Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution visits the Barjac village in France, where the mayor has mandated an all-organic menu for the lunch program in the local school. Children grow a garden at school to learn about food and eating better. There are shocking scenes of children eating vegetables — which the French value highly. Farmers, parents, kids and health care advocates discuss the impact of the school lunch program. School and government officials also weigh in on why people are dying of cancer in ever-increasing numbers, the food industry’s role, the use of pesticides, nutrition and local sustainability. The film’s emphasis on our responsibility to provide a better, healthier environment for the children. That we should do whatever we can to make our own environment healthier and more beautiful should be motivation enough, but for anyone who contemplates the abominably unhealthy environment which is the only one our children will ever know, our responsibility is clear. It starts off with some speakers at a conference giving some statistics on the gradual rise in cancers, autism, and disease in general, which ought to sound pretty boring or depressing, but they keep it lively and hold our attention. Next, they show the incredible amount of poisons (hundreds of millions of tons) that we dump on our food each year. And of course, how it gets into the water. And into our bodies. And our children’s bodies. Via groceries. Hear about farmers who won’t even eat their own products, knowing they are poisoned. Very well then, we can all admit that it is a problem to some degree. Even staunch defenders of global multi-national agribusiness corporations, whose livelihood depends on our ignorance! So what do we do? At a personal level, we know we can support farmers and stores that sell organic food, even if we can’t do it all the time, or for everything we buy. The film shows how one French town council decided to do it at a town level. The results are impressive and heartwarming. Many Yanks think that all of France is an organic Eden. It is not. But here we have some effective local action, in the form of a small town mayor, who tells the schools to serve local and organic foods, and to teach kids about this stuff. Yup, there’s resistance at first, but it’s engaging to see people learn and come around. Plus, the food tastes better. Bravo to the mayor of the small town that made a stand! The good news is that there are things which can be done, and are being done, right now, and this intelligent documentary can assist us in making choices which benefit everyone. For attentive viewers, there is even a fool-proof refutation of the alleged “expense” of “organic” food, and a knock-down of the alleged “need” for synthetic fertilizers and chemicals. Bring your curiosity and take notes! We get a nice bonus of scenes around Barjac (near Avignon) in Southeast France. The lack of preachy arrogance found in similar, US-based documentaries is refreshing, too. This is very eye opening stuff! It is very interesting to see the mix of politicians and academics discussing the issue while conventional and organic farmers and a small town get on with the day-to-day business of actually producing, selling and consuming the foods. This movie is slow and long but it blows your mind and must be seen. A lot of facts regarding cancer are revealed. It is a great documentary, full of interesting facts about organic food and the choices ones need to make in order to preserve life. Could United States have at least one public school following this example? Documentary 2009 NR 112 minutes. (Nos Enfants Nous Accuseront)
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