“For the first time in history” are pretty amazing words when you think about them. Humans have inhabited this planet for a couple MILLION years, and NOW, RIGHT NOW, you witnessed something so incredibly amazing that it has never happened in millions of years, at least not to our knowledge. The words are actually pretty scary when you think about them.
For the first time in history, Apple’s stock price reached $600 a share. For the first time in history, a girl named “Snooki” will give birth to a human baby (we think).
Ok, maybe it’s not “scary” for these new milestones (maybe it is), but what about this…
For the first time in history, the world experienced a net loss in farmland.
This means we lost more farmland in the world than we added.
This is what happened in the year 2000, and we’ve had a net loss of farmland every year since (up to 2009 when this documentary was made).
To me, that’s scary. I want my children, my grandchildren, my great grandchildren and on, to have everything that I had and better. I don’t want to see them have to live in a world of real life Hunger Games.
Hunger Games is just a fictional story, but the competition for food may not be.
The eating population is growing and growing, but our farmland is going away.
“Somewhere along the lines, those two lines are going to cross and it’s going to be physically impossible to feed people,” says a farmer in the documentary. He’s half right that feeding all people may be impossible in our future. It won’t be because the lines are crossing, but because the lines will have grown too far apart.
“Ingredients” is mainly focused on the food and farming ecosystem in Oregon through the seasons.
One of the important points they talk about is how cities in Oregon are trying to control their urban sprawl so that farmlands are not overtaken by the spread of city building. They know the importance of having real food grown close to the cities in order to supply the supermarkets and restaurants.
I personally thought it was so cool how the farmers and restaurants worked together every week to create new dishes based on what was at its peak of freshness and ready to be eaten.
The farmer gets to sell all his freshest inventory at its best, the cook gets to be innovative and artfully craft new dishes each week, the restaurant benefits from customers who come at least once a week in anticipation of trying something new but always tasty, and the eater benefits by the great meals they get to eat and never get bored with them.
It’s a connection in a food process that has been completely lost by our industrial food system
A system that has left farmers powerless because it has broken the connect between the growers and the eaters.
This connection is important, and it’s why farmers’ markets are making a roaring comeback.
People are realizing the importance of this connection. They are realizing the importance of supporting locally grown foods in order to keep this connection strong. It’s a relationship where everyone involved can benefit.
We’ve become creatures of convenience. We expect food to be cheap. We don’t blink an eye at the 17,000 new food products that are created each year. Maybe we try the newest chocolate covered graham cracker marshmallow cookie on our cheat day, but do we even stop to think; How much of 17,000 new products is actually food?
Not only are we losing farmland. We are losing farmers.
“Farmer” is no longer an occupation in the U.S. Census. They just choose “Other” as their job.
I encourage you to research how many farmers Monsanto has put out of business as well. It’s truly disgusting how a flawed legal system has made these seed companies, who are nothing more than white coat chemists, in charge of our food supply.
Please take the time to seek out farmer’s markets and also restaurants that source their ingredients locally. Vote for locally grown with your dollars and your taste buds will thank you.
My favorite quote from the movie…
“You can pay the doctor or you can pay the farmer.”
Spend your money wisely.
Check out “Ingredients” on Netflix Instant, or Qwikster as I like to call it. I also highly recommend “Food Inc.” and “Foodmatters” as two great Food-mentaries. Check out my Food-mentary list here. All in all my “Ingredients” documentary review puts it pretty high up on the list of food-mentaries to watch. Maybe not as entertaining or breathtaking as the others but massively informative and a very cool perspective.