What is the 100 Mile Challenge?
Exactly what it sounds like: you challenge yourself to eat only foods grown, produced and sold within 100 miles of your home. Anywhere from a week to a year… the length of the challenge is up to you. Reduce your carbon footprint and eat more delicious and nutritious foods. More…
Food Inc. – From Seed to Supermarket
A word of advice: Don’t plan on dining out after watching this gut-wrenching expose of the food industry. Although the documentary spotlights the handful of agribusiness giants that control what the vast majority of Americans consume every day, it’s highly likely to kill your appetite for the rest of the day.
And, perhaps, make you wonder if any of the unhealthy and at times lethal practices that are rife in food manufacturing and processing in the US are happening Down Under. Given the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes in Oz, Food Inc. couldn’t be more topical.
“The industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about what you’re eating – because if you knew, you might not want to eat it,” declares Eric Schlosser, one of this film’s two principal talking heads and author of the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.
The Future of Food
We used to be a nation of farmers. There used to exist, thousands of varieties of rice, over five thousand varieties of potatoes and roughly seven thousand varieties of apples. In the early 20th century, a radical change began to occur. During World War 1, nitrogen bombs led agriculture scientists to develop nitrogen based fertilizers. After the war, nerve gas was modified to create insecticides. Simultaneously, mono-cultures were becoming more popular for farmers as they allowed greater economies of scale for improved efficiencies and greater profits. Insects and disease began to exploit the ecological vacuum that developed and this agricultural uniformity spawned catastrophe.
97% of the varieties of vegetables that were being farmed at the beginning of the 20th century are now extinct. The varieties that proved to be the easiest and most economical to grow unfortunately, were not the varieties that contained the most nutrients or the most satisfying flavors. Today, only four varieties of potatoes are grown for market.
Since genetic uniformity increases vulnerability to insects and disease, farmers are forced to rely on more and more insecticides, pesticides and herbacides. In the 70’s, Monsanto created ‘Roundup’ which helped to control insects but at the same time, polluted soils, groundwater, increased costs and produced immeasurable health risks in its application as well as during consumption. Monsanto has taken one step further with the creation and patenting of genetically modified seeds, able to withstand the pesticides they also happen to produce.
The result is a system of food production that has been ever more manipulated by a very few companies whose only goal it seems is to control our food system for profit regardless of the untold dangers it may represent to our health.
Good News – Fresh, the Movie
FRESH is more than a movie, it’s a gateway to action. Our aim is to help grow FRESH food, ideas, and become active participants in an exciting, vibrant, and fast-growing movement.
When I write we, I don’t mean our small team (officially two of us, with lots of amazing helps from our interns and volunteers) but I mean YOU. All of you. FRESH is a grassroots efforts for a grassroots movement. It’s been tremendously exciting to see the movie catch on and spread like wild fire, being used all over the country as a platform to raise awareness and connecting people to the solutions available in their community.
Within a month of our launch, we’ve received over 20,000 visitors and hundreds of screenings have already been organized. We want to reach 1 million folks. Not just because that would totally feel nice to our ego (mine especially!), but because, we believe that FRESH can truly help get us to a tipping point, when sustainable food will no longer be just a niche market.
Please help us reach 1 million people (to start with that is.) Organize a home screening or a community screening. Get in touch with us, let us know what we can do more and better.
… just so you know.