Saturday, March 26, 2011

What's on your plate?

Slow Food USA turned me on to a documentary/project I hadn't heard about - What's on Your Plate? It's about "kids and food politics." A subject very important to me.

I was thrilled to find it available for streaming via Netflix. After spending 30 seconds adding it to our instant queue - okay, maybe a minute, the hubby and I watched it. It follows two young girls over the course of a year "as they explore their place in the food chain." They talk about where the food they eat comes from and why, including school lunches. They visit local farms and talk with the farmers, they visit farmers' markets, participate in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and talk to city leaders. Also, one of the girls has high cholesterol, due to genetics not diet, and you get to follow her on a few doctor visits to monitor her condition. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It wasn't as heavy as Food, Inc. or Food Matters (although everyone should watch these films) but What's on Your Plate? covers some of the same issues and left me thinking just as much as the others did.

I get so emotional about this subject, especially after watching a film or reading an article about it. I feel equally inspired as I do frustrated. I picked the image for this post because it helps illustrate my frustration. No matter how much info is out there on food companies, factory meat, genetically modified food, imported produce (that are also grown and available locally), processed food and the like, most people continue to eat poorly and/or stay uneducated about real food. I'm not saying everyone is consciously deciding to ignore the subject (although some definitely are) but there is a huge disconnect that baffles me. I know people that simply never give what they eat a second thought. I know people that do think about it but give in to convenience anyway. I know people who don't buy at farmers' markets because it can be more expensive (very well in fact, that used to be me!) And I know a bunch more people with a whole lot of excuses.

Believe me my friends, I feel you. Again, that is why I started Medium Food Mama. But there is a happy medium out there. I'm on the journey and it's my cause. As hard as food politics and big industry make it on us and the small producers, we need to get educated, make food a priority, care what we put in our bodies and do our part to reduce the food industry's outrageous carbon footprint. This is serious stuff everyone. Our bodies suffer and our environment suffer. Two essential things to live. And on that note, do me a favor, take a moment today to think about what small step you can do today to improve what you eat, what you buy and/or where you buy.

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