July 21, 2009

Mindful Consumption?

This week, Magnolia Pictures releases its new movie Food, Inc. in theaters across the US. The film, which follows in the footsteps of recent films like Fast Food Nation, focuses on the shadowy and unchecked food industry that has grown in the US over the past 50 years. But while the film targets the handful of large corporations that control much of what appears on the shelves of grocery stores, it also suggests that our blissful ignorance as consumers who toss frozen chicken breasts and packaged lettuce into our grocery carts, actually makes us complicit in the ugly underbelly of the multi-billion dollar food industry.

I was lucky enough to catch an advanced screening of the film which manages to be simultaneously troubling and hopeful as it exposes the history and future of American's food consumption. The message is not new to us: the filmmakers suggest that if we as consumers adopt a more thoughtful approach to what we buy and eat, we can change the course of how food is produced. Still, I couldn't help thinking, in this day and age, as urban areas expand exponentially and the demand for food grows daily, is it possible to remain mindful of all that we consume? Are there ways in which you have become more mindful of your food consumption that you can recommend to others? One thing's for sure, even if it doesn't change your diet in the long run, Food, Inc. is sure to change the way you think about the food on your plate. And that's something certainly worth being mindful of.

To read more about Food, Inc. and find where the film is playing near you check out the Food, Inc. website here. And be sure to look out for Laura Fraser's article on Mindful Cooking in the upcoming Fall 09 issue of Tricycle.

Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.
Alan's picture

Your question," is it possible to remain mindful of all that we consume?" has a simple answer: No. Consider the *simple* act of posting this message: I have no clear idea as to the environmental costs of computer manufacture, internet usage, etc., nor can I, but I consume anyway. That said, I think your question makes an excellent point because so much of the advice we are given, "be mindful about consumption," might seem to imply otherwise.

Perhaps a better approach would be to ask, "Given that full mindfulness of all that we consume is impossible, how can we approach consumption most skillfully? Towards what aspects of consumption should we direct our minds and hearts?"

EJ's picture

Grow your own, talk to your grower. If you can't perhaps it would be good to think about your life and the choices you are making. What are your priorities? Career, food, house?

Nadia's picture

I think one can be mindful of what they put into their body but it is nearly impossible to live normally and eat organic vegan every day. I have a friend who tries to do that and he suffers whenever he goes out or goes to a friend's home for dinner. Almost all the time, but not when he's at my home because I cook organic just for him.
Mindfulness is broader than controlling everything we do and eat. We must have nourishment to get calories for survival.
This will be a great movie to watch though./