|Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms
credit: Polyface Farms
The movie Fresh, produced in 2009 by Ana Sofia Joannes, focuses on the troubles with conventional farming. By discussing what people around the country are doing to combat the negative effects of big agriculture, the film does a great job of explaining the problems and giving solutions.
The film shows Virginia farmer Joel Salatin who raises cattle, pigs and chickens using natural methods – mimicking nature and therefore not needing antibiotics for disease or having other issues coming about when too many of one thing are in the same place. One of the main points for me was that nature has this sustainability thing figured out already. We humans are messing with it and we aren’t seeing that connection. By confining one species to one small location (as what happens in conventional meat production) we introduce many diseases and problems not seen in nature. Now you have to combat those issues (giving antibiotics to keep livestock healthy) which introduces other issues. The cycle goes on and on.
I have heard these figures before but they really sunk in this time. 70% of the corn produced goes to feed cattle, which by the way are not designed to eat corn. They are herbivores and should be eating grass. 70%!! Think of all the people that could be fed with that amount of land.
The other point I found most interesting and contrary to what is normally heard is the profitability of Joel Salatin’s farms. He stated that his farm can yield $3000 per acre while his conventional farming neighbors makes closer to $165 per acre.
The film balances these points by interviewing other farmers who feel like they have been forced into growing corn or soybeans to survive. It opened my eyes to the struggles the small farmer faces.
The more I learn, the more I think vegetarians and vegans are on to something. Meat eating seems to be the root of so many problems – health, environmental, even financial to some extent.
Have you seen Fresh? What did you think?
Please leave you comments or if you are a blogger feel free to link up a post.
If you’d like to join the Friday Film Fest, take a look at the complete list of films.
Up next week is Plastic Planet.