Last weekend my husband, aka Mr. Local, and I saw King Corn, inspired by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. One copy was sitting on the ‘just released’ shelves at Blockbuster, and I snatched it up.
I had missed the chance to see it earlier this year when The California Endowment, a nonprofit whose mission includes promoting improvements in the health status of all Californians, featured it in one of its evenings on food policy.
While a picture is a thousand words, a moving picture ups the ante exponentially.
The film was not only informative about the role of corn in our lives, but just a darn good flick. It’s a sweet story of two friends returning to the shared Mid-Western roots of their great-grandfathers’ generation, roots they didn’t know they had in common when they met in college in Boston.
What’s more, they spurred Mr. Local to action. He’s been willing to follow my lead with our incremental steps To Live Local. What’s not to like if Mrs. Local is saving money with fewer rolls of paper towels and pesto made from the basil in her container garden? But this movie opened up his eyes without me having to harangue him at the kitchen counter, something that doesn’t work much anyway.
So when he came back from a trip to the market, he rushed in with a find that he was bursting to share, much like a little boy bringing home some bugs to show Mom.
Look at this he said and thrust a bottle of Bull’s-Eye Barbecue Sauce in my face. No high fructose corn syrup written right on the label. The man was proud.
He had walked the condiment aisle checking labels. This brand was the only one he could find without Demon Corn in it. I went online to check out the Kraft Foods website. I was surprised, though not really, to find that they didn’t brag about being healthier but just offered up an advertise-y new product kind of pitch instead. Had I actually expected them to fess up to polluting our bodies?
Later this week he stormed into my office once again, this time brandishing a bottle of cranberry juice from Costco. Look, no corn syrup. We’re back to cane sugar, he proclaimed. The man was on a roll.
Then came today’s news flash from the front page of the LA Times on the growing consumer demand for products without high fructose corn syrup. Vote with your wallet, folks. It’s the only effective protest that Big Corporate will respond to.
So now that I found the documentary aisle, small though it may be, I’m eager to hunt down more. And it seems I’m not alone. Michelle over at Green Bean Dreams has solicited comments about Sustainable Cinema and will be posting a list soon.
Hopefully in time for next weekend’s Movie-Sans-Microwavable-Popcorn-Night.