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Digest: Must-watch movie, Coke’s cafe, Back-to-the-Landers II

New York Times*: Our Daily Bread, a new documentary opening today, takes viewers inside the industrial food chain with no narration or text. Writes the reviewer: "[It] can be extremely difficult to watch, but the film’s formal elegance, moral underpinning and intellectually stimulating point of view also...

Fight the power: The Meatrix II 1/2 and “Fast Food Nation”

The fictional adaptation of Eric Schlosser's muckraking best-seller "Fast Food Nation" opens around the United States today. As I wrote last month, I caught the sneak preview and although I have a few beefs with it, I do think it's well worth seeing — especially if you can drag along a teenager, say, or an...

Digest: Future food-industry scientists, stealthy Pepsi, turkey hunting in Napa

New York Times*: The youth organization once known as Future Farmers of America is thriving, having dropped any reference to actual farming from its name. The membership has changed as well: more FFA members now come from towns & suburbs and want to be not farmers, but food-industry scientists, seed...

“Ripe for Change” screening and discussion in Berkeley

The debates raging in California over issues of food, agriculture, and sustainability have profound implications for all of America. The PBS documentary "Ripe for Change" explores the intersection of food and politics in California over the last 30 years and examines lots of tough questions, such as: What...

Penguin population plummets — sheepdogs to the rescue

Last Saturday, like I do on most Saturday's, I scanned the "Earthweek" feature that shares space with the San Francisco Chronicle's weather page. On the world map, my eye caught a graphic of a penguin placed on the southern coast of Australia. Intrigued, I read that wildlife officials have decided to employ...

“Fast Food Nation” the movie: This ain’t no happy meal

There was an advance screening of "Fast Food Nation" at UC Berkeley last week, followed by a freeform discussion with food detectives Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan. Because Pollan teaches journalism at Berkeley, I got to cover the post-screening chat for work, which to me is almost as great as getting...

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