Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is it 'Fresh'?

Documentary film explores food system


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Aquaculture watercress plants are featured in the documentary “Fresh,” which encourages communities to grow and plant gardens. Photo by

Documentary filmmaker Ana Sophia Joanes said changing light bulbs and recycling were not enough for her in the battle against climate change.

"I was reading about the crisis and felt there was nothing I could do about it," Joanes said. "I felt my actions were so small and could not effect change."

Joanes decided she could not be a passive observer of the world and set out to make a film to inspire people to change. The result is her film "Fresh," which will screen at the Wood River YMCA on Thursday, April 22, at 6 p.m. for Earth Day. The film is sponsored by Idaho's Bounty. Tickets are $5 at the door. In addition, the YMCA will have kids' activities.

"Food is so central to our life," she said. "'Fresh' is an inspiring message to show how a community can become empowered."

"Fresh" celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing the nation's food system. Food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources and morbid obesity are consequences of the nation's industrial food system. Forging healthier and sustainable alternatives, the main characters in "Fresh" offer a practical vision for a future of food and the planet.

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The film features urban farmer and activist Will Allen, a 2008 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" grant, sustainable farmer and entrepreneur Joel Salatin, made famous by "The Omnivore's Dilemma," the best-selling book by Michael Pollan, who is also featured in the movie, and Kansas City supermarket owner David Ball, who challenges the Wal-Mart-dominated economy every day by stocking his stores with products from local suppliers.

"Fresh" recently opened in New York City and the film is capturing the attention of organizations around the country by offering a licensing agreement on the film's Web site, which has given many an opportunity to see it.

"The main strategy of the film is to have people see it," Joanes said. "The film can be used as a tool and a platform for change."

For details, visit freshthemovie.com.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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