Tag Archives: food inc

Guide to Good Food – Summer Days

food-inc_book-coverWritten by: Diane Hatz for ChangeFood

With a long weekend approaching and (hopefully!) better weather around the country, people will be heading to the beach, mountains, and various vacation areas to relax and unwind. The Guide to Good Food will be taking a little break, but while we’re gone, take advantage of a new crop of books and movies now available. Happy summer!

Books
Deeply Rooted, Lisa Hamilton
In this narrative nonfiction book, Hamilton tells three stories – of an African-American dairyman in Texas who plays David to the Goliath of agribusiness corporations; a tenth-generation rancher in New Mexico struggling to restore agriculture as a pillar of his community; and a modern pioneer family in North Dakota breeding new varieties of plants to face the future’s double threat of climate change and the patenting of life forms.

Food Inc., Edited by Karl Weber
Most of you have probably heard about Food, Inc., the movie, but did you also know there’s a companion book to the film? The book explores the challenges raised by the movie in fascinating depth through 13 essays, most of them written especially for this book, and many by experts featured in the film. Highlights include chapters by Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food), Anna Lappe (Hope’s Edge and Grub), Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation and film co-producer), Robert Kenner (film director), and a chapter on asking the right questions from Sustainable Table! The book is so popular it’s already in its fourth printing.
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Guide to Good Food – Summer Days

food-inc_book-coverWith a long weekend approaching and (hopefully!) better weather around the country, people will be heading to the beach, mountains, and various vacation areas to relax and unwind. The Guide to Good Food will be taking a little break, but while we’re gone, take advantage of a new crop of books and movies now available. Happy summer!

Books
Deeply Rooted, Lisa Hamilton
In this narrative nonfiction book, Hamilton tells three stories – of an African-American dairyman in Texas who plays David to the Goliath of agribusiness corporations; a tenth-generation rancher in New Mexico struggling to restore agriculture as a pillar of his community; and a modern pioneer family in North Dakota breeding new varieties of plants to face the future’s double threat of climate change and the patenting of life forms.

Food Inc., Edited by Karl Weber
Most of you have probably heard about Food, Inc., the movie, but did you also know there’s a companion book to the film? The book explores the challenges raised by the movie in fascinating depth through 13 essays, most of them written especially for this book, and many by experts featured in the film. Highlights include chapters by Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food), Anna Lappe (Hope’s Edge and Grub), Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation and film co-producer), Robert Kenner (film director), and a chapter on asking the right questions from Sustainable Table! The book is so popular it’s already in its fourth printing.

Food Matters, Mark Bittman
Food Matters explores the links among food, global warming and other environmental challenges, obesity and the so-called lifestyle diseases, and the overproduction and overconsumption of meat, simple carbohydrates, and junk food. Includes over 75 recipes.

The Righteous Porkchop, Nicolette Hahn Niman
Righteous Porkchop is a thoughtful, and surprisingly lighthearted, memoir about a most serious topic: poop…and the animals that make it. Porkchop guides readers through the ills of industrial farming, the faces and lives of the people most affected by it, a hopeful exploration of sustainable meat production and, surprisingly, a little romance.

Movies
Food, Inc., Robert Kenner
Food, Inc., is the summer movie everyone’s talking about. The film has received fantastic reviews from all over and is currently playing in select cities. Food, Inc., reveals surprising, and often shocking, truths about what we eat, how it’s produced, and who we have become as a nation. Don’t miss this one!

Fresh, Ana Sofia Joanes
Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the transformation of agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet. Fresh is not being shown in theatres – visit the site for information on how to attend a screening or host your own.

Good Food, Mark Dworkin, Melissa Young
An intimate look at the farmers, ranchers, and businesses that are creating a more sustainable food system in the Pacific Northwest. Copies are available for rent or purchase.

The Meatrix, Louis Fox, Diane Hatz
If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the time to join Moopheus and the 20 million plus who have taken the red pill. This award-winning, four-minute animation uses humor and pop culture to explain what factory farming is. Online now!

What’s on Your Plate?, Catherine Gund
Filmed over the course of a year, the film follows two eleven-year-old African-American city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. With the camera as their companion, the girl guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates.

(Diane Hatz is the Founder of Sustainable Table, Executive Producer of The Meatrix movies and co-Founder of the Eat Well Guide. This is the 15th installment in her series Sustainable Table’s Guide to Good Food.)

Shop Sustainable – buying food

veggies

Today we’re going to show you that it is possible to eat healthier on a budget, and we’re also going to talk a bit about the reality behind our food system.

I recently saw the movie Food, Inc. which opens today, June 12th, in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco (Click here for movie and ticket info). In the film is a scene where a family of four buys a fast food meal for $11.38 but say they can’t afford broccoli for $1.29 a pound. That’s understandable, but what could a family of four eat for around $11.38 that might be a little healthier? Let’s look at a chart we created with current prices from Stop and Shop’s Peapod website:

Grocery Item Non-organic(1) Organic (2)
Beans, canned 1.00/1 lb can 1.00/1 lb can
Beans, dry black 1.50/pound 1.79/pound (3)
Bell peppers .89/each 2.99/two-pack
Broccoli 2.89/head 3.19/head
Cabbage, green 2.19/head 2.49/head
Carrots 1.79/2 lbs 3.49 5 lbs
Celery 1.50/pound 2.99/pound
Eggplant 1.49/each 2.99/10 oz pack
Rice, brown 2.69/32 oz 3.19/32 oz
Rice, white 1.99/32 oz 3.19/32 oz
Romaine Lettuce 1.50/head 1.99/head
Summer Squash/
Zucchini
.69/each 2.99/two-pack

(1) Based on Stop and Shop’s Peapod website (accessed 5/29/09)
(2) Based on Stop and Shop’s Peapod website (accessed 5/29/09)
(3) Based on OrganicDirect.com (NY and NJ area) (accessed 6/2/09)

The family of four could eat 2 pounds of conventional white rice and 2 pounds of black beans for $4.99, two foods that, when combined, meet our bodies’ need for high-quality protein. They could go organic and eat 2 pounds of organic brown (or white) rice and 2 pounds of organic black beans for $6.77. Add in a head of broccoli and the total is $7.88 for all conventional and $9.96 for all organic. Both well under the $11.38 the family spent at a fast food drive through, leaving extra money for herbs, spices, or another item.

If you would like to see a comparison of farmers’ market and grocery store prices, check out “Is it possible to shop locally on a budget?” from Farm Aid.

If you look at nutritional values –

1 cup black beans (boiled with salt) – 172g, 227 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated), 0g cholesterol, 408mg sodium, 60% fiber, 15g protein, 20% iron and a good source of thiamin, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese and folate.

1 cup brown rice (medium grain, cooked) – 195g, 218 calories, 2g fat (0g saturated), 0g cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 4g fiber, 5g protein, 6% iron.

1 stalk broccoli (boiled*, without salt) – 280g, 98 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated), 115mg sodium, 0g cholesterol, 9g fiber, 7g protein, 87% vitamin A, 303% vitamin C, 11% calcium, 10% iron. Also a good source of thiamin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, fiber, vitamin E and K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese. (*Steaming vegetables is preferable to boiling – more nutrients will be retained. We could only find data for boiled broccoli.)

1 Burger King hamburger sandwich (as an example of a fast food burger) – 121g, 310 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated), 40mg cholesterol, 580mg sodium, 2g fiber, 17g protein, 2% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 8% calcium, 20% iron. (Note: Burger King supplied the information and most vitamin and mineral content was not provided.)

To compare the quantity of food (172g beans plus 195g rice and 280g broccoli), you’d need over 5 Burger King hamburger sandwiches (at 121g each) to equal the volume of the beans, rice and broccoli. That means 1550+ calories, 65g fat (25g saturated), 200mg cholesterol, and so on, compared with 502 calories, 4g fat (0g saturated), 0g cholesterol, etc. (Or, conversely, you could reduce the amount of beans, rice and broccoli, to an equivalent of one or two hamburgers, which would bring the price of the healthy meal down considerably.)

This shows that you can consume fewer and far more nutritious calories for less money by shopping and cooking, rather than resorting to fast food, so why do so many people continue to buy and eat fast food? One reason is convenience. We think food should be cheap and fast so pulling through a drive through and shoveling food quickly into our mouth is the way many of us eat. It’s a sign of our over-stressed, over-worked lives. And we’re used to it.

How convenient is it?
What if you cooked your own food, ate at home and took food with you from home to work? Clearly, you would save money and eat healthier food. But, I hear you saying, “I don’t have time” or “I’m always so tired when I get home that I don’t want to cook”. What can you do about that?

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