A little under twelve months ago I watched, with some trepidation, the food documentary Our Daily Bread. What I experienced was not so much a food awakening, but more of a smack-in-the-face-with-a-smelly-salami-stick kind of awakening.
After watching this film, food I had previously eaten without thought was suddenly treated with caution – ham sandwiches, roast lamb and chicken schnitzels – previous good friends now felt more like an undercover cop who’s goatee had just fallen off… suspicious.
Where did they come from? What were they made of? What did our friendship mean for my other friends like the environment?
Distrust was in place and it was hard to shake.
For a few months. And then slowly, slowly, these old friends wheedled their way back into my heart. I told myself it was okay, they were okay. Surely I could trust these products again?
But the uncertainty, while buried deep, was still there.
And so, I steeled myself to watch another food documentary, I needed another slap and this time it was via another food documentary, Food, Inc.
Food, Inc focuses on the people and farmers responsible for the food production rather than the actual processing of animals but the story is just as heartbreaking.
Farmers who had lost control of their land, their farms and in turn, their way of life seemed a common fate in America as these producers battled unsuccessfully against major corporations to retain some form of natural farming practices.
I can admit in hindsight, watching this film at 37 weeks pregnant probably wasn’t good for Mr T’s nerves as I gasped and exclaimed at some scenes of food processing factories however, it was just what I needed to reinforce my food consumer habits.
While this film highlighted that change won’t happen quickly when we are talking about feeding the global population, its simple messages in the final credits did reveal that personal food-consumer change is possible and easy.
- Buy from companies that treat, workers, animals and the environment with respect
- When you go to the supermarket, buy foods that are in season
- Buy foods that are organic
- Know what’s in your food. Read labels. Know what you buy
- Buy foods that are grown locally. Shop at farmers markets
- Everyone has a right to healthy food
- You can change the world with every bite
For more information head to www.takepart.com/foodinc
What do you think? Do you worry about what effect large-scale food production is having on the environment? Do you feel confident in the story behind your food?