Food and nutrition

THRIVE movie review : What happens before the supermarkets?

Who controls the food supply controls the people;

Who controls energy can control whole continents;

Who controls money can control the world.

Henry Kissinger.

I woke up early this morning to be greeted by an email in German, from a dear German friend of mine. Upon translating it (cheers to Google), I was brought to a rather thought provoking video entitled Thrive, by the Thrive movement. The documentary narrated by Foster Gamble, a direct descendant of the Procter Gamble Company, where he explores the work he has dedicated his life to doing. Here is a synopsis of the movie I extracted from the official website:

“THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s REALLY going on in our world by following the money upstream — uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future.”

Being the foodie that I am, I picked up on a small section of the documentary describing Foster’s take on the Green Project and its promise to end hunger. Without going into too much detail, the video claims that the Green project sparked large scale agriculture practices in America controlled by giant Agro businesses. This type of agriculture is heavily dependent on petrol and its products because of the mechanical farming needs and through the use of petrol based fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. I paused the video at this point because a BIG yet very relevant question surfaced in my mind : How many of us know and care about what goes on at the source of our food chain?

And why should you care?

Feeding people is big business and as we all know extremely important. Working as a product developer in the food manufacturing industry, I experience first-hand the drivers of creating a food product in the UK, namely in descending order of importance :

1) meeting the customer demands

2) keeping it profitable

3) delivering quality

As you can see, to even survive in today’s tough business environment, the top priority for any smart business is to meet the customer demands, then the question is, if the food industry is driven by the consumers (ie. general public), but the consumers themselves have handed over the baton to the ‘experts in the food industry’ to create better food products to serve them, who ultimately is responsible for what we eat? You guessed it right, it is but ourselves.

I am not denying a certain level of responsibility of the food manufacturers to deliver good honest food to the masses ( we will save this discussion for another blog post), but I am trying to get across the fact that in order to eat better and healthier, we as individuals have to begin to take interest in what takes place in creating our food from farm to fork. We have to educate ourselves for the sake of our wellbeing. We have to take back some accountability that we have conveniently passed on to others in seek of convenience and shortcuts.

This is a big big subject and do look forward to more posts discussing it!

I leave you with this task, when you pick up any product off the supermarket shelf (fresh or processed), have a quick think about how far (metaphorically and literally) the process of farm to fork this product had to endure and what could be the complexities involved in the creation of it.

Please feel free to leave comments and thoughts so far!



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