Each day a portion of my waking hours are filled with a sweet, blissful time known as “Beckett’s Asleep”. It’s my chance to get those chores done around the house that are best accomplished minus the help of toddler questions and sticky fingers. It’s also a blissful, serenity of peace where Jacob and I can get back to us and have a conversation that isn’t interspersed with shrieks and babble. I can pick up those “hobbies” that have been collecting dust in the corner. Flying knitting needles and tangled yarn require a concentration level that requires only ten fingers, not twenty.
Most weekends, particularly rainy, dark winter nights, used to be spent watching a rented DVD or a favorite television show. But, movies have become an invaluable resource with this project and seem to be pushing right to the forefront. Nights are no longer interspersed with ridiculously long battles of Dr. Mario online (don’t ask!) or silly, affable (and, forgettable!) comedies. My quiet time has become my crunch time. And, over the past six months, we have watched some gems. These two movies are top notch and worth watching (seriously!). Stay tuned for more from the acclaimed film critics: Ferry & Ferry.
FOOD, INC. 2008, 94 minutes (http://www.foodincmovie.com/)
Where do I begin? How many bold statements can I throw at you? I want to take your little cheeks in my hands, look you right in the eye and with deadpan seriousness tell you to “WATCH-THIS-MOVIE”.
Food, Inc. is life changing. Truly mind blowing. Decision influencing. Reality altering.
Prior to January 2010, I wasn’t particularly aware of what I was eating. I obviously knew what was on my plate and what I had purchased at the store. But, I didn’t know the story behind it. I can partially chock it up to ignorance, but it was mainly a dangerous combination of apathy and completely misguided trust. I didn’t know that the delicious ruby, red tomatoes I had purchased were shipped from halfway across the world, picked when green and artificially ripened with ethylene gas. I didn’t know that the single largest pig slaughterhouse in the U.S. is responsible for slaughtering 60% of the pork on grocery store shelves and kills 35,000 pigs per day using massive crushing machines that slowly squeeze the animals to death. I didn’t know that McDonald’s was the single largest purchaser of ground beef and potatoes and in effect controls the market (and, taste) of these two items.
I want to know what my food is made of. I want to know who grows it. I want to know how it got into my grocery cart and how it got onto my plate. When I purchase from a local farmer or the community food co-op, I see more of this story than I ever have before. Food, Inc. excels at providing information in an amazingly non-biased fashion. It forces you, the consumer, to ask questions and demand answers to what is going on behind the closed doors. And, if you can’t get an answer, you have the choice to make a statement. The barcode scanner at the grocery store is your vote. Your vote for local and in-season. Your vote for humanely raised animal meat. Your vote for milk that is free from hormones and antibiotics. Your three-meals-a-day, hundreds-of-dollars-a-month vote for your food.
Good Food 2008, 73 minutes (http://www.goodfoodthemovie.org/)
This movie made my heart skip a beat when I first heard about it while visiting Skagit River Ranch in Sedro Woolley, WA (more on the ranch later!). The words “local”, “pacific northwest”, “sustainability” and “documentary” were splashed across the poster and I knew immediately that I had to get my hands on the movie. In an effort to keep it short and sweet, let me just say it took a ludicrous act of God to get this delightful gem into my hands and I have the Whatcom County Library System to thank for my personal quest’s triumph.
Good Food tells an exquisite story of the success of local producers who are thriving in the Pacific Northwest and focuses solely on Washington, Oregon and western Idaho. The stories are incredible, the ideas and experience of the growers and farmers are unreal and the fact that it’s all happening here, right here, is truly awe-inspiring. Jacob and I are seriously considering a “Good Food Road Trip” this summer where we spend a week or two (maybe three!) visiting the markets, producers and restaurants featured in this movie. I’ll keep you posted on the planning!
If the sun is shining (or mostly shining because you can’t get too picky in Washington), you will find me outside, knee deep in the garden or tending to the beehives, but rainy days are best spent inside snuggled on the couch with my husband. And, I am finding myself drawn to movies with a purpose and a story that is so ridiculously good it must be fiction, but it’s not – it’s real life. And, one way to this women’s heart is through a hearty slice of pie, so if the story is about food, I am all ears and grumbling tummy.