Locavore is a documentary about local food. It is a documentary everyone should see. A locavore is someone who eats locally. It is more than a trend, it is the future of a sustainable food system. What we eat is the building block for every cell in our body. In addition to the health benefits, local food is also a solution to our global environmental issues and food crisis. As illustrated in Locavore, for thousands of years, the human diet was whole organic, local food. In the last 60 years our food has become highly processed, genetically modified, with mass produced food components – deconstructed and stripped then re-animated for consumption.
Locavore begins with the excitement of kids picking their own food to great folk music. Then the documentary urges the viewer to ask the question, where does your food come from and is it safe? Our great grandparents (and some of our grandparents) ate fruits and veggies that came from their community or personal gardens. We simply don’t. As one interviewee states, “the food in the grocery store isn’t food, it only looks like food.” Locavore also explores the questions: Where did food grown locally disappear to? Where is the local butcher and why can’t we eat like our ancestors?
Local food tastes better, is better for you, it is better for the planet and better for your community. A hard hitting point in this documentary is that organic soil is full of life, with millions of organisms. Flavour is a sign of nutrients and life in the soil. Sadly, the current mass-produced food system degrades the soil through pesticides, herbicides mono cropping and soil erosion…we are killing the very life in the soil. This is a problem because plants harvests micro nutrients and trace minerals out of the ground which gives food its health value. Instead of eating food grown in healthy soil, we have created a soil that is a dead medium just pumped up on nitrogen, potassium and prosperous. Flavour is an indicator of health. Dead soil has much less flavour and less health benefits. Sadly, many people don’t know how much better their food should taste, because they do not eat locally or grow their own.
The current food system is simply not sustainable. Fossil fuel is the foundation, through shipping and this is dangerous to our planet. Locavore highlights how growing food yourself is a really important thing and it argues that it is your farmer and your produce manager who has more to do with your health than you doctor. Which begs the question, who is your farmer?
It should be mentioned that you can grow your own food, even in a city. Many people are starting to grow vegetables in pots, like tomatoes or lettuce. Others are creating roof top gardens, joining community garden groups or supporting local growers through their neighbourhood farmer’s market.
Food produced locally is the most whole and the least processed. It is ultimately much cheaper because the foods are simple. Veggies are affordable and further to that healthier people spend much less money on illness. If you are looking to save a lot of money, the cheapest thing to do is grow your own food or at least a portion of it since seeds are extremely affordable.
Economic development is connected to spending money locally. Most of your money leaves the community when you buy from the grocery store. The local farmer spends his money in your community through property taxes, schools, local business etc. Further to that, when you eat locally, you feel more apart of your community. Eating is thus a political act because every time you spend a dollar on local food you are voting for your local community and creating a resilient community. If we do that everywhere we create strong countries. Moreover, saving seeds assures local food safety and sustainability.
We are destroying our planet. How we are eating is not conducive to our environment or our health. The current system of consumption will not last forever. Bottom line is: we are messing around with our planet. It is clear from Locavore, that we are taking up the habitat of other organisms and we are destroying diversity. Ironically we need eco-systems and diversity to survive, so eventually we will destroy ourselves too.
Locavore implores us to respect the people who keep diversity alive – those who grow healthy local food. We do this by buying from them and therefore sustaining them in return. Variation in seeds insures food survival. If we only use one type of seed, it can be wiped out (example: the Irish potato famine). Multiple seeds and variation in nature, keep the eco-system thriving. We need lots of diversity. GMO seeds seek to wipe out diversity, resulting in destruction to our environment. Our environments are different and variation in seeds also allows for many different plant options that can thrive in many different natural conditions. We can all grow come sort of seed in our place of origin that will sustain and nourish us.
Want to become a locavore? The advice here is start slowly. Read labels. Buy the local alternative. Look for local farmer’s market. Grow it yourself. Use food wisely. Don’t waste it.
As soon as you read labels – you begin to shift on the side of local, whole foods.
The average vegetable now travels more than 1,500 miles before it gets to your table. We really have no idea about its growing process or travel experience. What are the food safety regulations in the country it came from?
FYI: The US and Canada are not required to label food as genetically modified. This in and of itself is enough to make a person grow their own veggies. Not to mention, how rewarding and fun it is for kids to play in the dirt and watch things grow!
Please check out this wonderful film, which can be found [here]. Also, check out the clip below or visit their web-site for the official movie trailer. Image of cauliflower above from locavoremovie.com