Reviews

Watch "The Future of Food"

If you have not yet heard of a documentary called “The Future of Food” (2004), or haven’t yet watched it, please take the time to do so. It is vital that you know what’s going into the food that you eat, and it’s vital that you know it now, before it’s too late.

What’s been happening over the past 20 years here in the States is that our food supply has been slowly taken over by biotech companies who are interested only in their bottom line. They have used tactics akin to racketeering practices in order to get farmers to use their seeds and only their seeds. They have placed their executives in key government positions, in order to ensure that their policies go through. They have done and are doing everything in their power to get us to eat their genetically modified foods, without regard for safety, common sense, decency or ethics. I’m not saying this by myself. The documentary itself will prove it to you.

All that is bad enough, but what’s really appalling is that they are patenting genes. They have patented plant genes, and now they want to patent animal genes and even human genes. They are trying to get the market in their tight snare, so they can squeeze profits out of everywhere and ensure they control our food supply completely. They have even patented one of the genes involved in breast cancer, then sued researchers who had been doing working on it, to force them to pay exorbitant licensing fees. Needless to say, research on that gene has been significantly curtailed, directly due to their malefic influence. That’s the sort of “work” they engage in.

When I call them racketeers, I have a great frame of reference in mind. It’s a short crime drama made in 1936, entitled “The Public Pays“, which won an Oscar. It depicted a protection racket that preyed on the local milk distribution in one American city, and the people’s successful fight against them. The biotech goons may not beat up people and physically destroy their milk trucks and containers, but they have legal “procedures” which wield the same sort of power and yield the same horrible results. This time, they’re working hand in hand with specially-placed government officials who make sure the biotech rules get enforced and the little guys get screwed royally — not to mention that the consumers, and the marketplace in general, are manipulated to no end as well.

Don’t believe me? Watch the documentary. And if you can find “The Public Pays”, watch that as well and compare the two to see the striking similarities. What’s more, if someone can assure me that “The Public Pays” is now in the public domain, I’ll gladly post it online, either at Google Video or somewhere else.

As you get to the end of the “Future of Food” documentary, you’ll get heartened by the organic farming efforts, which are great, but keep in mind that Whole Foods now sells mostly non-organic fruits and vegetables, and also imports supposedly organic foods from China, whose food supply is so laden with pesticides it’s not even funny. Yet Whole Foods still dares to hold the same high prices on their stuff, which means they’ve cut costs and are pocketing the difference. Lesson learned: don’t shop at Whole Foods. Go to Trader Joe’s or MOM’s, if you have them in your neighborhoods.

Seek REAL organic foods, and make sure to vote with your wallets. Where you buy your food, and what sort of food you buy, determines our food supply’s future. Write to your congressmen and demand that the proposed law (introduced by Dennis Kucinich) to label genetic foods as such be finally approved.

My wife just chimed in with some great advice. It turns that while we wait for foods to be properly labeled as GM or not, there’s an easy way to tell already. Fruits and vegetables all have little stickers on them, with numeric codes (4 or 5-digit numbers). It seems that if those numbers start with 4, they’re conventionally-grown, but not genetically modified. If they start with 8, they’re GM — stay away from them! And if they start with 9, they’re organically grown and are safe to eat. Not sure if this is officially true, but she says that’s usually been the case, at least for the organic foods that she buys.

Here’s how you can watch the documentary:

  • Google Video (free, but quality isn’t that great)
  • YouTube (free, but in multiple parts): start here
  • Netflix (instant streaming, DVD quality, but requires subscription)
  • Amazon (you can purchase the DVD)

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Condensed knowledge for 2008-03-19

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Reviews

The Beatrix Potter Collection (2008)

The Beatrix Potter Collection (3 DVD set) was just released for sale on 2/12. Ligia and I bought the set just a few days ago, and we’re very happy that we did it. The series was done very well by the BBC. Each DVD contains three animated stories, and each story has a live action introduction filmed in an idyllic English country setting. Some of the live action introductions do repeat, and we found that to be a bit annoying. It would have been ideal if a different intro was filmed for each cartoon, or if only intro was present per DVD, to keep things different.

We love the animation because it looks just like watercolor book drawings that have come to life. The lines are well defined, the colors are wonderfully chosen, and the sound effects almost too real. The movement of the characters is a bit awkward, but I like it because it reminds me once again of their book drawing origin. I can’t say it enough, so I’ll say it again: watching the DVDs is just like seeing the book drawings come to life.

The stories are wonderfully plotted and contain great lessons for the little ones. It’s a pleasure to watch and follow along with the characters. The story-telling is relaxing but won’t put you to sleep. It’s just the right tempo. Some of the stories are a little scary, like that of Pigling Bland or Samuel Whiskers, but the scary scenes are only alluded to, not shown. Still, it’s effective enough to send chills down your spine, so you might want to pick and choose which stories you show to your children based on their age and level of understanding.

Here is what’s included in the set (images of each DVD cover are included below):

  1. The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends
    1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny
    2. The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies and Mrs. Tittlemouse
    3. The Tale of Tom Kitten and Jemima Puddle-Duck
  2. The Tale of Pigling Bland and Other Stories
    1. The Tale of Pigling Bland
    2. The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or the Roly-Poly Pudding
    3. The Tailor of Gloucester
  3. The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Mr. Jeremy Fisher and Other Stories
    1. The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Mr. Jeremy Fisher
    2. The Tale of Mr. Tod: The Further Adventures of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny
    3. The Tale of Two Bad Mice and Johnny Town-Mouse

I’m trying to think what other cartoons I can compare them to, and their closest “relative” is probably Little Bear, which is a series about a bear family living in an American forest. The drawing style and movement of the characters is similar, thought the colors aren’t pastels in Little Bear.

I definitely recommend these cartoons. They’re great for children, but you don’t need to be of that age to enjoy them. Ligia and I both found them enjoyable.

Buy The Beatrix Potter Collection

The Tale of Pigling Bland and Other Stories

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