Tonight’s Movie Night features Ana Joanes, director of FRESH.
Join the discussion with Lisa Derrick over at the mothership, 8 pm ET — be there or be square…

“Pig pig pig… pig pig pig… Come on, pig," calls out Joel Salatin as he herds his hogs to a lush meadow, where they instantly start eating grass and rolling in mud.

And so go the opening lines of FRESH, a commanding and timely new documentary being released on May 26th. Although FRESH explores the consequences of our industrial food system, its primary focus is to offer solutions and a message of hope. The film’s empowering outlook resonates even more effectively following the headlines that at least 150 are now dead as a result of swine flu.This disease, the latest in what seems like regular food-related scares (poison in baby formula, salmonella in tomatoes, e-coli in spinach) is continuing the trend to raise American’s concern about the provenance of their food. As with previous food scares, the recent outbreak of the swine flu is raising further questions and concerns in American’s minds about the provenance and safety of their food. And as with each scare, the obvious questions arise: “What is the alternative?” “What can we do?”

FRESH ( features a cast of real people offering real solutions to the increasing risks to our environment and health posed by industrial practices. Characters such as Joel Salatin, made famous in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, says he is, “in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture.” By closely observing nature, Joel has created a rotational grazing system that allows his animals to behave the way they were meant to; a natural world in which chickens can express their “chicken-ness” and pigs can express their “pigness.”

FRESH also features Will Allen, the former 6 foot 7 son of southern sharecroppers and former professional basketball player who followed his dream of growing healthy, organic food on a three-acres lot in the middle of urban Milwaukee, now Growing Power ( ). Growing Power offers another approach to the sustainable agriculture movement by utilizing a holistic farming model which incorporates both cultivating foodstuffs and designing food distribution networks in an urban setting. Through a novel synthesis of a variety of low-cost farming technologies – including use of raised beds, aquaculture, vermiculture, and heating greenhouses through composting – Growing Power produces vast amounts of food year-round at its main farming site, two acres of land located within Milwaukee’s city limits.

It is exactly this heart of change which FRESH captures in a beautiful and visual narration, one which unfolds through telling a story that literally moved me to tears. We live in a world that is buckling under the weight of our abusing our resources and straying too far from the design of nature. FRESH empowers viewers by showing them how eating tastier and healthier food can create a new food system that will honor nature and protect the environment.


(as always this is ripped from the FDL Book Salon page 🙂



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