Food Inc. PotluckPosted: April 17, 2010
This past Thursday, we had our potluck viewing of Food Inc., a part of PBS’ national broadcast premiere of the film on POV. Sort of by accident we ended up trying to work with a Mexican theme, which had the advantage of allowing a lot of delicious recipes that involved lots of fresh, simple ingredients. However, we soon realized that it would somewhat ironically mean that we would be eating an awful lot of corn. For those who have not yet seen the film (because they are waiting for next Wednesday, of course), the is a significant focus on the role that massive numbers of corn- and soy-derived products contribute to the industrial food system. Of course, we were eating corn meal and actual, straight-up corn on the cob, not HFCS and maltodexrin, but anyway.
Tina and I pressed out a big batch of fresh tortillas (with a bag of masa harina we found on sale at the local supermarket) and oven roasted corn on the cob to serve with lime, shredded cheese, a little sour cream, and cayenne. Our corn offerings were supplemented with a thick and rich black bean soup; an avocado, apple, and citrus salad with cilantro; brown rice; homemade guacamole and homemade salsa fresca.
I wish I could claim I did a good job of documenting the meal with photos, but I guess we were pretty much focused on the food and company.
For dessert, we were treated to tres leches cupcakes with freshly whipped cream.
Having wisely followed POV’s advice to eat before we watched the movie and not during, we settled in to an hour and a half of shocking, and often grizzly reminders of the myriad ways in which our current industrial food system is undermining our health (in terms of nutrition and obesity, as well as food-borne illness), the viability of the global food supply, and the economics of traditional farming, all while hiding behind a veneer of slick marketing designed to produce visions of health and abundance.
For those of you who have already read Pollan and Schlosser and Bittman, and who already spend a lot of time thinking about the politics of food, Food Inc. is going to serve more as a call for vigilance rather than providing you with a lot of information you don’t know. But for our readers who have just started to edge away from prepared and processed foods, whether for health or financial reasons, or just for the love of cooking, I think that Food Inc. will provide a really engaging and powerful primer on the very real and dire consequences of the global food system in which the vast majority of us participate.
Regardless of which of these categories you fall into, this is a great excuse (as if you need one) to invite your friends and family over to share some great food. As of this writing, you’ve still got four days left to plan your potluck – plenty of time.