Thanks to the wonderful folks at the ReDirect Guide, I had the grand opportunity to attend Friday’s Portland premiere of food documentary, INGREDIENTS. The film, which primarily focuses on small farms in the Oregon area, features insight into the local, or ‘locavore’, food movement. Written and directed by Robert Bates, whose previous works include In the Kitchen with Charlie Trotter and True Love & Mimosa Tea, the documentary takes a look at farmers who are helping to develop local, sustainable farms in an effort to combat the growing number of genetically-modified food stuffs as well as the decline of local food producers.
Sustainable food advocate and chef Alice Waters also makes an appearance in the documentary, giving a bit of background to her love of local food products. Just as it was discussed at Vegas Uncork’d Farm to Table, many restaurateurs are now looking to ‘foragers’ – dedicated members of their staff who seek out and develop relationships with local farmers and producers. Waters explains that it’s been difficult to turn the tide away from mass produced ingredients.
“You’re told that food should be cheap…We’ve been educated by a fast food nation.”
Local farmers, chefs, and restaurateurs are also included in the film. Chef Greg Higgins, of Higgins Restaurant, discusses how beneficial it is for him to be both a farmer and a chef, developing a long-term relationship with his ingredients. Chef Cathy Whims of Nostrana, the Boutards of Ayers Creek Farm, Laura Masterson of 47th Ave. Farm, and John Neumeister of Cattail Creek Lamb all note the benefits of both growing and eating locally.
While the film includes some notable disturbing facts – the percentage of farmers in the U.S. has dropped so drastically that farming is no longer considered an individual occupation on the U.S. Census, instead lumped in the ‘Other category; this generation of children will be the first to have a life span shorter than their parents – it’s very encouraging to see so many putting the focus back on locally grown foodstuffs. If the audience cheers are any indication, I’m not the only one excited about the growing locavore movement.
For information on where INGREDIENTS is being shown near you, check out the film’s website.