I Lost My Appetite Watching Our Daily Bread

Here’s how I know the food revolution is going mainstream: I chanced upon an exposé foreign indie film at Blockbuster on the weekend, which isn’t where I typically go for that kind of thing.

Our Daily Bread is the Manufactured Landscapes of the commercialized food production industry. In its disturbing and enlightening travels from lettuce to chickens to peppers to salmon and beyond, the film moves from large expanse to large expanse detailing the vast reality of how our grocery store food is manufactured. And I do mean manufactured.

On the livestock issue, I was expecting some shock and horror tactics — anyone who’s gone vegetarian after some nasty film footage knows it can work — but the film didn’t sensationalize the reality and in so doing, made the reality all the more stark. What’s done with absolute mundane, unemotional repetition is all the more horrific.

Just as bad, though perhaps less obvious, is the wholesale spraying of toxic chemical vapour on factory farmed vegetables, and the massive greenhouses that protect the plants from bugs, fungus…and sunlight.

None of the trailers I watched after the fact did the film justice. Maybe it’s just too hard to capture the full impact, the magnitude in a 2 minute clip. Food is a living organism and somehow the nature of commercial food manufacture reduces it to much less than that. It’s a little depressing.

I do have the perfect antidote, though. When you’re done watching Our Daily Bread, check out Tableland.

If you do want to see a clip, I’ll just warn you, Babe the Movie, this is not…

Trailer for Manufactured Landscapes, viewer discretion advised.