I have vivid memories of summers spent on the absolutely unique treasure known as Prince Edward Island. One memory stands out in particular: I was taken to an organic farm, where I was able to tour fields of potatoes and other vegetables, and see how a single horse could contribute so much to a small farming operation. My host was an older gentleman who, when we were finished the tour, reached down to the ground, pulled out a single carrot, and after wiping the dirt on the front of his pant leg, handed it to me. I took the small, crooked carrot and found that it was delicious! It was one of the best pieces of produce I’ve ever had.
Some time ago, I completed (OK, “tried to complete”) a master cleanse which called for lemons, and so I purchased organic Meyer lemons from Community Natural Foods. Again, I was stunned at how much better organic tastes than non-organic. These lemons were so sweet that you could almost eat them as candy. Unbelievable!
I love the taste of organic food, and I don’t mind paying extra to ensure that the food I eat tastes great and is free of pesticides and preservatives. However, organic food is about much more than taste and price.
One film that highlights some of the issues related to organic food is called Fresh. Fresh illustrates how farmers who operate outside of the industrial complex are able to produce healthy, robust animals, without the use of antibiotics, hormones, and the like. It shows how shared gardens can be a nexus for community revival and food security, while at the same time, offering a sensible response to energy shortage. It reveals that traditional, responsible methods of small scale animal husbandry can actually be more productive than the industrial model of factory-farms.
What resounded in me most strongly after watching this film is the following line: “There is no such thing as cheap food”. Some farmer, wage laborer, animal, river, or internal organ will surely “pay” for the low prices we currently enjoy.
Join us on September 26th, in the John Dutton theatre, to watch Fresh. This is an award winning, inspiring, and approachable film. You’ll leave wanting to be a gardener, a hog farmer, an activist, or at the very least: someone bound for the farmer’s market.
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