the on film action take aways. If you forgo the closing seconds where they lay out their 10 steps to a better relationship and understanding of the food on our plate – you are left feeling…well, left hanging is the only expression that comes to mind. In the minutes leading up to the credits the phrase “And now what?” was running through my head as if it was a 2-second track on my iPod which was stuck on repeat. But my hunch is that they rely heavily on their website for the take aways so that the film isn’t doesn’t become instantly dated. So please, please, PLEASE, take the time after the film to learn what you can do to help yourself, your community and this world get in touch with their dinner once again.
But don’t take my word for it – rent, Netflix or RedBox Food Inc. for yourself. And be sure to visit their website, which is heavy on resources, articles and 10 easy steps to take action: http://www.foodincmovie.com/get-involved.php
*** And in case anyone was wondering what ever happened to that CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) share I mentioned – we found out last week that we were FINALLY approved and got out Veggie Hotline number for early May. Yippeeeee! There may still be time for you to buy a share – check out http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ to find your local farmers ***