Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Wednesday Movie Review: The Future of Food
Premise: "THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade. From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico, this film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed about the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply. Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, The Future of Food examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world's food system. The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture..." [from www.imdb.com; author unknown]
Most Shocking: The most shocking part of the documentary is when they show how genes are mutated for GMO (genetically modified organism) foods. They take the part of dna from another creature (for example a gene from a flounder that prevents it from freezing to death) and place it into a food (in this example, tomatoes so they will not die when it frosts). This can cause food allergies, but the part they don't tell you is that to get the gene to take they have to use a virus or bacteria to compromise the integrity of the dna (which is against being changed-that's its purpose!). Most often they use the E. Coli bacteria (yes as found in raw hamburger-GROSS!). Then they need to be able to test if it has taken so they put an antibiotic marker in there so that when they treat the vegetable with that antibiotic, if the plant doesn't die, it has taken the gene into its own dna. I don't know about you but this repulsed me!
Most Interesting: One organic farmer featured in the film, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Stauton, VA, is actually just South of our home. When I went to a local store that sells local products they actually had some chicken from his farm! I bought some, although pricey at $3.99/lb, and I'll let you know how that turns out when we try it! The farm has an open policy for self-guided tours and I'm looking forward to making a trip there.
Favorite: The number of farmer's markets in the increased 79% from 1994 to 2002. In 1990, consumers spent 1 billion on organic food, in 2003 they spent 13 billion. (this is good because the whatever consumers demand, stores will provide)
Least Favorite: My least favorite was one of the farmer's wives. She was on the brink of tears telling about how Monsanto came onto their farm accusing them of stealing seed (when it was in fact blown onto their field from a farmer carrying Monsanto's seed who lost the tarp on top) She was so upset because the work the family had done for over 50 years perfecting their crops had been ruined when they were forced to get rid of all their seed due to "contamination."
Lesson Learned: This made me very upset about all the power multi-national corporations have over the citizens. In farming, farmers are defenseless. An organic farmer who's livelihood is ruined by being contaminated with Monsanto GMO seeds not only has no way to recover his crops, but also can be sued by Monsanto.
Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Share in the comments section.