Sunday, April 11, 2010


Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Populist Documentary Issues Urgent Call for Healthy Food

Nowadays, a handful of agribusiness conglomerates control every step of the food chain, from the seed all the way to the plate, thereby determining the bulk of America’s deteriorating diet. Since most people care more about the convenience and cost of what they eat than how unhealthy the contents might be for their bodies or for Earth, they’ve remained blissfully unaware of this dangerous trend towards the elimination of consumer choice in favor of adulterated, processed products devoid of nutritional benefit.

Consequently, the rise of Walmart, Cargill, ADM and the other mega manufacturers and distributors cornering the market has heralded in an era of deceptively-lower prices, while the true toll of our increasing dependency on genetically-modified crops is never apparent at the cash register. For, as the groundbreaking expose’ Fresh warns, “Cheap food is an illusion,” since grocery bills fail to factor in such additional costs as government subsidies, and the toll that the ubiquitous use of industrial additives like hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup is taking on the population.

Directed by Ana Sofia Joanes, Fresh issues an urgent clarion call for consumers to put their purchasing power to work before it’s too late by supporting their local farmers producing natural and organic foods. Some of these intrepid individuals serve as the subjects of the informative documentary, including former pro basketball player Will Allen, an African-American who not only tills three acres but devotes time to teaching seminars encouraging others to follow in his footsteps. “We will not move from this spot,” he addresses an assembly of aspiring farmers on site, ”until every one of you tells me you can go home and do this.”

Another very vocal advocate summarizes that, “This is a social justice movement as much as it is an environmental movement or energy crisis movement,” concluding, “Food is a human right.” A chilling contrast of the sustainable and corporate approaches to agriculture which makes a persuasive argument that your daily choices matter in terms of the long-term prospects of both humanity’s and the planet’s survival.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 72 Minutes
Studio: Specialty Studios
Distributor: Ripple Effect Productions

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