Documentary: Food Chain$ (2014). There is more interest in food these days than ever. Regular readers of this blog know that I often speak of physical fitness being a strong, and necessary complement to, fiscal fitness. That is a significant reason why I have morphed this space into a personal finance and lifestyle blog. It isn’t enough to be fiscally fit at the time of, and into, retirement. Savvy individuals understand that living and enjoying life to its fullest requires the wholesale (fiscal, physical, mental, and spiritual) adoption of certain philosophies and practices. Feeding your body the right foods is an essential part of total well-being. But how does that good food, particularly fruits and vegetables, make its way to our tables?
Unfortunately, there is very little interest in the hands that pick it. Farm workers, the foundation of our fresh food industry, are routinely abused and robbed of wages. In extreme cases they can be beaten, sexually harassed or even enslaved – all within the borders of the United States.
Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. Fast food is big, but supermarkets are bigger – earning $4 trillion globally. They have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past three decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farm workers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. Yet many take no responsibility for this.
The narrative of the film focuses on a fearless and highly lauded group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida – the Coalition of Immokalee Workers or CIW – who are revolutionizing farm labor. Their story is one of hope and promise for the triumph of morality over corporate greed – to ensure a dignified life for farm workers and a more humane, transparent food chain.
Food Chains premiered at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival and screened subsequently at the Tribeca Film Festival and Guadalajara Film Festival. It is available for streaming at Netflix.
Read, and find out, more at the film’s website.