Food: “A Place At the Table”

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From the website:

49 million people in the U.S.—one in four children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from, despite our having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.

Their stories are interwoven with insights from experts including sociologist Janet Poppendieck, author Raj Patel and nutrition policy leader Marion Nestle; ordinary citizens like Pastor Bob Wilson and teachers Leslie Nichols and Odessa Cherry; and activists such as Witness to Hunger’s Mariana Chilton, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Oscar®-winning actor Jeff Bridges…

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Anybody know enough about this film to offer an opionion?






19 replies
  1. 1
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.

    It’s a multi-faceted problem that goes beyond caloric intake. Even those children who don’t miss a meal, are making choices based upon what processed food has to offer;

    Fat
    Sugar
    Salt

    Our diet is abominable, and the resulting dynamics of overall health need to be addressed in a more substantive manner. Michelle has taken steps to that end, but more needs to be done on a National level. Education and legislation to offset Monsanto and ADM’s dominance and disregard for anything except profitology, should be as adamant as the rhetoric around firearms legislation.

  2. 2
    NobodySpecial says:

    opionion

    What you did there, I see it.

  3. 3
    El Caganer says:

    I’m not familiar with the movie, but I’m familiar with some of the people in it – Marion Nestle and Mariana Chilton are the real deal, and probably everybody’s seen Jeff Bridges on the Share Our Strength commercials. It certainly has the potential to be a very strong film.

  4. 4
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I don’t know anything about the film, but I’m always happy to offer an opinion about food, and many other things.

    It is true that the American diet is atrocious, and what really surprises me is how it’s a point of pride – even identity – to eat crap here. Those wingnuts aren’t joking about broccoli paranoia, even the one who sits on the Supreme Court.

  5. 5
    TS says:

    Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids

    Hope the WSJ sees this one – guess not every single mother earns $260,000 per year (incl $35,000 investment income)

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Part of the problem, I think, is that in America “healthy eating” has often been associated with crackpots like John Harvey Kellogg and Sylvester Graham, who made vegetarianism and other healthy ways of eating into literal religious crusades.

    Add into that the fact that brand name snack foods or a trip to McDonalds are probably the cheapest indulgences you can get when you’ve only got a couple of bucks left from your paycheck at the end of the week, and you have some seriously messed-up eating habits.

  7. 7
    redshirt says:

    I’m giving up garlic. I can’t stand my own smell anymore with garlic.

  8. 8
    weaselone says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Depends. There’s a double standard when it comes to food. If you’re getting food aid and eat the same junk everyone else does it’s not OK. Apparently once you government help you must eat solely fresh vegetables, fruit and lean protein. Of course, people on food stamps who actually do purchase vegetables and good meat lead to whining about how the poor can afford to eat better than the rest of us.

  9. 9
    magurakurin says:

    @weaselone:

    Cognitive dissonance is useful that way. It has the wonderful benefit of never having to be wrong. I can’t think of a more horrible fate than having to spend a day in an actual wingnut mind. The multiple conflicting lines of thought must be like an LA freeway junction.

  10. 10
    General Stuck says:

    Sometimes I sits and thinks what better economic system a country as large as ours could have, other than capitalism. And always come up blank when all factors are considered, and for this particular country. But that doesn’t mean that capitalism, even with its good things, and there are some, isn’t killing us dead as the Romans. It is a slow death, albeit with a decent GDP compared to other countries, but money and the rush for it usually means the lowest overhead for any particular product. And with food, that means a lot of empty calories creating empty minds in an ever expanding concentric circle of instant gratification. And a slow starvation in the richest country the world has ever known. And that doesn’t even count those that can’t afford to be poisoned like the rest of us.

  11. 11
    the Conster says:

    There’s an agricultural/pharmaceutical/medical/insurance complex in this country that’s determined, and enabled, to make us tired, fat and sick, and then die poor. You have to learn about nutrition, which is a first world problem.

    We’ve spent $4 trillion on our excellent Iraq adventure, and no one can explain to me, like I’m five years old, one thing I got for that money. $4 trillion buys a lot of food, education and health care, but sugar, salts and fat are cheap.

  12. 12
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @magurakurin: The multiple conflicting lines of thought must be like an LA freeway junction.

    Yes! With Utah drivers.

  13. 13
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @redshirt: but not even Avon Skin So Soft repels vampires as effectively.

  14. 14
    Cacti says:

    @weaselone:

    Depends. There’s a double standard when it comes to food. If you’re getting food aid and eat the same junk everyone else does it’s not OK. Apparently once you government help you must eat solely fresh vegetables, fruit and lean protein. Of course, people on food stamps who actually do purchase vegetables and good meat lead to whining about how the poor can afford to eat better than the rest of us.

    This.

    If the poor eat healthy, they have it too good, if the poor eat junk, they have it too good. If the poor have a TV, they have it too good. If they have electricity and running water, they have it too good. They should just starve, sit in the dark, and stare at the walls damn it.

  15. 15
    redshirt says:

    @Rosie Outlook: True, but I’d say you’re eating too much garlic when you stink yourself out by your own smell.

  16. 16
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @redshirt: I used to live in a neighborhood with a lot of Koreans. The smell of garlic comes out of their pores, I shit you not. I had a hard time standing next to them on the train. And I like garlic.

  17. 17
    henrythefifth says:

    I hate the term “food insecurity.” Talk about a sanitized euphemism.

    It’s called hunger. That’s all.

  18. 18
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @General Stuck:

    Sometimes I sits and thinks what better economic system a country as large as ours could have, other than capitalism.

    This isn’t the same as wingnut secessionism, but perhaps the “country as large as ours” thing is the problem. It’s far too easy as a federal nation to carve out Corn State and Wheat State and Soy State and Cow State and Pig State and so on, and that’s almost a kind of planned economy. And since the constitution gives disproportionate power to rural areas and large, thinly-populated states, you basically have Monsanto and ConAgra and Cargill legislating it.

    Were the current US divided into a dozen nation-states, you’d probably have a less fucked-up food economy.

  19. 19
    Citizen_X says:

    @henrythefifth:

    It’s called hunger. That’s all.

    Thanks. I have the same reaction to that phrase.

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