Fed up with factory farming

SUBHEAD: Is factory farming destroying the planet? These five films have an answer!

By Beth Kelly on 25 March 2015 for Island Breath -

Image above: What does factory farming look like on Kauai? It might look like a milk factory dairy. Like the Pierre Omidyer proposed Hawaii Dairy Farm in Mahulepu Valley. To get an idea of HDF's impact we have superimposed a image of the Aurora "Organic" Dairy Farm (in Boulder, Colorado) over the red line boundary of HDF.  We used GoogleEarth and an mirror image of an aerial photo of the AODF andadjusted the scale and perspective as best we could. From (http://www.cornucopia.org/horizon-factory-farm-photo-gallery/aurora-factory-farm-photo-gallery/). See also (http://www.auroraorganic.com/). Graphics by Juan Wilson. Click to embiggen.

Food is something that we take for granted in the modern world. We go to huge grocery stores, buy incredible amounts of food, and don't give much more thought to it. We might even assume that idyllic farmers are working hard to grow and harvest the best quality and most nutritious food possible. The problem is that this assumption is quite naïve.

Modern agriculture is about as far from this rustic portrait of a small family farm as possible. Farm operations today are more like an industrial factory that cranks out food on an assembly line. Health and nutrition are often sacrificed in favor of efficiency and profits.

A number of recent documentaries expose the harmful effects of agribusiness and factory farming. Here are five documentaries that lift the curtain and show us behind the scenes of modern agriculture:

More Than Honey (2012)

Video above: Official Trailer for movie "More than Honey". From (https://youtu.be/2NT05qEJxUk).

This film takes a close look at bees and their relationship with humankind. It examines a wide variety of honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, Australia, and China in an attempt to discern what factors account for the widespread decline of the bee population due to colony collapse. More Than Honey suggests that modern chemical pesticides play a large role in destroying bee populations and discusses the dire consequences if bees should become extinct. Viewers rave about the film's breathtaking cinematography, as it is a visually stunning film with a well-told story.

Farmageddon (2011)

Video above: Trailer for movie "Farmageddon" From (https://youtu.be/IH_my56FkuQ).

This film is a wake up call for those who are unaware of the way the Federal Government acts against smaller farmers all over America. It details the way that small organic farmers producing healthy and nutritious foods are systematically harassed by the United States government. This harassment is motivated by the influence that large corporate agribusinesses have on the government. By raising awareness of these issues, people will protest the dominance of big business in agriculture and give small family farms a new future.

Food, Inc. (2008)

Video above: Official trailer for "Food Inc." From (https://youtu.be/5eKYyD14d_0).

A penetrating look at the industrialized production of food in the United States, this film shows that both animal and plant farming produces food that is not only unhealthy and harmful to the environment, but abuses and oppresses both animals and human employees. The companies that claim to take care of our needs are actually exploiting us for gain. Food, Inc. insists that we can make a difference. By changing our buying practices and voting, we can let these money-hungry companies that we want change.

King Corn (2007)

Video above: Trailer for King Corn. From (https://youtu.be/Pr5HQrgg9mM). See full length film here (http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/king_corn_2007/).

Two college friends go on journey through the American food supply. They begin by moving from Boston to Iowa, where they farm one acre of corn. Along the way, they examine how government subsidies create incentives to overproduce corn as well as the consequences of this overproduction. The two also show the prominence of high fructose corn syrup as a cheap food ingredient and the problems this causes for the American diet. The film chronicles the plight of small family farms that cannot compete against the huge agribusinesses that control the industry.

Crude Impact (2006)

Video above: Trailer for "Crude Impact". From (https://youtu.be/EwyAA2Zt8CI). See full length film here (https://vimeo.com/33552646).

Our modern society is powered almost exclusively by fossil fuels. Crude Impact takes a critical look at an environmental crisis that is being created by this reliance, spreading awareness to energy and gas companies, major corporations, and the general public who seek to find solutions for this crisis. From global warming to overpopulation, this film takes a hard look at the way using fossil fuels affects human culture. It also examines the issue of “peak oil.” As demand for energy increases, supplies of fossil fuels will dwindle. The resulting exponential rise in the cost of energy could be devastating. The film also examines some potential solutions that would mitigate this disaster.

These films challenge us to critically examine where our food comes from. When we have the facts, we can call for change, seek out healthy alternatives, and use our purchasing power to demand the production of healthy food. In addition, we can call upon our leaders to change the system for the better and pay more attention to the sources of our food. Otherwise, we may jeopardize our health and our environment all for the sake of “good-tasting” food.

See also:
Ea O Ka Ania: NZ dairy model isn't Mahaulepu 3/9/15


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