19 August 2009

A Film/Food Dichotomy

On Friday, I had a rather curious experience regarding watching two very different films about food in one day. The first film I saw, while eating an enormous box of Whoppers and drinking a Coke, was Julie and Julia.

The film was entertaining, and it's portrayal of French cooking left one hungering for lobster, duck, and all other sorts of delicacies. However sick the enormous amount of sugar I had consumed had caused me to feel, I still went home craving Coq Au Vin.

Later in the evening, my bestie and I went to see a film with a far more cynical take on the occupation of eating:

This was certainly one of the best documentaries of the year, in my opinion. It did a good job of presenting facts and appealing to emotions without becoming too sensationalist. Overall, it truly made me rethink the food industry and my own buying habits.

I'm already a label-reader when it comes to every product I buy: food, cosmetics, dish soap, you name it. I have a certain "checklist" which I usually make sure the product meets before I buy it, including things like people-tested, organic, no parabens, no palm oil, etc. But before this movie, I had never really thought about corn and soybeans, and how those industries are mostly ruining our environment and our bodies.

Here's a list posted on the site for the film of 10 simple things you can do to change our food system:

1. Stop drinking soda and other sweetened beverages.

2. Eat at home instead of eating out.

3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards.

4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks.

5. Meatless Mondays--Go without meat on day a weeks.

6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides.

7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer's market.

8. Make a point to know where your food comes from--READ LABELS.

9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you.

10. Demand job protection for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections.

I hope that anyone out there who reads my blog (if there's anyone out there that reads my blog...) will make a point to see this documentary, learn more about the issues at hand, and make fair choices about the products they choose to consume. We are not helpless to the system!

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