Food EEK

Food, Inc. came to Austin this week! It’s playing at two Alamo Drafthouse locations – tonight at The Ritz, and this weekend/next week at South Lamar.

A few weeks ago, Kim Severson of The New York Times described Food, Inc. this way:

Food, Inc. is part of a new generation of food films that drip with politics, not sauces. It’s eat-your-peas cinema that could make viewers not want to eat anything at all.”

Oh New York Times writers! You and your clever similes! “Drip with politics, not sauces.” Love it.

Anyway, it is true that the 2000s have been marked by an awakened consciousness regarding food production, no? Eric Schlosser, one of the consulting experts in Food, Inc. became our first household food crusader name when Fast Food Nation (the book, not the movie) came out. And Austin – with our local business mantra, thriving farmers market, and surrounding hill country agriculture – is a particularly fitting city for the food activism movement. We are the town who made national news for our all-vegan fire department, after all.

Needless to say, it is a little messed up that our tastebuds are subjected to this kind of systematized manipulation. I’m as guilty as any and have failed miserably each of the three times I’ve tried to go vegetarian. (The last time, I had gone six months meat-free after reading Skinny Bitch, but R. and I couldn’t find any vegetarian fast food during our road trip so I silenced both my inner Eric Schlosser AND Morgan Spurlock and stopped at MCDONALDS for God’s sake. I know!).

However. It’s so easy here in Austin to do the right thing, foodwise, so if you’re sticking to it – your veganism, your vegetarianism, your locavorism, your macrobiotics, or whatever your strain of food principles are – I would really, really love to hear how you do it. What do you do when you’re meeting friends, and go somewhere non-virtuous? What do you do when your family prepares you a really nice meal? A nice meal made out of Monsanto-laced something or other? This inquiring mind, currently fueled by corn starch and high fructose corn syrup, wants to know.