Do you know where your food comes from?

I’ve recently taken a further look into where my food comes from. Last year my interest was piqued when I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and really became interested in the local food movement. This is a great book that gives the experience of a real family and their adventures to eat locally for one full year. It was really eye opening for me and started me on my journey to want to learn more about where my food comes from and making conscious food choices for my family.

This past month I had the opportunity to watch the movie Food, Inc. I was really touched by this movie. It was very disturbing and heartbreaking on many levels. It really contrasts the differences between mass marketed food and local family farms. For me, as a vegetarian, I couldn’t watch all of the scenes. So it’s not really a movie to watch with young children though points from it can easily be discussed with children. It had a lot of great information about our food regulations and it is a great movies to discuss with your friends. After I watched it I really wanted everyone I knew to see it, just so I could discuss it with them. Of course most of my family was not nearly as interested in learning about where their food comes from, they openly admit they prefer to stay ignorant of the issues. So beware, once you watch the movie you’ll be educated on the topic and want to share it with others.

The Future of Food is another documentary that I recently watched focusing on our food. This documentary focuses more on the area of genetically modified foods and the large food corporation Monsanto. It did an excellent job of making the issues of GMO foods clear and it discusses the legalities of patenting our seeds, which is quite scary. My Grandfather was a farmer and I thought of him as I watched this movie. My, how things have changed over the years!!

Both of these movies share with the consumer some great information to help us be a more educated and realize our choices are important when going to the grocery store. You can watch the Future of Food for free here. For me, the only objections to the book and movies were the brief mentions of evolution when discussion certain issues. I chose to overlook these parts and relate these same issues to my faith.

Planet Green had a show last season called The 100-mile Challenge. I enjoyed watching the process of this small group of families learn more about their food together as a family and community. You can watch episodes online, they are hosted by the authors of The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating. My favorite thing about the show was these families really found some incredible delicious resources right near their home. As the challenge continued they became more creative and their connection with their food really brought their families and communities closer. I love that! Now this season on Planet Green there is a new show that takes us closer to knowing the people behind our food called Blood, Sweat and Takeaways. It focuses on the food industries in South Asia and how the food is often grown and processed at the expense of workers, communities, and the environment. This reality show takes six young people from England that are used to chowing down on fast food are put in this new environment of seeing where their food comes from. Needless to say, they learn a lot along the way.

I thought I’d share these resources that I have enjoyed in the process of learning more about my food.While I have found some of this information to be depressing. I had a friend that told me to stop watching these “food movies” because I’d be left with nothing to eat! I don’t share this to be depressing but rather I think the more educated we become on this issue the more conscious, and healthy choices we can make for our family. I love the idea of teaching these ideals to my family. I love that we buy our milk from a local dairy and our cheese is made close by too. I’m certainly not perfect, and we by no means eat a completely local diet. We are making some changes and that’s what it’s all about. By shopping at our local Farmers market really gives me a connection to my food. I know who worked hard to grow our vegetables, and my daughter knows them too. I hope these are values that will be important to my children too as they grow up and become consumers.

Photo by cookthinker