O.K. I lied. I do not have a smart picture of farmer Nicolas speaking on a panel (though he did speak and did look mighty smart) and I do have lots to say about the film that proceeded the panel. I brought my camera, but without a memory card. My brain needs someone replacing its memory card. ; )
If you haven’t seen this film, Food, Inc., you can see a preview at their website. It is really powerful – enough to convince the kids that they never want to eat meat out again (unless at a restaurant where they use meat from farmers they know). They were eating twizzlers and popcorn and drinking lemonade while they watched but didn’t feel so great about this choice by the end of the film. I was glad about my choice to drink a beer (yes! an old historic movie theater that served good beer) as it helped to keep me from yelling out loud while viewing some of the atrocities wrought by Monsanto.
This brings me to one of the most horrifying revelations in the film. Those who are victims of Monsanto’s ownership of their seed (even if that seed has drifted on to their property from neighboring farms) and who have lost their livelihood as a result; AND those who have had a child die as a result of a food-borne illness due to industrially farmed cattle (all the meat out there that isn’t farmed by small or certified farmers) have even lost their ability to speak freely about their plight. They have learned the hard way that you don’t want to get sued by Monsanto or the big meat corporations. Those who have tried fighting for their right to save seeds or get out of Mansanto’s clutches have mostly gone bankrupt due to lawyer fees, before they even get to court.
There is so much more to this movie. This is just the part that gets me ranting. As Michael Pollan said in the film, our country’s present food policies are the most important thing we can become informed about today. Our food is now engineered. It has changed more in the last fifty years than it did for thousands of years before this. McDonald’s is the largest purchaser of ground beef, potatoes, chicken, tomatoes and lettuce. The top four meat packers control 80% of the meat system. Meat companies were never this powerful. We are eating chicken and turkey that has been redesigned to have large breasts and can’t even walk anymore so has to be artificially inseminated. Most of what we eat is largely made up of industrial gmo corn (including everything from fish to vanilla extract) but there is no labelling in place to tell us what has gmo ingredients. The film points out that for the past two decades, our government has been controlled by those they are supposed to be regulating.
I know. I said I wouldn’t rant. I need to go to the flowers now and leave my soap box to the professionals.
I hope you get a chance to see this film.