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Free-range Porky’s, now playing at one Bay Area cinema

San Francisco may have more vegetarians and health-obsessed eaters per capita than any other U.S. city, but it also has a fair number of pork lovers — and to serve them, numerous restaurants cure their own meat, offer whole hog dinners, and so on. The city is also a haven for independent and repertory...

Paving over paradise: “The Garden” documents the demise of South Central Farm

By Elise McDonough For more than 10 years, a lush oasis flourished in South Central Los Angeles, surrounded by warehouses and industry. An incredibly beautiful place, the 14-acre community garden known as South Central Farm hosted towering trees, cacti, tropical fruits, and innumerable vegetables, herbs,...

Review: New documentary “Food Fight” is more of a lovefest

Ethicurean headquarters in Oakland, CA, should have been the home stadium for a preview screening of "Food Fight," the new documentary by Chris Taylor. After all, this "story of culinary revolt" covers the damage wrought by industrialization of the food system and features star players such as Michael...

As the dirt turns (a pair of agricultural hope operas)

I grew up surrounded by farms. Though my family lived in a neighborhood on the very outskirts of our northern Ohio city, my school bus drove out into the country to pick up some of my farm-raised classmates. And in the summer, I spent the county fair week not only taking pride in my townie 4-H projects but...

PBS’s Independent Lens is broadcasting (and celebrating) “King Corn” this week

The breakout indie documentary "King Corn" is on TV tonight and for the rest of the week on PBS's Independent Lens series. (Find your station and the schedule here.) We reviewed it last year when it came out, but if you never got around to seeing this lighthearted indictment of America's ubiquitous yellow...

“Good Morning America” — you’re being cornified!

Thanks to reader Henry for alerting us to the recent appearance of "King Corn" filmmakers Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney on "Good Morning America" with Diane Sawyer. The 5-minute segment was a good summary of the movie's major points, particularly corn's role in American obesity, and also...

Severine and “The Greenhorns”: Sowing the seeds of revolution

Have you ever encountered an idealistic young person with such presence that you thought, Whoa — this one might actually succeed in changing the world!? That's the way I felt, anyway, on meeting Severine von Tscharner Fleming a few years ago, back when I was working for UC Berkeley and she was a...

Digest – Commentary: Hog ownership, corn growers on defensive

Face up to your meat: "Very soon, a farmer and his son will come to the farm to kill our two pigs," writes Verlyn Klinkenborg. "If that sentence bothers you, you should probably stop reading now — and you should probably also stop eating pork." (New York Times) Lobbying is for...

“King Corn” preview and discussion in Berkeley draws crowd

Michael Pollan with "King Corn" stars Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney, and director Aaron Woolf, along with a corny hat that Pollan had in his backpack. As expected, Tuesday night's special event for "King Corn," featuring Michael Pollan and the three filmmakers, had a huge turnout, with...

Bay Area events: “King Corn” filmmakers to chat with Michael Pollan, audiences

Like the maize from which it takes its name, the documentary "King Corn" is conquering America. The film's message — that maybe, just maybe, the U.S. is growing too much subsidized cheap grain — obviously contains enough kernels of truth to discomfort some Big Ag folk. Its run was...

“King Corn” is really about zombies

    BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin has an entertaining interview for bbTV with the "King Corn" guys, shortly after their screening for Congress. Although they  look like they're getting used to wearing ties,  Ian Cheney's clearly starting to get bored with the "we eat too much...

Good cob, bad cob: “King Corn” isn’t against the grain

We feed ourselves very cheaply now. You see those tremendous fields of corn out there, corn as far as the eye can see? That's the age of plenty. —Earl Butz, former secretary of agriculture, in "King Corn" A terrific new documentary called "King Corn" is opening this Friday in New...

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