FRESH! was the first film screened by my newborn Food Films Club.
Produced and directed by Ana Joanes, FRESH! highlights inspiring players in the food movement – folks who are key because they’re successfully challenging the status quo and making significant differences on a local level. The message of the film is that these efforts can be supported and replicated by everyone who cares about the safety and wholesomeness of the food we, as a society, have to eat.
The film visits Joel Salatin, the eccentric Virginia farmer whose grass-based farm is now considered a cutting edge example of how we can produce healthier food and a healthier earth. Best quote in the whole movie is Salatin giving a phone interview to a local radio station, with a wink he says, “What we need is a mob-stocking herbivorous solar-conversion lignified carbon-sequestration fertilzation program.”
Will Allen shows off his 3-acre urban farm, from which he grows enough food to share feasts with visitors. He shows off handfuls of composted soil dense with worms, and his pond of tilapia whose waste helps fertilize his gardens.
Russ Kremer is a pastured hog farmer in Missouri who made the switch from factory-farmed pork to pastured pork after experiencing first hand the dangers of antibiotic resistance in his herd. He now speaks with pride in the wholesome product he delivers and fair wages he pays those who process his meat.
And David Ball shows off his small chain of markets which sell locally produced goods from his region, in a landscape being rapidly decimated by big box stores selling cheap goods produced in other countries.
With commentary from familiar faces (you’ll recognize some faces from Food, Inc.), FRESH! ventures a little deeper into territory left unexplored by Food, Inc. – the territory of the successes that should inspire us all to call for and support positive changes in the food system. FRESH! also has a lovely musical score and a website where you can find more ways to take part in the movement.
I would not say FRESH! can stand alone in the world of food documentaries, but it’s a very enriching addition to the pantry.