"Food For Thought, Food For Life" is a unique food documentary for one, simple reason: It's hopeful.
The 20-minute short "Food For Thought" manages to examine the ways people currently grow, use, and prepare food while also educating the audience about how humans from all walks of life (educators, researchers, chefs, farmers, and the public) can improve the food system.
While many food documentaries are filled with statistics and, let's be honest, doom and gloom, "Food For Thought" is pleasantly hopeful. The film presents facts and figures, but the main message is presented by people who are actually making change. And the film's conclusion manages to include its audience in a simple, but effective way -- the filmmaker merely asks viewers to join the conversation about improving the food system.
Some of the things that can make modern crops perform better (and remain healthy) are surprisingly simple.
One thing the documentary discusses is producing more crops per acreage that are different. The United States government tends to subsidize big, monocrops, such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. According to the film, more food can be produced (and the land and soil can be kept in better shape by turning farm waste into soil) when diverse crops are farmed together.
The film also highlights the importance of combining the "positive" parts of industrial and organic farming, while embracing tactics that are good for the environment by allowing nature to work with a farm.
While farming is a big component to producing healthy, diverse food, it's also important for people to learn how to work with what's in season. One place that's showing chefs how to cook with seasonal food is Blue Hill at Stone Barns Center for Food, which resides in Pocantico Hills in New York. Stone Barns Center's chef, Dan Barber, is dedicated to using whatever is in season at the "four-season farm and educational center."
As the film concludes, it urges viewers that the best way to change the farming system is by voting with their money, lifestyle, and most importantly, with what they eat.
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Image from the film's Facebook page