I spent yesterday watching documentaries on Netflix after I got home from the beach because I have this sinus/chest infection thing going on and I know I didn't help it by having late nights for three nights in a row. One of the documentaries I watched was a new-to-me food documentary called Farmageddon.
Basically, it's a documentary about local, organic farmers who are facing punishment and oppression from the USDA. The premise of the documentary is that the USDA is shutting down small, local farms that are attempting to sell products that are "better for you" (aka GMO free, antibiotic free, grass-fed, etc.) than what are being sold by the larger, factory farms.
Much of the focus of this documentary was on raw milk. I am not a milk drinker (but I do eat cheese and ice cream), but it was interesting to see that there is a large demand for raw milk. A quote from one of the farmers who had his milk seized by the USDA was "The only other farm product that is regulated more heavily than raw milk is marijuana." That blew my mind! I didn't realize that purchasing or selling raw milk was such an issue (nor did I realize that there was such a demand for it). I firmly believe in having the ability to choose what we put into our bodies and what we feed our families, and it was interesting to see that the government is so heavily regulating local and organic farms when it appears that there is a lot of leniency in larger, factory farms. Many of the farmers are highly educated (think PhD from Ivy Leagues), but some of the farmers have only known farming as their lifestyle and are losing everything when their farms are raided. It was incredibly heartbreaking to see some of these people lose their entire life's work. However, this also brought up some other thoughts that I have had from previous food documentaries I have seen.
I have watched other popular food documentaries, such as "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead", "Food, Inc.", "Forks Over Knives", and "Vegucated" and while some are better than others, I find that they all fall under the same selling point, in my opinion. I think that the majority of these documentaries are used as scare tactics or are very heavily opinionated. For example, "Forks Over Knives" and "Vegucated" are focused heavily on plant-based diets (which I follow) and carry undertones that indicate omnivorous diets are wrong and that anyone who eats this way will automatically be subjected to disease and obesity. While I think a mostly plant based diet works best for me, I cringed at the lack of division between fact and opinion. It might be my science based mind, but when I watch a documentary or learn about a new subject, I like to have all sides of the argument presented to me, with pros and cons of each, and then be allowed to form my own opinion. In my search for a definition of the word "documentary", the words "fact" and "factual" were common and I think that a number of documentaries have lost focus of this definition and have become more opinionated rather than factual. But, that doesn't mean I'm going to stop watching food documentaries any time soon. I know that there are some really great facts in these documentaries and I love learning more about where my food comes from.
I'd love to hear what you have to say about food documentaries, local/organic farms, etc. anything food related, but after we have what you all came here for... OUR GIVEAWAY WINNER!
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What do you think about food documentaries? Do you believe they are all fact or are they highly opinionated? Do you buy organic?
--------I'd love to hear your thoughts on anything food related!