On Tuesday April 5, the film “In Search of Balance,” was screened in the MUB. Slow Food UNH, a student organization that, according to its website, “seeks to preserve and revitalize food culture on campus,” sponsored the event. The film was centered on how the food industry has become too streamlined and disconnected from nature, and as a result its products are starting to affect consumers’ health.
“It’s bringing back the tradition of being in the kitchen and being comfortable with the food and being able to prepare it,” said Katie Gallogly of Slow Food. “If you are going out and you’re eating, just being mindful of where they’ve gotten their food.”
Slow Food presented “In Search of Balance” to introduce the audience to the idea of eating organic, while also getting people to discuss the issue. The film follows family physician Daphne Miller as she explores the various ways farms are managed around the globe and how their food affects the consumers. Throughout the course of the film, Miller visits several organic farms and one corporately funded family farm. The film contrasts how much the organic farmers know regarding what’s in their soil as compared to how little the corporate farmers know about the chemicals in their soil.
The first act is about the problems of modern medicine. The film does little to acknowledge modern medicine’s achievements in health care and instead focuses on the side effects of prescription drugs. One of the film’s main arguments is that the consumption of pills is too simple a solution in the face of such complicated human biology. The alternative solution presented is that eating organically will cure most ailments. The film briefly profiles one man’s experience with negative side effects of his diabetes medicine, and how eating food from his own garden eventually cured his symptoms.
According to the film, many of the diseases and ailments we have as a culture are due to the food we are being served. Diabetes and heart disease are highlighted issues, as Miller explores the obesity epidemic in Hawaii. Miller even travels to Italy where a small organic farming area celebrated its group of 100-year-old citizens.
“We need wholesome foods in order to be healthy, there are alternatives to the farming methods, you can use a lot of different resources and be able to get more nutrients and make your food even more nutritionally beneficial,” said Gallogly.
Slow Food’s ethos isn’t about veganism necessarily, rather it is about understanding how the food system works and how it affects local economies and health.
“Meat is fine, meat is great. But the message is don’t get your meat in a Whopper, get your meat from a pig…talk to the farmer who raised that pig and [know] that pig was raised fairly,” said Jackie Pondolfino of Slow Food.
While the film was showing, Slow Food served popcorn and organic apple juice.