Tag Archives: food

Unser Täglich Brot (Our Daily Bread) Oh What the Lord Might Say…

Our Daily Bread (English title) draws its title presumably from The Lord’s Prayer of the Christian Bible, and after watching it I have to ask myself–what would the Lord say about what we’re doing to our food supply? I can only conjure the oxymoron “roaring silence” to describe this completely unbiased documentary of the food production industry in Germany (probably more tame than the U.S.’). The only source of any dialogue exists in bantering and chit-chat of the laboring workers, be they in a pork slaughterhouse or deep below the Earth’s surface in a salt mine.

There is no Alec Baldwin narration, no naming of corrupt FDA traitors–simply a display of contextual truth. We, the audience, are completely encouraged to make our own conclusions on the matter. Rather than the “bread of life” that Jesus referred to in the Bible, it seems quite apparent that our modern food system revolves around a mechanized “bread of death,” with little regarded to the fact that our food was once alive. The rendering of meat, which was once very human and in perhaps an esoteric way sacred, is now enslaved to cold, stoic process–completely for the sake of yield.

As silly as it sounds I watched the perfectly-engineered, steel behemoths slaying bull after bull, pig after pig, salmon after salmon and I couldn’t stop thinking about the Terminator franchise, where humans are at war with machines. Watching the efficiency of these systems–I have to think that the war as it stands has already been lost.

If you’ve ever seen the size of a full-grown bull, seen the capriciousness of a feisty pig, or seen the majesty of a full-breadth salmon, it becomes depressing to see their lives ended so quickly, their entrails so effortlessly plucked. I see it as not only a bastardization of the entire human condition throughout history, but a blasphemy towards what this documentary may cite as divine providence.

Even the very right of reproduction is engineered with these animals. The mighty bull takes his natural mount behind the heifer only to have his essence extracted and stolen for later use–or genetic engineering. He may have even been lucky compared to the piglets, comprising one of the most graphic scenes, who are swiftly made eunuchs and left tail-less while their head clamps prevent them from protesting the matter. If only Snowball and Napoleon could see this…

Being long enough to be excruciatingly thorough (92 minutes), Our Daily Bread covers a full gamut of the industrial food chain and not just the aforementioned animals. The highly dosed and doused plant crops are shown, as are their robotic attendants. Salt mining is illustrated, olive tree harvesting demystified, and a lovely landscape scene showcases a crop duster–having its way before the combines raze the stalks in the impeding harvests.

Our Daily Bread is by no means an exciting film, nor is it necessarily invigorating as are many of the shock-value films of our current times. It is however completely honest and very thorough, making it suitable and palatable for the seasoned, food-enthusiast or the life-long factory farm diner. The verdict will of course be up for grabs.

Special thanks to Meredith Miller at Icarus Films for recommending this film for review.

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Try Not to Starve After Watching Food Inc.

Ammonia-soaked beef “product,” patents on “life” and 46,000 food products all coming from three main manufacturers are some of the snippets of info you’ll find in Food Inc.–the traceable food movement’s latest effort to educate the population on society’s nutritional woes.

The film hits me close to home considering my hometown of Salisbury, MD–also home to Perdue Chickens is featured in the film, though they declined comment. Unlike an uncouth PETA documentary, there are few shocking images trying to turn people away from carnivorous diets altogether but instead a focus on what created the monster factory farms in the first place–money.

Corn is the lifeblood of our modern, industrialized food industry and the film very thoroughly links farm subsidies in corn to the decrease in meat prices for consumers (but at what real cost?), saturation of corn-derivative products and even the increase in Mexican immigration when subsidized U.S. corn and NAFTA precipitated the unemployment of 1 million (yes million) once-employed in Mexico corn farmers. Meanwhile so many Americans are wondering why they don’t just find jobs in Mexico. They then had footage of a meat-packing company, who notoriously hires the immigrants in the U.S., instigating INS raids on their worker housing to deport unneeded, undocumented workers instead of offering due-diligence through layoffs.

Killing the appetite further is the legal aspect of the food system, from the protection of companies over the consumers, as seen in the denial of Kevin’s law (not me), to the veto of California’s GMO labeling act–shot down by Governor Schwarzenegger (shame on you Arnold). Putting a face to the names of these bastards, they listed several FDA and governmental decision-makers all making a direct transition to and from executive slots in the global food conglomerates. It’s nice to see the governmental regulators are watching out for our best interests.

Sowing the greatest seeds of wisdom in the film are by far the actual farmers, who thoroughly understand the nature of the proverbial shaft they’re being subjected to through the law of economic scales. One of the film’s traditional and organic farmers beautifully encapsulates our food system by saying that we have become a nation of technicians constantly asking “how” we are to achieve the next objective, but never considering “why” that may or may not be a good idea in the first place.

Being only 93 minutes, it doesn’t have the depth of each individual topic as King Corn does for corn production or In Defense of Food can for dietary revolutionaries, but it’s a palatable start and will hopefully act as a wake up call for the populace–people may even make the obvious connection that eating garbage will turn us into exactly that.

If you want to change to an unadulterated, nutrient-rich diet I suggest exploring realmilk.com and the Weston A. Price Foundation. Be warned the rabbit hole of information goes deep, but it just might save your life.

PS – Another thing the movie stated is that I could probably be sued for saying that factory-farmed food isn’t good for you. Bring it on : )