I've just returned from a local Joplin screening of the movie Fresh, which offers "new thinking about what we're eating". It is a very powerful film, difficult at times to watch, which provides very important information for anyone who eats food produced here in the U.S. I felt a roller coaster of emotions as the images unfolded, but in the end came away feeling inspired and determined to share what was learned with our readers.
The disturbing images and unsettling accounts of how animals and crops are raised under our current system are fortunately counterbalanced with hopeful images and messages. Fresh includes the wisdom of sustainable food guru Michael Pollan and several midwestern farmers and healthy food advocates. What struck me was how much difference each one of these people makes in the lives of so many others. There is Will Allen, who uses his 3-acre organic plot in Milwaukee not only as a source of food for neighborhood folks, but as a demonstration of what is possible in urban America. The son of sharecroppers, his passion for making healthy food accessible is thoroughly inspiring. Farmers Joel Salatin and Russ Kremer knock your socks off with their passion for raising healthy animals. And over a decade ago, rancher Diana Endicott organized Good Natured Family Farms, a cooperative of farmers and ranchers whose sustainably grown products are available in Kansas City area markets. (Diana generously donated to a GreenTown community supper several years ago.)
The folks behind Fresh invite you to organize showings in your own community. If you go to their website you can check if there is a screening scheduled for your neighborhood. If not, please consider hosting this important, eye-opening feature. Every American ought to know how their food is produced and the high cost of the current system to our health and environment. Michael Pollan observes that "how and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world - and what is to become of it. To eat with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake might sound like a burden, but in practice few things in life can afford quite as much satisfaction." Fresh will most certainly raise your level of consciousness and hopefully invite you to do what you can in your corner of the world.