Mom, I Am Hungry!
“Mom, I am hungry”, these words had always been a very important part of my life. I have spent my childhood in a bungalow of sorts in Chamba, a small town of Himachal Pradesh. We had a big lawn with a peach tree and lots of space for kitchen gardening. I remember the gardener used to grow lots of tomatoes, mustard, spinach, sponge gourd, corn and radish in the garden. Every time, I called out, “Mom, I am hungry”, she used to pass on a tray of freshly picked peaches, a big red tomato with black salt and pepper or a coal roasted corncob. Nothing in the world could beat the taste of those fresh snacks because those were genuinely organic foods.
We entered the late eighties with a range of instant foods like two minute noodles, chips, corn puffs and soups. We stopped shouting, “Mom, I am hungry”, because life had became easier and self manageable. No one then realized that it was the beginning of our physical as well as emotional end.
What is GMO
I had heard a lot about the GMO, Monsanto controversy and how GM mustard has become a legal issue in India. For the uninitiated, GMO is Genetically Modified Organism which is created for better chances of survival. I do not have any authority to comment on how good or bad is the idea of GMO. One thing that is pretty evident from the online available material; it surely comes with a heavy price ‘human health’. I read about the controversy online how most of the GMO testing is done on animals. In the quest of protecting crops from pests, virus and insects, the seeds/organisms are genetically manipulated in the laboratories. It is a cause of immense damage to human beings as well as underground water. That explains the global outcry against GMO.
“Consumed”, Review of a film about GMO
It was nothing more than just a coincidence that I decided to watch the 2015 movie, ‘Consumed’ on Netflix recently. It is a film based on GMO controversy, made in documentary style.
‘Consumed’ earlier titled “Food” is an amazing learning experience for a lay man like me. It is a film that highlights GMO Monsanto controversy indirectly. That is why the Pro GMO Monsanto propagandists tried their best to bring this film down.
It is a 2015 American thriller directed by Daryl Wein, starring Anthony Edwards, Victor Garber, Danny Glover, Kunal Nayyar and (Oh! so handsome) Taylor Kinney. The acting is great, and the story-line, meaningful.
The story line
It is the story of a single mom struggling with her son’s unexplained rashes which look like that from some allergy. As she looks for answers she finds herself into the GMO controversy. Instead of backing out, the mother decides to fight out the answers.
The film gives a peep into the wrongdoings against the farmers, scientists and GMO research. It talks of corporate manipulation of food and their use of money power to control everything and everyone coming in their way.
There are interesting scenes which actually make you feel helpless thinking about your daily and so-called healthy food choices. The lady goes to a superstore to buy something healthy for her son who is on strong antibiotics but after checking labels, rushes out. Another great moment, which makes us rethink our foods is when she looks for food in her refrigerator and ends up dumping everything in garbage. That is the true story of every kitchen worldwide.
The film shakes you and wakes you up. It makes you question yourself. ‘Consumed’ beautifully expresses the helplessness of a mother. She realizes the power of concerned corporate house yet questions the labeling policy. The least that can be done is label the products so that the consumers can make aware choices regarding what they eat.
Rethink your food
By the end of the film I was doubting the health quotient of all those big potatoes, oversize fruits, the bags of popcorn and boxes of cereals. My doubts included the not so tasty green leafy vegetables, the extra long basmati rice, soya nuggets, coffee, dairy, poultry, meat anything and everything in my pantry list. Scary, isn’t it?
As I think of the times when I was lucky enough to have home grown organic vegetables. I get uncomfortable seeing the new generation enjoying the branded burgers, wafers, coffee, and those tubs of finger licking fried chicken.
What next? I imagine my grand kids calling out, “Mom, I am hungry….” I shudder at the thought, ‘what healthy snack can I offer them!’
If you wish to understand what GMO is all about, you need to watch this Netflix mainstream movie “Consumed”.