Thursday, February 4, 2010

Movie Review: "The Future of Food"

I've had "The Future of Food" DVD lying around for some time now, but it's one of those things that you put on your Netflix queue and by the time it gets here, you forgot why you put it on there to begin with.  As I was watching it, I think I remembered that Thom Hartmann had recommended it last summer or fall.

But once I got into it, this is the kind of documentary that talks about the things that "The Way" is really all about.  This film starts out by explaining how foods came to be genetically modified and how in the United States GMO crops do not have to be labeled as such even though they may present a significant danger of allergic reactions.

Throughout the film, Monsanto is continually implicated in the continued degradation of the food system through the manipulation of genes and the patents of the same.  The patenting of critical parts of living things is of course ludicrous, but it continues down the same path as corporate person-hood recently has.  The only fighting back that has been done is by a few states who have amended their constitutions.  What really needs to be done is a significant rewrite of the first amendment to stipulate that only humans, living organisms are persons, and that patent laws apply only to inventions or innovations, and not discoveries.

Fortunately, there is some populist backlash against the agricultural corporations.  In the last twenty years, farmers markets have approximately doubled, and thanks to green movements, more and more poeple are trying their hand at growing their own food.  But the problem is, courts have ordered that if a Monsanto owned gene somehow gets into your crops, even if your crops are distant descendants of a single seed blown off a Monsanto seed truck, Monsanto owns it.  Further, a termination gene has been developed that sterilizes the second generation of a seed thus rendering it unable to be replanted.  What happens if this gene is cross bred into other populations of crops.  In a few generations (plant years) an entire species of food plant could be wiped out.

Don't buy the lies that genetically modified crops will feed the world's hungry, it is not the truth and is meant to deceive you and allow agribusiness to continue allowing them to take you to the cleaners.  For years now, the world food problem has had more to do with distribution than with supply.  It is a problem actually created by corporations driving former subsistence farmers off their land and into cities.

It's up to us, like it or not, though I am but a small voice, it needs to be heard.  Regulations on business are not just about controlling business or keeping certain things from happening.  It is about keeping the human as the dominant force on earth, and not business whose only motivating factor is greed.

Overall, I give this film a 9/10, I think the area that could be the most improved is the narrator's voice.  Should have had James Earl Jones.

Grow your own food or buy at a farmer's market.  Your future ability to eat may depend on it.

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