Seriously Now

14 04 2010

I gotta a lot to say today. It is amazing how starting a blog gets people talking and sharing. I have been parking things to blog about and now I could be blogging daily. So I am going to bundle a few things up here for added value.

First, watch Food Inc. This is an important movie. Yes it is gross at times and you might be like ‘I can’t stand watching stuff like that’. Well do it, truth hurts, and it’s what you do with it that matters. So get past the gross stuff, it’s important but it’s not the whole story. The movie is based on the book Omnivores Dilemma, written by Michael Pollan. It takes you on a journey of where our food comes from, how we got to the industrial food era we are in and the implications of our choices and how to change it. It gives you much to consider. What’s most important is understanding how we got here and what questions we have to ask to change it. Making individual choices is one thing, but knowing how we can turn the tide is another. Joel Salatin, a farmer in the book and the movie asks some very important questions. He asks questions about why we think the way we do. By asking these questions, we can start to unpack what we have done, understand the causal architecture and begin to work in ways that will course correct, even prevent these things from happening again. These are huge challenges, but critical to our survival as a species. Watch the movie.

Next. My dear friend Dana who owns the Yoga Shala in Calgary will be screening the movie Fresh on May 1 from 7-9PM. I haven’t seen it yet but am hoping it will shed more light on what it will take to shift our collective thinking around industrial farming and food practices. Some of the same characters appear in this movie as Food Inc. aka Michael Pollan and our farm friend Joel Salatin. If you are interested, follow this link to the screening information.

Finally. The KFC Double Down. I have no words. Our friend Rod sent this to me today. I hadn’t gotten to my G&M scan this morning and if I had my tea with almond milk and green smoothie would have come right back up. If this isn’t an indication of our societal gluttony of bigger, better, NOW I don’t know what is. It’s not the Double Down itself (which by the way you can’t get in Canada yet) the article is revealing. So says Dr. Freedhoff, an obesity specialist, “As far as I’m concerned, the restaurant industry, their job is to satisfy their shareholders. It’s not to make healthy food. Now, if consumers were to start demanding healthier food, the restaurant industry would start delivering healthier food.” I agree that our choices in life are left to us, however, there are systems at play that lead to crappy choices, they are bigger, richer and more organized than we are (and just to clarify Doc, restaurants are in business to make money and not to feed people, got it, nothing to be culpable about, right.). What’s missing is ‘Why are we eating like this?’ and ‘How did we get here?’ It is easy to see the link between economics and health in this case and it is obvious that the previous out weighs the later. A society driven by profit and getting ‘more’ also results in obesity. Just like a society driven by profit results in millions of people without health care and the basic needs of life. We have the science and technology to feed the world, but we don’t, seriously now.

Give this some thought, think about how you make choices, what systems are at play and the discipline it takes to change. Just because Mickie D’s puts the caloric information on a burger doesn’t mean you won’t eat the burger.

Be well, Nat

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2 responses

8 08 2010
Michael

But as a farmer I do have many concerns about what Pollan says. Yes, there are questions we need to ask ourselves. There are also questions about where he gets his information. Why did he chose Salatin when other voices had a different story. Why did Pollan change part of his book between printings, a very important part was left out of the later editions because it did not fit with Pollan’s idea’s. There are definite errors in Food, Inc. Because those errors are sensational, they were left in.

17 08 2010
Natalie

Thanks for your comment. I looked into the discrepancies you mention. I could only find a blog of a math prof calculating the accuracy of some of Michael Pollan’s stats. Hard to dispute unless you are a math prof and have similar beliefs in ‘sustainment’. If there is something more, pass it along, the territory we are discussing is very wide and deep. Although all media will have errors, the bigger question is how our current practices will continue to be fuelled and sustained in the coming generations? Movies like ‘Food Inc’, ‘Fresh’ etc. are attempting to create the dialogue, good on them.

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