Friday, September 11, 2009

Literal Bits and Bites

Well, it looks like I'm making a blog post about every 2 weeks. Better than nothing, I guess.

I found out the other day that Anchorage is having an Alaska Local Food Film Festival, and I'm pretty interested to go. It's the first week in October, and it will be showing Food Inc, The Garden, Eating Alaska, Fresh, and End of the Line (brief synopses to follow). All of the movies sound interesting to me. Of course, one thing about these kinds of festivals is that they tend to be preaching to the choir. The Dorito chomping, McDonald's frequenting crowd is not likely to go to something like that.

Food, Inc. -- documentary showing how the food industry has changed over the past 50 years. Shows where our food is coming from and what we're paying for in the supermarket
The Garden -- film about a community garden in Los Angeles. A low-income community took over an abandoned lot and turned it into a very successful community garden. Then city officials found out that this wasn't authorized and tried to take the garden away.
Eating Alaska -- a vegetarian moves to Alaska and marries a commercial fisherman and hunter. The film examines the dependency on meat in AK and subsistence hunting and fishing.
Fresh -- similar to Food, Inc. this movie talks about the negative parts of the food industry. However, I think (not having seen the movie) it also discusses how to change the food industry by voting with our dollars, etc.
End of the Line -- looks at the commercial fishing industry and the overfishing and polluting of our oceans. Talks about how to make the fishing industry more sustainable.

(I should clarify that I have not watched any of these movies, and these synopses are what I gather from watching the trailers online.)

These movies will be shown at the Bear's Tooth, our local eat-in movie theater. The theater is also going to serve specials made with locally grown produce. Yum!

I have not been as successful with local eating as I would have liked this summer. My garden was also very lame. But every little effort counts, and I'm going to keep up the effort. One thing I really want to do this year is buy a local fresh turkey for Thanksgiving. I found a farm in Palmer that sells them, but you have to order now. The problem, and this is a common problem with eating locally and eating organic, is that the turkeys are expensive: $4.30/lb (to put it in perspective, a frozen chicken from Fred Meyer would cost $1.29/lb if it were on sale). I really want to do this, and I am hoping I can convince Ethan. For one thing, I am wondering what a fresh, non-steroidal turkey, non-Butterball would taste like! But it does exemplify an important concern in the local/fresh market: how can you convince people to eat healthy foods that are better for the environment if they can't afford it? I mean, we can afford to pay $4.30/lb for turkey. But a lot of people don't have that luxury. So their choice is Hamburger Helper made with ground beef from steroid-grown, abused cows (all purchased at Walmart), or go hungry.

What's the answer? I don't know.


craftosaurus said...

You're right, every little effort helps.

I don't know the answer to the responsible vs. economical problem. Very frustrating. I think even when healthy/local food isn't much (or at all) more expensive than the alternatives, a lot of consumers assume it is and make decisions based on that. Maybe that's a good first step? Talking about the options and keeping people informed?

Alpha Monkey said...

I've heard that most grocery store turkeys have been genetically engineered so that they now have short legs, huge breasts, and can no longer reproduce on their own. It creeps me out.

Here's a link to an NPR story: