Saturday, 18 August 2012

The documentary that changed the way I ate.

The tagline for Food, Inc. is "You'll never look at dinner the same way again". Never have truer words been spoken.

When we watched the documentary, I had no clue about food systems. I had a good handle on nutrition, and the rules: stay out on the outside walls of the grocery store, don't eat food that comes in a box, blah blah blah. I mostly listened to it. I get my veggies from a local farmer, but still bought my meat from the grocery store. And occasionally bought processed food for the sake of convenience and a "treat" for the family: chicken nuggets, chicken burgers, hamburgers, etc.

I was pretty much in the dark.

I encourage everyone to watch it. Granted, this is a documentary about the American food system, but who knows what happens inside an industry?

I've made some pretty significant changes in the eight months since I've watched it. I no longer buy chicken at the grocery store. The only chicken we've eaten since last January (eight months ago) has been whole chickens, raised locally. The farmers that provide us with our veggie box also prepare a meat box as well, so I've been buying their locally grown, grass fed beef. And let me tell you. Grass fed beef tastes so much better.

I've been reading more about what the industry is putting cattle through, and in the book I'm reading now, The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Micheal Pollan, has done some eye opening research.

A cow can't live on a feedlot for more than 150 days, without succumbing to one of the many diseases and sicknesses that it is inevitable with being on a corn fed diet. Bloating to the point their stomachs balloon and put so much pressure on their lungs, it suffocates them. Acidosis -really bad heartburn- to the point of diarrhea, ulcers and liver disease. These cows are sick. Antibiotics are the answer, of course. Antibiotics are pumped into the bodies of those cows to keep them alive as long as possible, to gain as much weight as possible before they are ready to slaughter.

This author, Micheal Pollan, was a part of the Food, Inc. documentary, as was this interesting guy: Joel Salatin. He's probably one of the most memorable characters in the doc. He's being interviewed, and telling stories while working on his farm, and we're literally watching him wring a chickens neck with his bare hands as he speaks. But he is so charming, you actually feel good about the chicken bodies piling up. These chickens are wholesome. Dead... but wholesome.

I hope everyone has a good weekend. Watch the documentary if you get a chance. Find out more about what you are eating. Support your local farmers. More importantly, trust your local farmers. Know that they care about what they are feeding you.

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