If you’re interested in food and you’ve been paying attention the last few years, you probably won’t see much in Food Inc. that will surprise you. I didn’t when I saw it yesterday. Still, I came away impressed, as Food Inc. ladles out the bad food news—the illnesses, the abuses, the power—making it more powerful than the usual drip, drip, drip of bad food news.
We’ll see whether this movie makes the slop bucket finally overflow and provokes widespread public outrage. In the meantime, though, we have choices that can make a difference to curb these powerful sources. To that end, I’d like to make a challenge and offer a modest prize.
Food for change challenge
To make things simple the challenge asks only if you can go a week, let’s say Aug. 3-Aug. 9, without consuming from two food categories:
- Supermarket meat, poultry, dairy, eggs or fish. By “supermarket” I mean the ordinary stuff you’ll find that makes no claims to be local or pasture-raised or wild-caught. Organic (even if industrial organic) is OK. If it says “no additives,” that doesn’t mean anything and doesn’t count. This will be easy if you’re a vegan or if you’re in the habit of eating this way anyway.
- High-fructose corn syrup. This will be really tough if you use prepared foods of any kind. It seems to be in everything.
How to win
You can either:
- Post a comment on Foodperson.com at the end of the week (I’ll put up a reminder), or
- Write a post on your own blog and send me the link via the comment form. I’ll list all the posts together on Foodperson.com so that everybody can go read them.
Whichever way you “report,” tell your story: What you learned, what was easy, what was hard, what tips you have for others who want to try this. The person writing the most compelling (how’s that for subjective?) story wins.
I’ll send the winner this fine Local Burger shirt, graciously donated by Hilary Brown, the Local Burger owner. (Disclosure: Hilary just hired me for a small writing project.)
It’s a real shirt, not your average T-shirt. It’s a women’s size large, although I’d probably call it medium, and, true to the Local Burger ethic, it’s made from organic cotton.
I think this challenge will be easy for me, but we’ll see. I’ll post a reminder this coming weekend that Monday, August 3, is the start. Will you join me? For you Lawrence residents, it will be a nice warm-up to the Community Mercantile’s Eat Local Challenge Aug. 16-29. (That’s the back of the shirt at the bottom, left.)