Wednesday, June 17, 2009

fresh: new thinking about what we're eating

i saw this movie last friday. if you're all up on michael pollan's books, or part of the slow food movement, or are a farmer yourself, then not a lot about seeing FRESH will surprise you. but it's a pretty good flick. joel salatin of polyface farm is in this movie, and it was cool to see him after i read about him in the omnivore's dilemma. actually, that was how i found out about this movie - after finishing the book i googled the farm to see if they had a site, and then i followed a link there to the movie. i know you all wanted to know about that. sorry. it's my blog and i'll ramble how i want to.

the film also shows several different people doing what they can to change the way we think about food. For you urban farmers, i think you'll like this guy, will allen, and his organization, growing power. they are based in downtown milwaukee, and they've created a neat little ecosystem (go the link just to see what they cooked up, it's pretty great) on 3 acres of land to show people from all backgrounds that access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food is possible. as an ex-nba player, he is a monster of a guy, and the perfect guy to point out to your kids, and say, "that guy eats all his vegetables."

i could keep going about the people in the movie, but you just have to see it yourself. after the screening, we heard from a panel michael pollan (he lives here and teaches at the Cal journalism school). another panelist was george naylor, a farmer featured prominently in the movie, representing a farmer caught in between his principles and the agricultural industry. there was also, Brahm Ahmadi, the director of the people's grocery from oakland. these last two panelists talked about the "food desert" phenomenon in rural iowa and urban oakland. in George's entire county (in iowa!), there is 1 grocery store for about 30,000 people. meanwhile in west oakland, the situation is much the same - 1 grocery store for about 25,000 people. there are, however, 40 convenience stores - with ridiculously marked up prices on staple goods and produce, if any. that, my friends, just ain't right. this just isn't a nutritional/ethical issue, it's a social justice issue.

see if the film is coming to a place near you. order a dvd for a home screening and have a party with your friends (say, sans cheetos). i might even try to overcome my black thumb. anyway, two green thumbs up for the movie. hawhaw.

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