While many tout the merits of the industrial revolution and the ability we have to produce plentiful supplies of food more cheaply, have the costs of this change in the food production system been counted? Some weeks ago I reviewed the movie Food Inc. which revealed the issues involved in the way we are producing food. This movie coupled with an earlier one I watched, King Corn, show that simply making food that is apparently cheaper and more plentiful should not be the only goal we are to have. I think this is a direct result of the mindset we have garnered from the industrial revolution which is interested more in quantity and profit than in quality and long term affects. By the way neither of those goals, quantity and profit, are in and of themselves, wrong but when the product is sub-standard and in many cases dangerous we need to review our goals. Above I said apparently cheaper on purpose because there are costs that we do not see immediately with food that is engineered and not natural and those costs are to our health and the health of the generations to come.
A few days ago we watched another movie that deals with food and its production called FRESH. As my friend Paul Vaughn put it: “it seems like Fresh, The Movie, is going to be the answer movie and Food, INC. is the movie that highlights all the trouble!” After watching the movie I think he put it very well.
The first part reveals issues with the current food production systems we have and after that we see answers that people are seeking to produce healthy, natural, food. The movie interviews a number of people but focuses on three men more than the others. They are: Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, Russ Kremer a Natural Hog Farmer and Will Allen an Urban Farmer in Milwaukee working with Growing Power.
I have heard Joel Salatin speak before and am always impressed by the principles he uses in farming. Joel shows how his faith influences his methods and thus lead to a truly biblical perspective on dominion as it relates to farming. His methods not only have been able to produce healthy food but have also been able to sustain him. If his ideas on farming interest you I would suggest his book You Can Farm.
Russ Kremer shares how he used to raise hogs and have to continually inject them with antibiotics to keep them healthy (relative term) and then one day he was injured by one of them and got an infection that almost led him to lose his leg because it was resistant to regular drugs. After this event he realized he could not sell meat, such as he was then producing, to the public and decided to raise natural hogs. Instead of slowly heading in that direction he eliminated his herd and started over.
Will Allen teaches others how to grow food on a small parcel of land in the city of Milwaukee. He shares how he raises a large amount of food for such a small space without the use of chemicals. In doing this he is trying to motivate others to do as he does.
In the movie there are others that are interviewed including a husband and wife that raise chickens for a large company. What you see in the mass raising of chickens should make you think twice about the chicken you eat. Not only because of the quality of the food but also in how the chickens are treated in raising them for food.
I would hope in seeing this film you will not only see the problem at hand but that it will inspire you to eat better and make healthier choices. This movie is being distributed differently than many other movies and you can check their web site to see where you can view it or you can also buy a copy to show to others yourself.
I have mentioned Paul Vaughn of Vaughnshire Farm earlier and I look forward to his review of this film as he is not only a proponent of sustainable agriculture but actually is in the midst of farming himself.
So find this movie near you or show it yourself, lets begin to change the food market. Remember a basic principle of economics is that it is the consumer that dictates what is produced. This may be difficult and initially costly but the end result is well worth it.
Watch the trailer to Fresh the Movie below and when the first trailer is over click on more to see the other 3 trailers.