In this week’s Podcast, Jon and Cathy interview Ana Sofia Joanes, producer and director of the recently released documentary FRESH: The Movie. FRESH is a call to action, intending to inspire viewers to positive change and portray a hopeful message about possibilities for sustainable food. Local screenings are followed by a panel discussion with local representatives from the sustainable food movement. Be sure to download the Podcast at the end of this blog to hear about the movie in Ana’s own words. She exhibits great passion for the subject and dedication to the cause. You can also download Podcast ONL047 from iTunes.
Fresh: The Movie
Readers of our blog and listeners to our Podcast know that Jon and I are passionate about knowing where are food comes from, having personal relationships with our farmers, and assuring that the food we eat has been sustainably and healthily raised, preferably from heritage or heirloom stock.
Joanes’ documentary does a superb job of highlighting farmers throughout the country who are doing things right. Because of high interest, FRESH is getting lots of media attention from sources such as the Huffington Post, and bloggers Cheeseslave and FairFoodFight . Also receiving attention are featured farmers Will Allen of Growing Power and Joel Salatin of Polyface farms. Will Allen performs miracles on 3 acres in the middle of urban Milwaukee while changing the food system to provide everyone equal access to healthy food. Joel Salatin respects the design of nature to leave his Virginia acreage richer each year rather than depleted, as in conventionally farmed land.
Michael Pollan’s authoritative voice also lends credibility to the film. Many of you have read his landmark book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Pollan asserts in the film that “Cheap food is an illusiion” paid for with tax subsidies, environmental damage, and poor health. The story that impacted me most, however, was about Russ Kremer, the formerly conventional pig farmer from Franenstein, Missouri who exterminated his herd after an accident led to an antibiotic resistant strep infection that almost cost him his life. His revelation that what he learned in college went against nature’s plan is similar to the story shared with us recently by Bill Hodge. Russ, however, required a life-threatening condition to make the transition. He is now a respected leader in sustainable pork.
I also greatly admire the efforts made by small farmer Diane Endicott and her creation of Good Natured Family Farms, an alliance of 75 farms in the Kansas City area. This coop bands together to find purchasers for their products. Many of their fresh, local food is taken to Ball Grocery Stores.
Some enlightening information in the film is that if farmers stopped feeding grains to herbivores that do better on grass, 70% of our farm land would be available for development. Andrew Kimball from the Center for Food Safety reported that current data shows medium sized organic farms to be more productive than larger, conventional ones.
When asked what parts of the film could not be included in the final cut, Ana conceded that the “elephant in the room” was GMO food. As huge an issue as GMO is to sustainability, she was unable to do it justice in a 72 minute film. The leading authority on GMO is Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette. Next month we will be interviewing Jeffrey for a future Podcast , focusing mainly on Genetic Roulette.
Ana Sofia Joanes, soon to be a new mother, has dedicated several years and personal resources to making this documentary. She continues to tour and promote the sustainable food movement. We hope that our listeners support her project and take its message to heart.
“Every decision you make at the supermarket is creating a different future for land, farmers, diversity of crops, health of bodies, and communities. Vote with your dollars. Change happens one person at a time.” – FRESH, the Movie
What can one person do to promote sustainable farming practices in the United States? Plenty!
2) Grow your own vegetables and fruits at home.
3) Patronize your local farmer’s markets and put up food for the winter.
4) Join a CSA.
5) Write to your congressmen about food labeling and policies that support small farmers, not agribusiness.
7) Keep listening to Our Natural Life for information and interviews!
Membership Drive for the Weston A. Price Foundation and Conference Contest
Please check out the Weston A. Price Foundation website and listen to Sally Fallon Morrell’s list of membership benefits here. Then download this membership form that lists us as a source of membership introduction. Jon and I want to attend the 2009 10th annual conference this fall. Every time we sign up 15 members, we will earn one paid conference fee. Our goal is to recruit a minimum of 45 members. This will get us to the conference and have one $390 scholarship to give away to one of the new members! The odds of winning will be 1/45, so please be sure to contact us so we can enter you in the give-away.
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We have even more fantastic interviews in the works and will soon have mp3files of archived shows available for purchase. Stay tuned! Our next show is a very informative interview with Bill Wolcott of HealthExcel, author of The Metabolic Typing Diet.