I watched something that I don't regret but kinda wish that I hadn't seen. How's that for a ridiculous comment?!?! You see... I have a bit of an issue. When I see injustice, I have to respond. I get pissed. I vow to DO SOMETHING. I am not someone that can just rationalize why it shouldn't/doesn't affect me. This is why I should/shouldn't have watched Food, Inc.
I should/shouldn't have watched this movie a long time ago but I didn't feel like watching a movie with an agenda. I assumed that it would tell me that I needed to become a vegetarian. I assumed that it would offend me. I knew that this is why I needed to make myself watch it.
Last week, I felt brave enough to turn it on. As I felt my fears of agenda melt away, a feeling of nausea swept over me after seeing where our meat comes from. I felt disgusted after seeing how the animals we eat are treated and killed. Don't get me wrong - I still want to eat meat - I just didn't realize how disgusting a MASS animal murder could be. As simple as it may sound, I believe that an animal deserves the right to graze free in a grassy field and I believe that there are more ethical ways to raise them and kill them. The movie does NOT endorse NOT eating meat and this surprised me.
I also didn't realize how many injustices are happening to farmers in the US and around the world. I didn't know that they had been forced to sell themselves to big business. I didn't realize that the BIG FOOD BUSINESSES are trafficking Mexican farmers in for cheap labor and then turning them over to the immigration department as illegals at the rate of 15 people a day (an easily replaceable amount that doesn't affect production). I didn't realize that the FDA was being run by the very people that were formerly running these BIG FOOD BUSINESSES.
After watching the movie, I turned to my equally as stunned husband and said, "Well, crap (after viewing the movie, I mean this quite literally). Now I'm gonna have to change our food buying habits." We already receive all of our grass fed, free roaming beef from my father (thanks Dad!!). We are a part of a gleaning group and consider ourselves to be primarily "freegans." (If you don't know what gleaning is, google it.) But we still purchase a lot of our chicken and cereals, etc. from the grocery store/Costco.
This is where we meet our crisis. Where I would normally go to Costco to stock up on Cheerios for my boys, I will now be headed to PCC or Whole Foods where there is a significant price difference in the long term. Where I would normally head to Safeway to buy our meat and other various items NOT gleaned, I will now be headed to "Bill the Butcher." If you live in the Seattle area, check him out. He's watched Food, Inc. :) A lot of the food items that I would have purchased in bulk now need to be purchased from a local food source. As you can see, this means that shopping will be a little trickier, take a lot longer and be more expensive. My youngest, Finn, is NOT a good shopper and a Houdini in the cart so it feels pretty daunting. This will also elimate some of my shortcut cooking tactics used to make meal prep faster and easier. Darn.
Well, if you are still tracking with me and my early morning rant, I'm impressed and will end it here. I would like to urge you to watch this movie despite the fact that you might live to simultaneously regret it and it feel like it might be the best thing that you've done for your family in a long time. I KNOW for a fact that things CAN change if we all get involved. We just actually have to DO it.
I will be researching ways to make these changes without breaking our food budget. Will you help? Have you already made changes to how you buy and eat because of Food, Inc.? Share your secrets here and I'll repost them at a later date!