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I have just seen Food, Inc. It is a stunning look at the industrialization of our food chain. It is at times frightening, disgusting, deeply saddening and yet the slightest bit hopeful. Hats off to Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser, Director and Producer for bring ing this forward in an engaging and sometimes unbearable in-depth look at corporate food culture.

Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and  an award-winning journalist and world-renowned food expert gives a relaxed and informative commentary through the film.

Pollan speaks about the illusion of diversity in our season-less supermarkets. The truth is that there really are only a few companies and only a few products most of which are a clever re-arrangement of corn engineered into foods that basically do not age. Only a few companies control our food system. There is a loss of diversity and now people are used to a conformity and uniformity of food. There is a lot people don’t know about what is in the food they buy. People do have a right to know, a right to food labeling and a right to protest.

There are powerful images of meat “factories’ with enormous assembly lines. Hidden cameras take us into places where we see how the animals are raised. Photos of chickens on conveyor belts, who have never seen sunlight.

Heroic farmers speak out in the film.  A strong-willed mother fights for food safety. Big business creates law suits to financially cripple those who don’t conform. Immigrant workers are pawns. It is something out of a sci-fi movie.

The saddest truth is that many people cannot afford fresh food- it is cheaper to buy soda, a hamburger, than it is to buy a head of broccoli. It’s a very skewed system. Carrots should be a better bargain, don’t you think? The film ends encouraging us to vote on the kind of food we want to eat- 3 times a day. Bruce Springstein sings Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” through the closing credits. It is a strong reminder that we must make choices daily to hold onto our uniqueness and to bring nature back into our lives, homes and diets.

TakePart.com/foodinc


 

The Garden Update

October 3, 2009

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I love reading Hatsy Taylor’s weekly posts on her site Weeds and Wisdom. She always has something of interest through the seasons of her NW Connecticut gardens. This week she writes about not wanting to face the weeds in her flower garden. It is very reassuring that I’m not the only one not wanting to deal with the flower beds.

AND, I am happy to report that the deep mulching in the veggie garden this summer was a great success and I am not going to be facing a terrible time putting the garden to bed and planting vetch as a winter cover crop. The beans are still producing, kale is going gangbusters, and the carrots are magnificent! I am now thinking ahead to next summer, and what I’ll have to do to have bigger onions and actually thinking that in the next few weeks I’ll be planting garlic for next July!!! Woohoo. Making a few quarts of pesto with my own basil and garlic last week was a big thrill. Photos to come, soon.