After director Jeff Spitz’s son fell ill from antibiotic-resistant campylobacteriosis — a severe strain of food poisoning that the family claims their son contracted after eating chicken on salad at a restaurant — the family embarked on a journey to encourage people to make a 10-percent change toward more locally sourced, organic, antibiotic-free diets. Over the course of a year, Spitz documented his family’s struggles as they raised backyard chickens and started a garden. The self-proclaimed food patriots learned about food programs and farming as they worked to change the viewpoints of large food companies and Congress in an attempt to influence food policy.
Food Patriots features Chicago-area gardeners, small farmers and large farmers, some who use GMO seeds. Many voices communicate how food is grown, manufactured and provided to consumers while answering the question, “What is a food patriot?” It is enjoyable to watch because the family is simply sharing their experience without attacking food companies, farming practices or the government, though the constant delivery of food patriot messaging is overkill. However, the overall tone of the documentary is pleasant and interesting, and viewers “meet” a variety of people who are excited about nutritious eating.
As RDNs, we should be aware of the agriculture, gardens and community food programs near our homes. This film may help RDNs become the resource clients turn to when curious about the origins of their food.
Watch the trailer for Food Patriots: