Reflections on a Frightening Film

This week, several food-related incidents occurred. One was that we’ve gotten back on the Weight Watchers program, and have agreed to swap k.p. duty every other week.

The second is that I’ve been perusing online seed catalogues, making little charts and studying the backyard while playing fetch with the dogs.

The next is that we’ve signed up for Bible studies at the church we’ve started attending. Eh? Well, yes, this denomination is acutely aware of social justice issues, and one of the possibilities for a several-week study is the danger of according corporations the right to patent food.

Frankly, I had no idea what the topic was about. E.g., though, decided that last night’s supper entertainment would be the American documentary film, Food, Inc. It was a well-balanced film. It stated facts clearly, calmly, and soberly. And it disturbed me greatly.

Disregard for animal welfare was only a side issue in this film; human rights abuse was its main focus. Health issues, environmental harm, employment practices tantamount to human trafficking, and governmental and police collusion with food industry owners — suddenly I don’t feel so hungry.

If you’re Canadian, you have a few weeks yet to see this film on the CBC website in the Passionate Eye series (I’m presuming that the programming is inaccessible to people outside the country). But be warned, it isn’t dinner theatre.

I spent today online again, this time researching container gardening tips and gathering a list of calcium-rich foods. Ones that didn’t start with a cow — or patented soybeans, for that matter.

Lemme know if you’re interested in any of the menu plans I concoct for next week. And don’t worry, I’ll smile again soon.

Growing up is just no fun at all.

14 Responses to Reflections on a Frightening Film

  1. Binky says:

    I didn’t much like what I learned about genetically modified foods a few years back. And here in Canada we’re not even told what’s been modified, so it’s pretty hard to avoid the stuff. But it’s good for big business, so we shouldn’t really worry. They have our best interests at heart, afterall.

  2. livingisdetail says:

    These are issues I worry about too. Buying direct from the producer is a good start, but an opportunity that not everybody has due to physical distance. If everyone can take an interest in where their food is coming from , and how it is produced (as you are), then ethical food producers can be rewarded financially, and unethical producers will be encouraged to change. I hope.

    I know there are terrible injustices happening behind the scenes. I am always hopeful, though, that people will realise that the system is not working, and in numbers, change will come. I would be interested in the menus you are working on.

  3. I saw Food Inc a few months ago. I thought it was a good film, but mild compared to some of the things I’ve read. The Buy Local/ 100 mile and organic food movements offer you some control over how food you choose is grown. And the Slow Food movement gets away from eating so much processed food.

    What seed catalogues do you like?

  4. Jayne says:

    I’ve seen some shockers in recent months, I’m off lamb, all pork except 100% free range, veal, most beef, all chicken except free range.
    The whole buy local thing is good, grow your own (water crystals and slow release fertiliser are a good start) keep chooks as eggs are great source of protein and they’re great for weeding the garden (plus they’re very intelligent and help solve all the world’s problems while you natter to them on a spring afternoon).

  5. lavenderbay says:

    You’re right, Binky, big business has our best interest at heart, just as they’re number one in our hearts — especially our sclerotic arteries.
    Btw, I thought you were a Connecticutite or a Mainer, or maybe a Massechusettsonian?

    It’s such a balancing act, Livingisdetail. E.g. and I enjoy the half-hour drive to visit a farmers’ market, but there goes sixty minutes of exhaust fumes when we could have gone three blocks to a supermarket instead. Et cetera ad infinitum. Anyway, I promise to post some menus next week!

    The mildness of tone strengthened its message for me, Barefootheart. It didn’t dwell on dramatic What Ifs, but simply stated the current What Is — and What Is is Bad Enough.
    Last year I purchased packets of Calendula, Anise Hyssop, and Ground Cherry seed from Solana Seeds in Quebec. Excellent germination rate, happy plants, and some bonus look-alike Tomatillo seed from the Ground Cherry packet. My Jerusalem Artichoke tubers came from Hope Seed here in New Brunswick; I’m a bit disappointed that they moved to the Annapolis Valley in the Fall, although their reason — going from Zone 3B to Zone 5B/6A — seems valid. 😉

    You’re not the first Aussie to attest to the therapeutic value of backyard bumnut producers, Jayne — Alyson loves her chooks (and, recently, ducklings!). I wish Canada would start seeing the light about once again allowing coops in sub/urban areas.

  6. Tony says:

    We really are at the mercy of the big corporate companies. We really put a lot of faith in them when we eat the food they produce as we don’t really know what we are getting. Even with ingredienst listed, how many of us know what the numbers or scientific chemical names really mean anyway. What’s in the cloth???

  7. lavenderbay says:

    Indeed, Tony! What will you wager that the White Wizard performing this sleight-of-hand is Saruman and not Gandalf?
    Barefootheart reviewed a book on food awareness in which the author laid down several sensible rules, one being, if any ingredient in it wasn’t in your grandma’s spice rack, you probably don’t want it in your stomach.

  8. Binky says:

    No, I’m an (southern) Ontarian. Winters here are fairly mild. Had our first major snow last night, maybe 6 inches max.

  9. Thanks for the mention of my review of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, LB. It’s at

    I don’t know Solana. I’ll have to look them up. If you are interested in any native plants, you might enjoy checking out Gardens North in N.S.

  10. Tony says:

    What will you wager that the White Wizard performing this sleight-of-hand is Saruman and not Gandalf?

    Sorry you lost me on this one LB…

  11. lavenderbay says:

    Southern Ontario! My first ten years were in Troy and Grimsby; Mum and Dad were raised in and around Hamilton.

    Thanks for the link to your article, Barefootheart. As to Gardens North, I did order some seed from them, it didn’t turn out — probably my inexperience as much as anything.

    No, Tony, you lost me first! 😀 I asked E.g. what she thought your final sentence might mean (“What’s in the cloth???”), and she guessed it might be a reference to magic tricks. I didn’t want to use the subtly racist term “black magic” in my response to you, so I alluded to the good wizard (i.e. magician) Gandalf and the evil wizard Saruman instead. In other words, big business is like Saruman, choosing these evil ingredients that they hide under the cloth or, more appropriately, under the food wrapper.
    Wow — was the explanation any clearer than the first time around? 😉

  12. Binky says:

    Hamilton? Never heard of the place.

  13. Binky says:

    Okay, maybe I have. Oh, wait! That’s here! You have uncovered my secret lair. Drat! Now I’ll have to relocate my rocket factory and everything to avoid the wrath of those Big Business spies.

  14. lavenderbay says:

    Don’t worry, Binky, Steeltown is pretty big, lots of places to hide.
    GO TI-CATS, GO!!! (insert plastic horn blat here)

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