Monday, March 22, 2010

Social Commentary- Food, Inc.

It seems that I have an opinion on everything, and Ben keeps telling me that I need to be blogging about the things that I am reading and watching. So, I'm trying it out... my mommy blog is going thoughty for a while.

I've known for a while that I have always been a tree hugger at heart. I remember in the 7th grade buying "save the planet" t-shirts and trying to get my mom to recycle. I will say it's much easier to practice what you preach when running your own household and I have even found myself doing things that I thought I would never do- like cloth diaper. Needless to say, being a mom and having a household makes me think a lot about where things come from and where they go when I am done with them.

Ben and I have recently become involved with a great organization called Mission Clarksville and have learned so much about health and food. We had dinner last week with the Mission Clarksville team and they were all talking about the movie Food, Inc. so we decided to pick it up and watch it ourselves. If you know me very well, you know that I have a short attention span, so I tend not to watch many documentaries. I have to say that I found this one very interesting. Let me start by saying that while this movie was a little one sided because the big food companies declined to be interviewed, this is not a movie that will make you want to run out and join peta, become a vegetarian, or beat yourself up about what you put in your body. I think the point is that we all become educated, responsible consumers. For this reason, I think this is a movie that everyone should watch.

What does it meant to be an educated responsible consumer you might ask, here are some suggestions:
1. Know what is in your food and where it comes from- when you shop at the grocery store read the labels and by organic...if you can not pronounce items in the contents, look them up and think twice about consuming them
2. Buy Local- one of the best ways to know where your food comes from is to buy it from local farmers. Go to your farmers market, look for local farms on Craig'sList, or join a local CSA (community supported agriculture). If you are interested in finding out more of what it available in Clarksville, please let me know. We are working on putting together a list of local food providers.
3. Join a CSA- Most communities have them, we actually have two in Clarksville. Basically what you do with a CSA is buy a share of a local farm and then you get a box or fresh, organic veggies delivered to you each week. Both Clarksville CSAs are $700 for a 6 month season... that works out to be $28 dollars per box.... probably only a fraction of your weekly food budget. Go to or to find out more and sign up.
(Pictured above: Actual CSA box from Paradise Produce Farm)
4. Plant a garden- even if it is only a small herb garden in your kitchen window or tomato plants in a pot on your patio, you will save money because you won't be buying those items at the store and you will have the pride of knowing you had a part in growing it.

I think that one of the most touching parts of the film was a real life family making choices about how to spend their food money. The mother said that when you only have a dollar to spend, you look for what it going to fill your family up. She said they look at the price of vegetables and the price of fast food dollar menus and go with the latter because her kids won't be hungry afterward. This is one reason I so enjoy our work with Mission Clarksville. They are striving to make good, healthy food available to everyone in Clarksville. They are taking local high school kids and not only teaching them about hard work, themselves, and nutrition, but they are putting them to work on a local farm and teaching them what it means to take food from seed to the table. They sell the food they grow at local farmers markets and in parts of town where good produce is not readily available as well as preparing it and taking it to local food banks. If you are interested in partnering with them to help change the way families in Clarksville think about food and nutrition and making good food available to them please go to and find out how you can help.
Made by Lena