I finally got to see the film Food Inc., which took a few months to reach a multiplex near me in Pennsylvania. So, on a hot Saturday night I took my 12-year-old daughter Eve to see the 8:10 show. Unfortunately, there were only two other people there. I was tempted to veer to a different theater to see Julie and Julia instead—after all, it was a Saturday night, why not see something fun? But I knew I needed to see Food Inc. and that it wouldn’t last long in our local theater. Frankly, I was surprised it made it there at all.
And that’s a shame. The film really tells the story of the sorry state of our current food situation. As Eve said, “I knew a lot of the pieces, but now I understand how it all fits together.” She’s grown up hearing me talk about Michael Pollan and the film’s coproducer Eric Schlosser, both of whom I am fortunate to know. And I first met Gary Hirschberg, founder of Stonyfield Farm, almost 30 years ago. (Yikes!) Eve’s also grown up hearing me fight with her over almost every single food decision at the supermarket, even though she is a good eater and loves a lot of organic foods. The lure of candy, Cheetos, soda, and brightly colored, highly sugared food is tough to stand up against—although mostly I do. But just today I let her buy a loaf of squishy white “Italian” processed bread. (I was tired from back-to-school shopping and my resistance was low.) And as the movie started, we were eating overly “buttered” popcorn and “small” cokes that were the size of Delaware.
It’s truly daunting to recognize the bullying tactics and the entrenched corrupt influencers that have infiltrated our government and poisoned our lives. But at the end of the day, only we can change it, with our choices. And those of us who can afford to change it need to help those who can’t. I hope that my book, Organic Manifesto, will create even more change when it comes out, and clarify the connections between our toxic food practices and climate change and all our soaring health problems. But in the meantime, there is really only one thing that matters—one thing that can truly change the world…grow, buy, eat, and serve organic food.