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Food for Thought

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Food, Inc. is the latest and one of the most successful films to investigate the politics of produce- exactly who is controlling what we consume and the consequences of unethical industries- but it is certainly not the first.

Filmic instruction and guidance on what and how to grow farm products, from cows to crops, dates back practically to the beginning of film itself. However, it wasn’t until post-WWII consumerism and the advent of artificial foods (Tang, anyone?) and the subsequent social upheaval that films began to investigate the nature of nourishment. Inherent in the discussion of what we eat, both historically and in Food, Inc., are issues surrounding agribusiness and its failure to prioritize nutrition and economy over profit (Food: Green Grow the Profits, Hard Times in the Country), the exploitation of migrant and minority field and factory workers (Harvest of Shame, Decision at Delano), the modification and replacement of naturally occurring foods (Eat, Drink and Be Wary; A Chemical Feast; Soopergoop) and alternatives for better health and living (Diet for a Small Planet, A Visit with J.I. Rodale).

Whether you’re a fast food phenom or a green market gallant, these films offer insight into the multi-generational argument for living off the fat of the land and the dangers of corrupt food production methods and products. And what better way to kick off the harvest season than by taking a bite from the fruit of knowledge?

If you would like to screen these or other films in the collection or to make a request for a consultation appointment with a film staff member, please call the Reserve Film and Video Collection at (212) 870-1741. All films must be requested at least one week in advance.

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