Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Our Daily Bread" - film by Nikolaus Geyrhalter

Last night I decided to rent myself a movie for when the kids went to bed. Anything culinary-oriented catches my eye so when I saw "Our Daily Bread" I picked it up. This film was the winner of a Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam. Although it was difficult to watch at times, I think for anyone who truly wants to understand the state of modern food production, it is a must-see.

Essentially this film depicts just how far removed we as a 'modern' society, have become from our food. The fact that there is no commentary throughout this 92 minute film makes the message that much more impactful because you cannot focus on anything other than the images being shown.

I think the movie synopsis says it perfectly when they state:

...monumental spaces, surreal landscapes, and bizarre sounds - a cold, industrial environment which leaves little space for individualism. People, animals, crops and machines play a supporting role in the logistics of this system which provides our society's sustenance. Our Daily Bread is food for thought that just may make you change how and what you eat.

The film follows the cycle of various foodstuffs and depicts the indifference of those who are producing, tending and packing our food. I tell you, reading "Fast Food Nation" was eye-opening, "Super-Size Me" made us realize what the consumption of convenience foods are doing to our bodies, but this film goes further than that. I personally was unprepared for some of the scenes I saw depicted.

After watching this film and absorbing what I had learned, I realized just how lucky I am to be involved with a program and a farm where I can go and question how and why things are grown/handled/sown/harvested in a particular manner. I am able to walk out into the fields and see how my food is being grown - and grown with such pride and thoughtfulness. I can see how the animals are handled and cared for from field till they arrive in my CSA basket. And more importantly, I KNOW the people who are growing my food! They have been involved in agriculture for over 100 years and practice time-honoured traditional methods of farming and animal husbandry. They take great pride in what they do and the products that they are producing. They care for the land and utilize sustainable farming practices.

Although I never doubted my decision to purchase the bulk of our food through a CSA Program, after watching this film, I am even more determined to spread the word of clean eating. Until we truly take our heads out of the sand and acknowledge how our food is being produced, where and in what conditions, and what impact this has upon the environment, our health and future generations, this terrible cycle will continue. Cheaper is not better because it invariably means removing something to bring the cost down - be it humane handling of animals, the nutritional value of our fruits and vegetables, and in some cases removing mother nature entirely...

1 comment:

  1. Sorry but this is the first chance I have had to air my feelings about this movie which I saw last night. I have read a few reviews from people but have not seen anywhere near the outrage or level of sadness that I would have expected. I just find it such a terrible reflection of our society that I have not read about the shock from people about how we have destroyed the soul and beauty of nature with this method of food production. How can we be messing with nature in this way. For me the image that captures everything that is wrong with the food process is where the new mother pigs are strapped in tight so they can't move so that the young piglets can suckle her... This is the most glorious part of nature a celebration of life.....a new mother giving new life and love to the young who are seeking nurturing
    ... what kind of monstors are we to twist such a beautiful moment in life ...
    I am sickened.. I am sad...