By Clive Lindley-Jones | February 19, 2010 9:30 am
Imagine what if it would be a national policy that the idea would be that we had such nutrition dense food that people actually felt better, had more energy and weren’t sick as much – now that’s a noble goal! –Gary Hirschberg, Stonyfield Farms, Food Inc.
Last week, in our February E-Coaching, I stuck my neck out, changed my book of the month to a film and recommended a film that I had yet to see.
Around 50 keen disparate souls watched this on Monday night in the strange ambiance of an Oxford multiplex cinema more used to pumping out the usual block busters. However few in numbers, we were not disappointed.
Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner. The film examines large-scale agricultural food production in the United States, concluding that the meat and vegetables produced by this type of economic enterprise leads to inexpensive but unhealthy and environmentally harmful food. The film is narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, two long-time critics of the industrial production of food. The documentary was heavily criticized by large American corporations engaged in industrial food production.
There are many arguments that will rage on over these kinds of important efforts to question the onward push of our strangely soulless approach to the earth we inhabit and her creatures. There are questions of nutrition, economy, justice climate change, population growth, but perhaps the one that struck me the most was the alienation that must be in the hearts of those responsibly for such profit-at-all-costs doctrines, that can allow them to develop such alienated, pitiless systems of food production.
I am reminded of the great psychologist Carl Jung’s journey to the New Mexico in 1924 and his conversations with a Pueblo Native American Chief, Ochwiay Biano (Mountain Lake) who was one of those who helped him fully understand the kind of cut off European Jung would describe as a “technological Savage” and “intellectual barbarians”. Ochwiay Biano saw it this way:
“See how cruel the whites look. Their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by folds. Their eyes are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something; they are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are mad.”(1)
Perhaps knowing or unknowing this was part of the longing we saw in the rainbow of faces of hope at Obama’s inauguration last year.
There are many horrors now clearly documenting the lengths we will go to gain cheap food. At their heart, so many cogent voices raised against the barbarity of our own time and our own systems, whether it is focused on banking, health care, food, education or farming they are struggling to regain something of the majesty and soul expressed by Chief Ochwiay Biano almost a century ago, without the need to renounce all the wonders of our modern lives and the undoubted advances we have made. The jury is out as to whether we will succeed, but I am an optimist, and feel that one day we will see the soul return and shape our affairs again. After all, the great thing in a democratic, relatively free, consumer society is that we have a vote each time we purchase any goods or service.
Next month as the light of spring lures us out of our winter bunkers, I will explore the overwhelming benefits of exercise and how you can find a way of tasting some of them, without having to become an athlete.
(1) Dunne, Clare. Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul. 2000, p. 69.
Helix House Natural Health Centre