The Skinny on Oscar-Nominated Documentaries 'Food Inc.' and 'The Cove'
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TL: One of the lighter scenes in the film is where the Wal-Mart reps go out to this small organic dairy farm that is selling its milk to Stonyfield Farms.
RK: Oh yes, this happened right at the end of the film, and we were trying to get Wal-Mart in, and all of a sudden they said yes, we'd like to come. Whoever was willing to appear in the film, I wanted to present them in the best possible light. It is very easy to say a lot of negative things about Wal-Mart, and we wouldn't be the first to do it, but I also thought that I wanted to use that section of the film to show that consumers have power and that we are not out to make a film about how terrible every corporation is, because I do think there is a role in corporations helping to change the system, and we have to talk about that.
TL: What's so funny is when the farmer meets the Wal-Mart reps ...
RK: Yeah, she says, "I've never been in your stores -- we boycott you -- and I've been doing it for so long, I can't even remember why." She was great.
TL: It makes you realize how complex the food system is, when small organic farmers are also dependent on Wal-Mart to sell what they are producing. What do you think people should be doing -- shopping locally and organically is good -- but what else?
RK: I think the big thing is that we're not going to be perfect, so if you can change one meal a day, you're going to have a huge impact. Go to takepart.com -- that lists things we can be doing and organizations to get involved with to help make change.
We say, we vote three times a day -- breakfast, lunch and dinner -- but we also vote with our vote. When it comes to our meals, there is local, which I think is the best, it affects things on so many levels. There is organic -- I was in fields where people had to wear spacesuits, and I don't think we should be eating food when people need spacesuits to grow it. When you go to the supermarket, start to read labels. All those funny words are corn and soy, and they are going to not be good for you. And know you have power -- talk to people, ask for things you want. But don't feel bad if you're not perfect.
People think if they can't do it all the time they don't have to do anything. Change one meal. But then we have to stop subsidizing food that is making us sick, we have to change the national school-lunch program. If we supported local farms and got that to the school systems and spent a dollar there, we'd save a a fortune in medicine and train kids to eat right, and we'd have better communities.
We have to vote with our votes and our forks. I am really optimistic that it's going to change. I feel a sense of real growth -- it might not be quick, but it is going to change, there is a real growing movement. The question is when. This is an unsustainable system, it can't go on.
'The Cove:' Japan Has a Dark Secret It Hopes the World Will Never See
Posted onAug 6, 2009
Ric O'Barry almost looks crazy. He is driving a car, with a mask over his mouth, crouching low in his seat, hoping not to be recognized.