You’ve probably heard that our food is becoming more industrialized. Maybe discussion about how the farmer is going away or images likening the farming industry to more of an assembly line, similar to a car factory, have come across your news feed. While it seems logical, nothing has solidified this concept more than a six-minute clip from an interesting film called Samsara.
The 2011 film is a non-narrative documentary directed by Ron Fricke. It’s not a food documentary, it has no dialogue, and even though some images are disturbing, it’s actually quite beautiful. The film explores many wonders of the world. It spans the globe looking at all aspects of the human experience. As it takes a tour of the food industry, eyes are opened.
The film clip captures how chickens are scooped up by a machine, sent down a chute, placed in drawers, and then sent down a conveyor belt to be pieced up for food. Cows are caged in beautiful symmetry as they are milked inside a factory-like building. Piglets nurse from their mothers who are caged in a patterned warehouse-like center, and then a line of pigs are rhythmically disemboweled as they make their way to processing. All the images are almost robotic, there’s no barns, no dirt, not a farmer in sight. It feels like you’re watching hypnotized drones as the food is being made ready for our tables.
Flash forward and the film shows shoppers scavenging for food in a big box store. Again, like robots, the shoppers grab packages of meat and fruit or boxes of processed food. There’s no connection to the earth, just industry.
Finally, the food that goes in our mouth. The filmmaker took on a scene at a fast food restaurant. The feel was the same as the rendering plants. No consideration to what was taking place, just programmed beings designed to repeat the same motion over and over. Food to mouth, food to mouth, no thought or consideration to how the food got there or even what it is, just repetitive motions.
It’s an entrancing clip. It’s a little disturbing, but hopefully motivating. I left it saying, “I want to know where my food comes from.” “I want to grow more of my own food.” “I want to go to farmer’s markets, or the farm itself.” “I want to cook more.”
More than anything, I want to ask more questions and avoid becoming a member of the drone society. I want my food to be raised, not pieced together in an assembly line.
Written by Lacy J. Hansen for DietsInReview.com