DVD Review by Kam Williams
Documentary Makes the Case for Healthier Eating
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 the 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, we have witnessed the cornering of the market by Walmart, Cargill, ADM and other mega manufacturers. And these avaricious distributors have ushered 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 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 this 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 tells a group of aspiring farmers assembled on his land, ”until every one of you tells me you can go home and do this.”
Here’s how another very vocal advocate summarizes the situation: “This is a social justice movement as much as it is an environmental movement or energy crisis movement… Food is a human right.” A chilling contrast of the sustainable and corporate approaches to agriculture, making a persuasive argument that your choices affect the long-term prospects of the planet’s survival.
Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 72 Minutes
Studio: Specialty Studios
Distributor: Docurama Films
DVD Extras: Theatrical trailer.