Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Future of Food: More Scary Information

We're seeing a lot news about the obesity crisis lately, people blaming parents, folks blaming fat people, but few people, other than a handful of documentary filmmakers and a book author here or there, addressing that how our food is grown and produced may be contributing to the nation's obesity epidemic and other nutrition-related health issues. Below is the full documentary, The Future of Food by Deborah Koons Garcia, which was released in 2004.

By no means am I saying we shouldn't each be accountable for what we put in our mouths and feed our children, but I am thinking that some of the issues related to food have nothing to do with what we've done personally but what big business has done and the government has allowed, mostly in the name of capitalism.

Either here eat WSATA or in email threads or on Twitter, I've talked in the past about both Food Inc. and King Corn, and changes in how we are metabolizing foods. In addition,lately I've seen people talking about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC, and of course years back, Super Size Me, the documentary about fast food and health, was a conversation topic.

In the same year that Super Size Me came out, 2004, and before the other documentaries named and Jamie Oliver's TV show, another documentary on food apparently was released that hasn't gotten the same kind of attention, The Future of Food. It addressed not only the changes in how we grow food through biotechnology, but also how giant agricultural companies, like Monsanto, have gone gangster on small farmers in a move to monopolize the farm industry. It's the full documentary I've embedded at the beginning of this post. Disturbing stuff.

In addition, here are the trailers for Food Inc. and King Corn.

Food Inc. trailer

King Corn trailer

I watch these types of documentaries and wonder what can we do? How can we address this food crisis beyond cooking our meals at home, growing a personal garden and buying organic? Remember some people can't do at least two of those actions. Perhaps the clearest sign that this nation isn't run by ordinary people is how often our interests and well-being are kicked aside in favor of the interest of mega-corporations. Maybe Michael Moore is right. Maybe America is more in love with capitalism than it is democracy.


Lisa Paul said...

If you can't grow your own food, you can look into CSA -- community supported agriculture. You basically buy a "share" in a local farmer's year round crops. In return, you get a box of seasonal produce every month or on some such schedule. CSAs are usually pretty flexible -- you can get a part membership or share memberships with others. And, since you get what's in season but may not like a certain vegetable, there are lots of "swapping" opportunities. These are often run like food co-ops with deliveries being made to a volunteer's garage. But it's a great way to eat locally and seasonally as well as supporting a local farmer. Sometimes several farmers team up to provide vegetables and meat/eggs.

I have a friend who belongs to one in Minneapolis, where I'd assumed the growing season was about 2 months. But except for December, January and February, she gets a box of fresh vegetables on regular delivery. If your climate is warmer, you'll have even more choices.

msladydeborah said...

Your first commentor gave you the best suggestion. Grow your own. Check out my posts on urban gardening-there are links that give all types of suggestions on how to create a sustainable environment.

I am in the process of doing the necessary groundwork to enter this particular field of food production. It is imparative that urban dwellers really think about advocating for accessible & affordable fresh food within our communities. I want to learn how to work on developing a solar powered greenhouse. This would be an ideal way to supply food, employ people and become more independent from argi-business.

Look to your organic farmers. They may offer a co-op purchasing package.

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

Thank you, ladies. I ended the post with this question: How can we address this food crisis beyond cooking our meals at home, growing a personal garden and buying organic?

It's below the last video. But thank you for the suggestions about co-ops. Down here in Louisiana, I certainly should be able to find one of those somewhere.

Also, that first documentary brings up issues that should be addressed by the USDA, FDA, EPA, and maybe even the FTC.

lilalia said...

Normally, I would say that you needed to spread the word and offer viable alternatives. The only thing about this, I am not sure what the viable alternatives are in you communities. The last time I went to a grocery store in the USA and wanted to by food without preservatives and non-processed, it was darn hard. Even pasta had preservatives in its ingredients! The very same company that produces pasta (flour and salt) here, had preservatives there. When I asked the store manager why, he said longer self life. Also, I've been told your labeling laws are not rigorous. Food producers do not have to put down every item in the label. All which makes me think that what people need to do is find good and reliable sources of information that help them know what alternatives are available at a price their bodies and pocketbooks can afford.