I’ve seen many food documentaries, even back to the original back in the early 2000’s. The name escapes me. My oldest son and I had some of those passes they’re always giving out in LA to get you to come for free to the uncut version of the film. (I’m always shocked how many people bring first dates to those things.) Some of the scenes were horrifying. I think some guy fell into the meat grinder in the uncut version, but I’m fairly certain that was left on the production floor.
“Fresh,” though, hit me differently. It made me want to eat just out of our little garden box above. The film discusses the idea of feed lots as the meat industry’s standard vs. sustainable farms.
The idea of sustainable farms is the rancher mimics the natural cycle, creating an ecosystem that would exist naturally. There is a high level of respect for the animals. They are moved from field to field so they can graze on high quality grass. Pesticides are not used or needed because of the ecosystem created. I’ve grown up around this idea. My dad was the largest organic rice grower in California at one time. My uncle (a chemical engineer from UC Berkeley) is currently an organic chestnut farmer with sustainable practices in the Anderson Valley.
I also understand the ideas of feed lots and the economics of it all. I spent many Fridays at the auction yard in the small ranch town I grew up in. My dad worked in a feed lot following grad work at Cal Poly San Luis and farmed cattle during my younger years in more of a sustainable model. I understand the debates, the differing perspectives, the dilemmas, and the economical implications of both models.
But here’s what I’ll say. I feel much healthier when I’m eating organic produce, grass-fed beef, free range chicken, wild caught fish or plant-based proteins. I love to eat the Arugula we grow from seeds, knowing where it came from and how it was raised. Or the tomatoes we raised and watered each morning. Just feels like happier food.
In the end, we each have to decide what types of things feel best in our bodies. Watching “Fresh” will give you a clear idea of what feels right in your mind.