You may not think of yourself as a political person but every time you buy food at the grocery store, you are voting for that item with your dollars.  Below is a selection of movies, books and websites that shed some light on where your food comes from, how it affects our environment and why you should care.

Movies:

Dirt! The Movie: Never thought of dirt much?  This movie will give you a new respect for it.  If you care about your environment you will care about dirt. 

Fresh: Movie that celebrates farmers, thinkers and business people who are changing our food system for the better.

Food Inc.: How our food supply is controlled by a few corporations which put profits ahead of consumer health.

Forks over Knives: This movie examines the claim how our current diet, heavy on meat and processed foods, is the cause of many of our current chronic diseases. And how most of our “diseases of affluence” could be helped by adopting a plant-based, whole foods diet.

King Corn: Two best friends move to the heartland to grow an acre of corn.  This movie examines how our food is grown from seed to dinner table.

The Future of Food: A documentary covering the key issues on the industrialization of agriculture and genetic engineering.  Did you know that nerve gas was modified to make insecticide?  Watch for free here:   http://www.thefutureoffood.com/onlinevideo.html

The Cove: Academy Award ® Winner for best documentary in 2009.  Remember Flipper?  Richard O’Barry, trainer of Flippers (there were 5 of them), now atones for that sin.  An activist for the preservation of dolphins, sheds light on the brutal killings in Taiji, Japan and why you should not pay money to go to “Seaworld”.  Not for the faint-hearted.

Vanishing of the Bees: Honey Bees produce more than just honey, they pollinate our crops which grow our fruits and vegetables.  But our bees are disappearing, this documentary explains the shocking truth.

 Queen of the Sun:  What are the Bees Telling Us?:  A look at the global bee crisis, its causes, solutions and how it affects our lives.

Open book and glassesBooks:

The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollen.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen

What to Eat by Marion Nestle


 

 

 

 

Websites:

Center for a Livable Future.  Johns Hopkins University.  http://www.jhsph.edu/clf/

What is Sustainable Agriculture?  University of California.  http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/concept.htm

Sustainable table.  http://www.sustainabletable.org

Real Time Farms.  This website lets you search, by zip code, for farms, food artisans, restaurants which use local ingredients and where you can by local foods. http://www.realtimefarms.com/

 


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“If you eat, you are involved in agriculture”– Wendell Berry, philosopher and farmer

Eating local foods is not only good for your health but also our environment.  Here are four reasons why it’s important to support your local farmers.

Freshness

When you buy local foods directly from your local farmer or farmers market, the produce is harvested the same morning it’s sold.

On the other hand, supermarkets sell produce that were harvested weeks before the fruits and vegetables could reach their peak ripeness and top nutritional value.  This is to ensure that produce can survive an average of 1500 miles of transportation time, (longer if it’s imported from other countries).

Seasonal

Locally grown foods have the added bonus of being automatically in season.  Farmers sell what they are able to grow in their particular region and climate.   Seasonal produce keep your meals interesting and provide you with a rainbow of nutrients throughout the year.

Environment

Local foods travel only a few miles, in contrast to produce brought in from other regions which travel on average about 1500 miles.   Buying local foods reduces fuel expended and minimizes air pollution from truck exhausts.  But it also eliminates excessive packaging which is needed to transport food over these long distances.

Community

When you buy from your local farmer you ensure that the money goes directly to the farmer and local economy;  not huge corporate retailers.  You also create a direct connection, community feel, between you, where your food comes from, and your local family farms. 

A Word from Michael Pollen

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

References: Sustainable Table. Serving up healthy food choices. http://www.sustainabletable.org/home.php. Accessed July 3, 2011.

Center for a Livable Future. Farming for the Future. http://www.jhsph.edu/clf/programs/farming/index.html. Accessed July 3, 2011.

 

 

 

 


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