July 21, 2009
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.