Film review of ''What's On Your Plate?'' which will be shown at the Projecting Change 2011 festival on May 27th.
This thought provoking documentary is directed and produced by the award winning Catherine Gund. What's On Your Plate? examines the politics of the food industry from fast food restaurants, to farmer's markets and everything in between.
We follow the journey of two eleven year old kids, Sadie and Safiyah, as they explore New York City and talk to food activists, farmers, storekeepers, families, friends and even the viewers about what is on our plate for each meal. The two kids ask excellent questions of all whom they meet. How food gets from harvest to plate is a critical question. How food is prepared and who prepares it. How is food packaged and leftovers handled.
By looking at restaurants, school cafeterias and supermarkets they get one perspective on the answers to these and many other questions. The girls also look at farms, markets, community supported agricultural programs and innovative sustainable food systems in an effort to find their answers. Many of these alternative programs are very beneficial to struggling local farmers but are also providers of healthy food choices to low income city dwellers.
With the rise of childhood obesity and diabetes in America the relationship children have with their food is becoming ever more important. How kids feel about who controls the food production, distribution and quality, not to mention cost of food is another important question that the kids hope to provide some insight on. During the course of filming we will meet restaurant owners who cook with locally grown produce and meet a farmer who is hoping to sell his crop of carrots to the Department of Education school lunch program. The girls even cook a meal for their classmates using ingredients produced from local farmers.
The film hopes to educate and inspire kids and adults alike to make healthy choices regarding what goes into their bodies. By questioning food production and consumption practices, the filmmakers hope to raise the overall consciousness of food issues and promote a taste for local community agricultural practices.
For more information, please visit www.whatsonyourplateproject.org or www.projectingchange.ca/schedule/whats-on-your-plate.
Top Image Credit: © Jacek Chabraszewski