Thursday, April 22, 2010

Food Inc on PBS

Food Inc is currently airing on PBS and is available to watch online from their website. I think it was on the air last night and will be available to watch online from your computer later today (Apr 22, 2010). See The show is to re-air next week. If you haven't seen it, I suggest watching online rather than waiting. (btw--not after munching on a sausage biscuit or McD's burger)

This is an important movie because it publicizes some disgusting facts about our food system, but likely contains some exaggeration and/or misinformation as well. It certainly has the capability of leading people to some very wrong conclusions and bad decisions. No doubt it is getting people energized and motivated. If you are trying to DO something with people, motivation is the hardest part.

Here's why it's important to look at this now...

That link should take you to a web page of what people are saying about "foodinc" on twitter (as I repeat myself) NOW. Our opinions of twitter don't really matter--this should provide you with an idea of the pulse at the moment. When I watched the movie a couple of months ago (my notes are at -- read, comment, correct, disagree, it's all fine by me) there was very little chatter. PBS has changed that. Just as importantly, you can watch it without directly sending a check to the producers, whose values are apparently different from mine. They paint a picture of chickens and cows living a rough life. I have serious problems with that allegation, but that's a different discussion.

There's also a show on TV called Jamie's Food Revolution (ABC Fri at 8pm central) which is not necessarily good TV, but is helping to fuel this fire. His campaign is to get people to eat more healthy foods and to reduce health problems. I don't necessarily expect the show to go too far, but it's something you should know about. The cause is a good one.

Those are things I think you must know. As for my personal opinion...

I've mentioned to colleague and friend Dr Taylor that a business like Super Suppers (see for a description plus others) could be the bridge for making a "local food system" work. The primary reason is that it provides a funnel for local producers without the necessity of a CSA contract by individuals. Once people are on board, direct marketing should be easier. This is not without risk but if there was ever a time, it's now. See for risks and guidance.

You can add your own ideas. My point is that now is the time to do anything you want to see done related to local foods. There wasn't a lot of motivation prior. Either the motivation will die, or the competition will make ventures tougher in the future.

As you look at the twitter posts you should see links pertinent to local foods, direct marketing, and other web sites related to the cause. The information is flowing. How to use that to make something worthwhile is up to us.