Last Saturday night Matt and I headed out for our first "date night" in a while - mostly with the intention of seeing Food, Inc. and relaxing after a long day of work. We ended up having quite the local experience from dinner to the theater seats we sat in. These are some reflections:
Image from Food, Inc. movie website.
There's no shortage of print media about the perils of factory farming and Big Agriculture these days. There is, however, a drastic shortage of video - we don't see much about issues of Agriculture on the news or on the big screen. Food, Inc. is the movie equivalent of all those books (well, more specifically, the movie equivalent of The Omnivore's Dilemma). Basically, I learned a few new things from this movie - i.e. more details about the way seed patents influence farming techniques - but most of the info is contained in the most popular written works on this subject. However, I would still recommend going to see this movie, because the images that are presented along with the well-known information are really powerful. I also applaud the makers of this movie for bringing faces and images to the population of people that are just never going to read a full book about the importance of eating seasonally and locally. It's sad that we live in an age where many people don't take the time to read a well-written article, but we do, and it takes people like the producers of Food, Inc. to get important messages out to the public.
At the same time, don't expect Food, Inc. to be an objective view of the state of agriculture in America today. The intent of the movie is clear from the start, and the voice of BigAg is basically non-existent in the movie. However, the facts presented are well researched and sourced, and make logical sense - so don't write the whole thing off as just propaganda!
Basically, is Food, Inc. worth your time to go see when it comes to your area? Absolutely. It'll make you value your local farmers' market so much more! Go check it out. But as with everything, take your thinking cap and do your own follow-up research if you haven't already.
Image from The Inlander.
Another part of our local evening was the venue. The Magic Lantern is one of the few (if not the only) theaters that show independent movies in Spokane. Unfortunately for us Spokanites, it had been closed for quite a while. BUT, it was reopened recently, and we got to experience the awesomeness that is a small, independently-run theater in the heart of downtown. And, to top it off, all tickets are only $5 - so cheap for a movie these days! If you're in Spokane and looking for a movie to see, be sure to check out The Magic Lantern (and you can read more about the reopening from The Inlander, here).
The final part of our evening was dinner at Sante's restaurant in downtown Spokane. I have no pictures of our food, but trust me when I say - delicious! It's a little pricey for Spokane - the meal with a drink for each of us, an entree for each of us, and dessert came to about $75 - but I think it's a great *really* special occasion restaurant. My two favorite parts of dining there? A complete vegetarian menu (diners are presented with both a vegetarian menu and a "regular" menu upon seating), and an amuse-bouche! I'd never received an amuse-bouche at a restaurant before - even though I've heard about them tons on shows like Top Chef - so it was pretty awesome to finally go to a classy place that serves them! Also, super fun fact that really fit with the evening - Sante's lists all of the farmers that they get their food from right on the menu.
So that was our date night in Spokane last Saturday. A good movie, a good venue, and delicious food. Can't ask for anything better!