Sustainable Farming Saves the Bay: FRESH, the Movie
I delayed watching the documentary FRESH, even though Netflix kept pushing it on me like my party friends push “one more drink.”
I thought I’d heard it all before: I’ve seen plenty of documentaries on the ills of processed food, learned all about Monsanto, experienced the horrendous conditions of cattle feed lots (ok, through film, but still). When I finally broke down and watched FRESH, I was sorry I hadn’t sooner.
My education in Public Policy had a theme: the real cost of things is always paid somewhere. “Negative externalities.” This film spoke my language. It offers an interesting take on sustainable farming because it examines how local farming can make economic sense.
Joel Salatin holds a hen during a tour of Polyface Farm. Image courtesy Nick V. from Washington DC.
The movie details how vertical integration and “monoculture” not only produce inferior food product, but also create less income for farmers, breed antibiotic-resistant disease, destroy wealth, and don’t do the environment any favors. Mass production, economies of scale and the other ideas that worked on the assembly lines of Model T cars may not apply to farming.
There are examples of farmers using biodiversity and sustainable farming to improve quality of life for both people and animals, create better jobs, and yield more income for farmers.
Watch these clips to see Joel Salatin, a Virginia farmer, explaining how his model is more efficient & produces better quality food: