Friday, July 10, 2009
If you are reading this website, you've probably already heard about Food,Inc., the documentary that exposes the dirty industrial secrets of the food industry. I saw it last night at the Charles Theater, and although I am obviously already one of the converted, I am glad I did.
The film was mainly a broad overview of how power has become concentrated and corrupted in the food industry, set to a montage of animals being mutilated, brightly synthetic packages in the grocery store, and endless fields of genetically modified corn and soy. While it was pretty depressing, it also made me believe more than ever in our power as consumers.
Case in point about how the film could/should have been ended with more positive footage: After the film was over, the woman sitting behind me with her husband and son started crying because "she felt so powerless." These kind of exposé films often make us feel so overwhelmed, we become paralyzed instead of motivated.
So I turned around and started talking to her about the CSA I joined and how happy it makes me. It's so easy to subvert the usual food system. Although it costs a little more than supermarket food, I believe that if there's one thing you should spend money on, it's the food you put inside you.
Why I love my CSA:
1. It costs less than one month of my rent and I get fresh, healthy, organic, vegetables for six months.
2. I notice the seasons a lot more!
3. I remember what "real" food tastes like (a tomato in July is totally different than some fake, watery, pinkish thing-- the "idea of a tomato" it's called in the film-- in November)
3. I appreciate farm workers and the Earth a lot more
4. My food travels less mileage, hence less gas use (War in Iraq, anyone?)
Just by CHANGING HOW WE SPEND OUR MONEY, we can heal any number of issue from the inside-out. From how business is structured (supporting small local economies), to the healthcare system (obesity epidemic, anyone?!), to the environment (like tons of chicken manure flooding the Chesapeake Bay).
Let me tell you, eating delicious local food is soo much better than marching in the streets, signing petitions, or holding teach-ins. And more effective, since $$$$ is the only argument that the powers-that-be listen to anyway.
I could go into a long synopsis here about ammonia in hamburgers made out of hundreds of different cows, genetically modified soy, farmers being sued by Monsanto for saving heirloom crop seeds. But if you're interested in any kind of environmental, social, or political justice at all you've probably already come across the food industry and the way it totally destroys the health of the planet.
So, instead of getting frustrated, become a responsible consumer. The companies are only selling what we're buying.
Posted by AlizaEss