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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Film Review: Ingredients

Are we seeing positive changes in our food supply and will we continue to see those benefits in the near future? Ingredients is an interesting 67 minute documentary that attempts to answer these questions as it focuses on food practices in the United States right now. 

This movie did not bring a lot of new information to the table. Most of the readers of our blog are already familiar with the importance of eating local, supporting CSA’s, and the evil’s of mega corporations that control what is what available in the food supply. While there were a few stats thrown out, I think this movie bases its arguments more on feel good interviews and anecdotal experiences and less on fact. If you are looking to “convert” someone to eating local this movie will probably not be the best choice. If you are already a member of the local food movement, you will enjoy this movie as an entertaining opportunity to hear from people that have the same ideas as you.

Ingredients admits that local foods are a lot of time more expensive and harder for poor people to eat. It truthfully states that there are hidden costs to cheap, government subsidized food. Some of those costs include; increased medical expenses from obesity problems and diabetes, and increased costs to our environment from the increased use of fossil fuels and other energy sources. The film reveals that one in three children born in 200 will have diabetes and the new generation will be the first in US history to have a shorter life span than their parents.  

I agree with the dangers of these hidden costs but I think that there needs to be other choices available for lower income people. I don’t think that someone who has an extremely small budget for food cares about hidden costs. They care about what puts food on their table, which is often the less healthy subsidized, processed foods. 

I would like to see more emphasis on backyard farms, growing your own food, and community gardens. We need ideas that will bring food back to lower income areas. Local farmers can help with this, but I think that the best way to improve food choices for lower income families is for the lower income households to learn how to grow their own foods even if it is to a limited degree. 

What are some of the methods that you think can be used to provide healthier food choices for lower income families?


Meg@MegaCrafty said...

I think showing people how to cook with some of the fruit and veggie varieties they can easily grow but probably don't have in an average grocery store would be key. Even just providing info on how to clean and process the veggies and some recipes would be helpful.

I thought I had a pretty good grasp on local, heirloom and uncommon veggies. But when we started participating in a CSA we got quite a few veggies that I had never heard of before.

Also maybe some education in foods preservation methods.

daisy said...

How 'bout local farmers sharing surplus with those who wouldn't usually have access to fresh veg?

Anonymous said...

Farmers around me let people glean from their farm. That is how we & many others get sweet potatoes (for example) that will last us through the winter. They are small, but they are free & SWEET! I wish more farmers submitted to this biblical practice.

Teaching impoverished people how to grow their own garden is key. Everyone around me is DONE gardening now while I have just started! We are in zone 7 so after the summer heat, no one wants to garden anymore. However, I have TONS of lettuce, spinach, carrots, etc. growing that is feeding us daily. I am letting everyone I know about it & I am hoping the trend will spread!

Summer said...

I don't know if this is everywhere, but in Arkansas, there are farmer's markets you can go to that take food stamps. The food is often cheaper than the actual store when things are in season, and it's mostly local (some of the farmers sell things with stickers on them...).