THE BLOG
06/01/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Faces of Fresh : Sustainable Saints, or Loam-Loving Luddites?

Do you know the truth about just how bad the good food movement really is? The boosters of biotech want you to know that our global food crisis will only be worsened by the sustainable ag advocates who oppose technological breakthroughs whose safety and efficacy have yet to be tested.

You thought maybe it had something to do with poverty and politics? Those are just red herrings (an oily fish that is, by the way, oddly deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, but high in contaminants.)

No, it's us real food rabble rousers who are subjecting the poorer nations of the world to imminent starvation, because we refuse to embrace genetically modified crops, toxic pesticides, and petroleum-based fertilizers. We're also highly suspicious of those drought-tolerant, high yielding crops that thrive in the otherwise arid microclimate of Monsanto's boardrooms but have yet to flourish elsewhere.

We're not content to just gum things up globally, though. Here at home, we support the Dandelion Defense League (DDL), a grassroots anti-grass group that's lobbying to not only make it illegal for America's lawn lovers to douse their dandelions with Round-Up, but would in fact require all homeowners -- and renters, too! -- to harvest those bitter greens and eat them (a rider with recipes will be attached to the proposed bill.)

The suburban-based DDL is closely aligned with but not related to its urban counterpart, the Purslane Preservation Society (PPS), whose own pet cause is to pass legislation protecting this plump and plucky weed from being peed on, stepped on, or otherwise disrespected by canines, ferrets, or any other ambulatory animal, including pedestrians, who tread on those sidewalks through whose cracks purslane bravely rears its succulent little leaves.

Plants may, however, be harvested, provided that they are then donated to the soup kitchen or food pantry of your choice, where their zingy, citrus-y flavor can be used to add a piquant touch to soups and salads.

And then there are the militant anti-monocroppers, with their not-so-secret plot to loosen the Corn Belt's grip on the Beltway and redirect those ag subsidies for feed corn and GMO soy into some kind of affirmative action plan for a subversive minority that the USDA tellingly labels "specialty crops." You may know them as fruits and vegetables, but don't be fooled by their wholesome facade; they're just another special interest group looking for a handout.

Oh, and if we get our way, we're going to declare a Nanny State of Emergency, which will entail confiscating all cupcakes and putting a padlock on pantries that are overstocked with over processed foods. And now that Meatless Monday's gone mainstream, brace yourself for Tofu Tuesday, which aims to make those much-maligned slabs of soy mandatory in every public school cafeteria across the country.

But why stop at just two days of the week? Why not eight days a week? We're a bunch of modern day Benedict Arnolds, conspiring with the Brits -- well, okay, maybe it's just one Brit, but what an arsenal of pr weapons he's got! -- to launch a coup in our school cafeterias, proclaiming an end to the Reign of Beige and installing a rainbow coalition of aggressively colored produce on our children's plates.

And in keeping with Michelle Obama's plea to provide kids with greater physical activity, we want to make sure our kids are getting a workout, too -- by weighing their backpacks down with Michael Pollan's entire oeuvre. Every aggy, eggheaded essay the man has ever written, as well as his lesser known but equally eloquent treatises on gardening and carpentry, will be required reading, barring an armed uprising from the Texas Board of Education.

When it comes to farmers, Pollan is enemy number one. Just look what he's done to poor Joel Salatin, the self-proclaimed "Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist farmer" whose Polyface Farms became the poster child for sustainable farming in America after Pollan and the producers of Food, Inc. made him a star.

Now he's been plucked off his farm and found himself obliged to come to a big city he openly dislikes to lecture folks on how to feed the world sustainably. Presumably he'd rather be back home tending to his flocks, herds, and family, as he does so joyfully in Ana Joane's documentary Fresh.

Joanes, like Jamie Oliver, is a European; specifically, she hails from Switzerland. But she just couldn't remain neutral about the way we eat in America when she moved here as a student. With Fresh, Joanes gives real food rockstars like Pollan, Salatin, and the mighty Will Allen of Growing Power fame a platform from which to share their radical theories about how we grow, and consume, our food. It's coming to a theatre near you soon -- don't say I didn't warn you.