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FRESH - the movie

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by HCFarms96, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. HCFarms96

    HCFarms96 Songster

    Aug 19, 2011

  2. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Songster

    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    Thanks for posting this link. I'm a huge fan of this type of education, and a big supporter of sustainable food.

    There's not a lot in this film that I don't agree with. But then, I was raised on a sustaininable single-family farm in Idaho, where we raised, grew, or hunted 90% of our food. We didn't have a fast food joint in our small town, and my mom didn't let us waste money on Hamburger Helper or cake mixes. We had to make it all ourselves. And the problems we didn't have... diabetes, high cholesterol, childhood obesity, arthritis.

    I love Michael Pollan. He's so informative, without having a huge degree in the food sciences. In Defense of Food is one of my favorite books, talking about the benefits of real food, the type our great-grandmothers would have recognized as food. Last April, my husband survived a heart attack at 37 years old. All the commercially-educated people pretty much came after me with pitchforks and torches, accusing me of trying to kill my husband by feeding him like crap. It especially hurt because we eat bacon about 4 times a year, eat meat maybe 3 times a week (that's total servings), grow a huge garden, and exercise 5 times a week. By reading Michael Pollan's book, I learned how fructose metabolizes in the liver, and whatever we don't use as glucose turns into triglycerides. He explained how fructose is naturally rare, occuring in summer and autumn foods, at a time when our ancestors would have been putting on body weight for the winter. Now it's in everything, even in some of our meats. And guess what... my husband's triglycerides were 15 times higher than they were supposed to be. Yet another reason to go back to how our grandmothers ate.

    I can see how the film is biased. The image of the baby chicks dumped on the ground was obviously added to trigger our emotions. Same with the image of the cornish cross chicken with the leg problems. Obviously, it's meant to advocate a certain cause. It does well at that. It's a cause I already believe in, so I see no problem with this.

    It shows how farmers are barely hanging on. That's the way my uncle's ranch was. We didn't eat hormone-injected beef. In the spring, we got on our horses and drove the cattle up into the Idaho mountains. In the fall, we got on our horses and brought them down to feed on the hay that my uncle had raised during the summer. He had a million-dollar ranch. That's a million-dollar-value ranch... he made just enough money to feed his family. It wasn't long before he stopped having cattle drives and started trucking the cattle up to the mountains, because the cost of the gas was less than the lost weight of the cattle from the 2-day trip. And about the time I graduated from high school, he passed away and left the ranch to his son. Though his son had grown up working the ranch, and was devoted to this ranch that had been in the family since the pioneers settled in the town, he soon sold it. He had to feed his family, and working in the hardware store paid better.

    Joel Salatin, the farmer they show walking around with his cows and chikens, probably makes most of his money from his documentaries and radio interviews, not with Polyface farms. When he was interviewed in Food, Inc. he stated that he had absolutely no intention of increasing his farm. He has a small operation, with a small customer base. To increase his customer base, he would have to incorporate methods that would reduce the sustainability and the humane treatment of his animals.

    If we're going to expect the same criteria for our food, we're going to have to accept that it's not going to be manufactured in the quantity that we want it to be. Not like Purdue chicken is, anyway. We're going to reduce how much we eat, so everyone else can have their share.

    Two days ago, I went to Whole Foods to get a few items, and I cruised past the egg section. I tried to find the closest thing I could to what we have by allowing our chickens to run around in our backyards. I ignored labels like "cage free," "free range," and "vegetarian fed," knowing these are all marketing terms that mean a little... but not much. The closest thing I could find was "pasture-raised" eggs, where the chickens move from pasture to pasture, eating bugs and grass. And these eggs were $8 a dozen. The thing is, these farmers are not making a fortune on their eggs. After losing some birds to predators, keeping their flocks small enough to be sustainable, paying for decent feed instead of the cheapest bulk mash, and keeping enough staff to care for these animals, they then have to inflate their prices enough that they can meet the needs of their farms and families.

    I bet most people who take the time to watch this film will get all worked up and want to do something about it. The agriculturists on the film have a point... it can be done. But it's going to take a lot of work, a lot of overriding the commercialism of our food. And what can we do? If we're willing to, and able to, we can make a difference. But four things that immediately come to my mind are things that a lot of us can't do or are unwilling to do.

    -Produce your own food. We BYC members all have an advantage over the majority of America: We have room to raise chickens, and maybe even have a little room for a garden. Maybe a lot of room, and we're already doing this. But I see a lot of images of high-rise apartments with no windows. Those people are completely dependant on other people's food production.

    -Eat less or no meat. I'm not trying to jump on a moral bandwagon here. I'm omnivorous. But meat is expensive, and the factory farming of animals is one of the huge problems discussed here. But if you ask someone to stop eating meat, you'd better be ready for the backlash.

    -Buy fewer toys and pay more for food. Again, I don't see a lot of people willing to do this. Some are. But it's really not the American way to give up our iPhones so we can support sustainable farming.

    -Simplify our lifestyles. I know a lot of my generation that can't cook. And even fewer of the younger generation. We're all so busy, whether with work or social lives or hobbies... we don't have the time or the desire to cook. Even though learning to cook healthy food from scratch will make us healthier, cost less, support sustainable farming, undercut the processed food suppliers... it's inconvenient.

    And cooking isn't the only thing we can simplify, but maybe aren't able to or aren't willing to do. Is one parent willing to give up his/her job and stay home, giving up a modest income but then also cutting out childcare and having time to grow a garden and cook at home? Are you willing to give up your satellite tv, your big car, your nights out with the girls so you can afford better food? Give up hobby time so you can research how to cook healthy while not spending your whole paycheck? Build up a social network of barters so you can trade your eggs for someone else's homegrown tomatoes, when just going to the store would take less time?

    I'll definitely recommend this film to people I know. I like how it's not telling you to go out and buy expensive food. Though that might seem like the simplest (and costly) solution if we want to support sustainable and healthy farming, I like how it states that some people can't do this. I don't know... maybe with more education like this, we'll find a way to make it work.

    Until then... make it work however you can in your own little world.
    1 person likes this.
  3. HCFarms96

    HCFarms96 Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Preach it, sister!
    Seriously, that is very well said.
  4. I started feeling the same way after reading America's Food: What You Don't Know About What You Eat (which I recommend to anyone interested in how food is grown, processed, shipped, etc. and the environmental consequences of what we choose to eat). I'm not in a position to raise my own food now, but it did affect the choices I made. Check out the book -- it's under $20 for the softcover, but is packed with information from scholarly sources, facts and figures laid out in tables and graphs, and not at all a wishy-washy emotional diatribe with nothing to back it up.

  5. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Songster

    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    AquaEyes, I looked it up on Amazon and it's now on my wishlist.

    So, I have a little question for everyone...

    Taking into account your life right now, the resources either rented or belonging to you, and the household or social members willing to pitch in... What would you like to do in an attempt to fix a system that's gone down a slippery slope of pork byproduct?

    I have a little sustainable farming group, consisting of two parents and two kids, and this will be our 4th year farming on this urban plot. We recently added a single mom and her two daughters, who don't know much about gardening but are ecstatic to learn and are hard workers. A third friend, single guy with a rental house, offered to let us till and plant his garden... He's not the manual labor type of guy, but we'll toss him a few tomatoes in trade for the space. So here we have the knowledge, the (wo)man power, and the space. Between these three gardens and my chickens, we will be able to provide most of the food that these three households need. And that may fit the goals for this year, and I may not be able to accomplish more. But next year I'd like to get a website, or a meeting group, with the intention of connecting gardeners, or people with space to garden, with people willing to work those gardens in trade for some of the food. Then it begins another spiral of education.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I loved reading that. Thank you!
  7. If you have Netflix, check out the documentary Broken Limbs.

  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I haven't seen the entire film, but, yeah, those chicks made me upset a bit. I don't think I could ever ranch my own food due to allergies, but I could grow a small portion of veggies. I do agree that people in this country eat way to much meat and this is mostly a modern issue. People before 1900s really didn't eat a lot of meat except at certain times of the year when animals had to be slaughtered to save on feed during the winter, for example. Also, people use too much packaging and too much processed and convenience food. Many people don't know the difference between want and need. I think people, as a whole, need to stop and thnk about what they're doing.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I don't have Netflix, but upon checking out what it was about, I will look for it. Thanks for the recommendation.

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