Saturday, March 17, 2012
Who and Where does your Food come from?
I saw a Jennifer Baichwal film called PAYBACK last night which is based on a book by Margaret Atwood. What does this have to do with food? Well, the film goes through debts to society in all forms. One of the forms was in the environment. Margaret Atwood said in the Q&A afterward that "YOu CAN'T PAY FISH" meaning when companies like BP destroy the water sources they can't pay the fish to go away and solve the problem. Greed seems to be the thing that is what is destroying our planet. Greed of industries trying to cut back on safety measures to our food sources and the eco systems in the world with the only consideration being their bottom line profits.
One of the other things the film touched on was the farmers in Florida that were fighting to get a PENNY more an hour and the Food Production companies were saying that it was UN American to pay another cent an hour for them and that it would make the food unaffordable to the general public. What do you think? Would you pay an extra penny for a bunch of tomatoes if you knew that it would help farm workers to not have slavery jobs in the U.S.? I thought so.
The other thing that it made me think about which I have been thinking about a lot lately is that we don't actually know where most of our food is coming from and who are the people in charge of farming or picking it in most cases. The only way you can know where your food comes from is to either grow it yourself or buy it from a LOCAL Farmer's Market where you know the farmer, where his farm is and his practices. Is the farmer an organic farmer, does the farmer grow chickens that are caged in small pens and fed hormones to increase their growth? When you go to the grocery store and a product just says "Product of Mexico" or "Produce of the USA" what does that really tell you? Not Enough. You don't know if the production of it was humane or organic unless it says CERTIFIED Organic. It doesn't say Certified Humane does it? So how are we supposed to know what really goes on every time we buy a tomato. These companies keep these practices their dirty little secret by threatening the already underpaid workers with losing their jobs or in some case the threat of deportation as most are migrant workers that are doing the jobs that other people don't want to do. Farming is hard work. You have to work fast and in hot conditions and usually back breaking ways. I love the Food Network show "Pitchin In" because Chef Lynn Crawford goes to farms across the US and Canada and learns about how their food is produced. But those are always the good farms because there is no way that the offenders would open up their practices to a Canadian tv show.
Do we have to find out by watching investigative Documentaries like Food Inc. and the new film Payback? There are so many more cancers in the world now than there was 50 years ago. My thought is because of the push to make money for a select few who are willing to do anything to make it without a thought to the ripple effect on the planet. The instant gratification of the Greedy who want their money now and don't care who dies because of their actions. It is a scary world where you have to think twice before you eat a Tomato. Where a penny can make the difference between slave labour and ethically produced food.
Things need to change or their won't be any food left on the planet that won't be Genetically modified or just a toxic soup full of chemicals that will kill off the planet.
A few people are basically strangling the planet and it needs to change or we will destroy it permanently. Buy CERTIFIED Organic when you can because it is more expensive because of the strict growing practices. Grow your own vegetables when you can so that you can show the supermarkets and food producers that you aren't willing to buy their toxic produce. Buy directly from ethical farmers and skip the greedy middle men.
If you know the Source you can make informed decisions. This sounds easier than it is to practice unfortunately but it shouldn't be.
Because of the documentary I am working on we plan to visit many farmers markets and farms this spring and summer and I will try and post a list of the places we visit that are doing the right thing.
Get Smart, Buy Smart, Save lives.