This blog is a celebration of the wonderful world of vegan cooking. Enjoy!

* The title of this blog refutes the dangerous idea that veganism is a weight-loss diet and that all vegans are skinny. Conversely, being a-not-so-skinny-vegan is also not the same as being overweight or unhealthy. All food intake must be part of a balanced lifestyle.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Food Inc

When Geoff and I first starting going out we used to have Date Night every Saturday. Date Night usually consisted of dinner and a movie.

Since we started living together Date Night turned into takeaway in front of the television watching a DVD (most recently it's been The Wire and then Planet Earth). But last night Geoff was determined to rekindle our more exciting routine so we went out for dinner and a movie.

We couldn't get a table at A Night in India or at the Himalyan Cafe so we opted for the Indian restaurant near the Palace Centro. It's called Sitar and the food was quite good, prices average and the service was pleasant but very unprofessional.

We had decided to go to a 9.10 movie so had to scoff our food down and I ran to buy the tickets as Geoff paid the bill. And just as we were walking into the doors of the cinema they closed in front of us signalling that the movie had started. We forced our way in as the opening credits started.

The movie we saw was Food Inc. It's been around for quite a while in the US but has only recently hit our cinemas. With the help of Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore's Dilemma) the documentary looked at the origins of the food most Americans eat. And it wasn't just one of these movies that scares the average omnivore into not eating meat for a couple of weeks until they forget about the raw impact of the movie when they get hungry and crave a Quarter Pounder. This documentary shed some light onto the power of consumers to shape the products supermarkets stock, the problems with a few multinational companies holding all the power over what we consume, the veil between product and origin, and the problems with genetically modified food (particularly the soybean).

I always preach that meat eaters are so distanced from the animal because of the way a piece of meat is presented in a supermarket that it's easy for them to buy and eat without thinking about the consequences. I still hold this belief but this film made me think about my choices too. I can say I don't contribute to the slaughtering of animals and the moral, environmental and social consequences that go with it but what can I say about the vegetables, grain and soy proteins I buy?

It's a really well made film and makes its point very well by letting people in the industry, particularly farmers, voice their opinions.

My dear friend Laura was talking about goals this week on her blog. I have a few short term goals (make the perfect vegan caramel popcorn; finish my thesis soon!) and now some new long term goals: don't buy genetically modified foods, buy local, shop at farmers' markets and try to buy organic.

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