Food Inc.

I have a crush on Eric Schlosser. I know he's not a movie star or even a farmer but he's got a way of talking about farm workers rights and corn that makes me soft inside. And then when he says, "Monsanto," and his hand flexes into a fist; what can I say?

I'm his.

I saw Food, Inc.. Not only does the movie star Eric Schlosser but Michael Pollan was there too. And so was Joel Salatin. They're the three stooges of the know-your-food movement. And I mean that with the utmost respect. These guys were awesome, but they're funny too.

The movie was everything a sustainable food girl could want and yet it was a taste of how food makes its way to the plate. There was a vignette on factory farmed animals, on the treatment of farm workers, of the growing rates of diabetes as a result of cheap food. There was a vignette on GMO's, on government subsidies, on the source of ingredients in food. The movie stayed succinct but could have taken off in any direction for hours.And I would have stayed for all of it.

There were a couple of times I covered my eyes, a couple of times I covered my heart. And a few times my own fist flexed into a fist and I wanted to punch the air and yell, "Yeah. Tell 'em. Way to go!" And then I would get all googley eyed when Eric Schlosser returned to the screen.

The most surprising information was related to the treatment of the migrant farm workers. Forget about how we treat the animals we eat, or the pesticides and fertilizers being flushed into our water ways. Forget about the destruction of top soil and the inability of farmers to save seeds because a patented GMO seed has blown onto their property. Forget about all of that and there are the human beings that handle the food. I wanted to cover my eyes, my heart and ears all at the same time.

The movie is not doom and gloom however. The Stoneyfield Farms guy is one happy dude. And the guys from Walmart? Complete comedic relief. Sure, there are challenges. When hasn't there been? But Food, Inc. is hopeful for the mere fact that it was made. That it's being distributed to major markets. That's it's been reviewed and talked about and linked all over the place.

A friend told me a year and a half ago that the sustainable food movement would never go mainstream. "It's just a trend," this friend said. This movie is not however a trend. It's ambitious, it's smart and hopefully it will whet the appetite for mainstream to start lifting the veil between kitchen tables and food producers everywhere. Hopefully it will raise the momentum of people voting with their forks for fair food that is considerate of all beings.

But mainstream better stay away from Eric Schlosser. He's mine!


Christina said...

And what would the cute guy say about that?

Seriously, your post is adorable. Having an "issue crush" is a blast.

kale for sale said...

Christina - It didn't phase the cute guy. He's a bit smitten with Novella Carpentar right now since I got her book Farm City, so we're even.

I like the term, issue crush. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I came across your blog while looking for a recipe incorporating kale and shrimp (of all things). Thanks for the shrimp info, this will be our last bag of the unsustainable variety.

THEN I bookmarked you after I read your fave book lists AND saw that you blogged about Food, Inc (which I've seen twice here in Philly).

THEN cap that with sharing your love for the magic that IS Rancho Gordo beans which I discovered on my recent San Francisco other words, I look forward to reading more of your posts!


kale for sale said...

doughgirl - Were you ever able to combine the kale and shrimp? I know people all over are watching this movie but it's still exciting to actually hear from some one that is as crazy about it as I am. I haven't seen it twice - yet! Thanks for the comment. You made my day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kale, sorry, I was visiting you today to see any new posts and realized you had replied to my comment.
I ended up preparing the kale like I normally in boiling away the nutrients (oops) and then sauteing with some garlic and olive oil (that's the only way I can get my husband to eat it). Then I sauteed the shrimp with some MORE garlic, some fresh ginger, and some hot pepper flakes. Threw it all together and called it a day. Not too bad for a quick weeknight dinner.

kale for sale said...

doughgirl - Garlic and olive oil - the magic ingredients. I swear I could eat cardboard with a bit of olive oil and sea salt.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

I loved the film too and had many of the same reactions. I just wish we could find a way to bring sustainable food to the masses without resorting to plastic packaging, which is completely unsustainable. I've written to Stonyfield Farms to ask about the chemicals in their plastic yogurt containers. They have not yet responded. How can food be classified as organic if we don't know what chemicals could be leaching into it from the plastic?

(Just heard a scary story along those lines from a plastics industry guy today. More later.)

kale for sale said...

Fake Plastic Fish - I was stunned at the warehouse of organic yogurt too. Not the yogurt but the plastic. It just felt overwhelming. On the one hand it's great that's it organic and well, you know on the other hand it's plastic. I'm fortunate to buy yogurt in returnable mason jars but I know that's not an option for everyone. Writing a letter is good. Thank you. You are a teacher in that you are always doing something and making movement against such a strong current. Thank you.