Archive for the ‘Slow Food Movement’ Category

Planeat: a documentary full of guilt and deliciousness

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

On a whim, my girlfriend and I went to see a Whole Foods-sponsored movie this weekend with the (unfortunate) name of Planeat. Planeat is a movie that takes a lot of things we’ve sort of heard and shows very smart people providing actual data to back these up. The arguments are these:

A) Animal product-based diets are significantly more damaging to the environment [1]
B) Plant-based diets are significantly better for our hearts [2]
C) Animal product-based diets help activate cancer [3]

While the science was fascinating and sobering, what was remarkable about this movie almost wasn’t this overwhelmingly convincing data. It was the food. Unlike your traditional eco- or agro-guilt movie, Planeat is full of delicious foods, cooked by professional vegan chefs. Instead of walking out of the theater feeling like you can never eat anything again, you’re hungry for delicious vegan food. Literally we walked out of the theater and headed to Cafe Gratitude, a delicious vegan cafe in Berkeley, to begin planning the seitan meal we were going to make that night.

So what’s the punchline? First of all, see this movie and take your friends. This doesn’t just affect the planet or your love handles, this affects whether you’ll die of intense heart disease at 40 or switch to a plant-based (or mainly plant-based) diet and live until 80 (which is the tremendous transformation one person made in the movie).

Second, whenever we’re trying to communicate these great, world-changing concepts to those in doubt, we should keep in mind: these heavy messages go down a lot better with a spoonful of delicious vegan soup.

Planeat is still screening across the country.

-Evan Hamilton
Reed’s son and web guy

[1] It takes something like 13 pounds of grain to get 1 pound of meat.

[2] Heart disease patients put on a plant-based diets saw incredible improvements.

[3] Rats that had been exposed to cancer-causing agents saw major cancer growth when on animal-based diets and no cancer growth on plant-based diets.

The New York Times Talks Local Grain

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

delicious fresh baguettes with a light dusting of flourWell folks, it’s official – you’re ahead of the curve. The New York Times (!) is just getting around to talking about local grain now. You’ve beat the tastemakers at NYT (now you just need to listen to some Lady GaGa and you’ll be 100% on top of pop culture).

We’re fans of the article both for it’s love of the deliciousness of bread baked with local grain, but also their coverage of the mindset behind local food:

“Fred Kirschenmann, an organic farmer and a distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, told the Kneading Conference that industrial farming must eventually change. ‘It is not possible to maintain the current system,’ he said. The main problem, as he sees it, is the cost of energy, but others include the decreasing availability of water and a less stable climate.”

They also cover some of the issues that my dad has been writing about here and on his mailing list and how farmers are overcoming these in unique ways (like turning an old jail into a gristmill!).

Grab some of your favorite bread made with local grains, dig into this great article, and rest assured that you’re part of a great trend.


Image courtesy of Let Ideas Compete