Where Does Our Food Really Come From? Food Inc. Knows

food-inc-sonoma-film-fest The Sonoma Film Festival starts today.  Of the many films that are slated for screening, there is one that I can't wait to see.  Food Inc. has been on my "must see" list ever since it was debuted at TIFF last year.  This documentary scratches the surface of one very important question that I often ask, "Where exactly does our food come from?"  One may think the answer to be rather simple.  After all... "Happy cows come from California," right?  Then, Coalinga happened... After spending an enjoyable weekend in Monterey, I was struck with one of the most disgusting experiences, of my life.  On the return trip from Monterey, I decided to take a different route than normal.  I knew that this scenic route would offer great views of the vineyards in a region that makes some pretty good pinot noir.  What I didn't foresee was a hideous "farm" in Coalinga.  On the sides of the freeway, in rural areas, there are often dairy farms.  I remember these, because I often use them to test my lung capacity to see just how long I can hold my breath, so I don't inhale the stench.  Well this "dairy farm" in Coalinga took the blue ribbon in nastiness. This "raunchy ranch" has around a thousand cows cooped up like sardines in tin.  I went to high school in a rural area, so I know what passing by a dairy farm should smell like.  Trust me when I say that judging from the stench emanating from that cow hell, they may as well have been dead for a week!  The stench and filth was so bad that there were large, visible clouds of what I could only assume was methane.  This cloud actually darkened the sun a little, on an otherwise clear day.  The cloudiness was an ominous complement to the rain-like sound I heard, as I drove through as quickly as I could.  But it wasn't rain.  You see, there was so much filth around this "farm" that the area was teeming with insects.  That rain-like sound was that of my car plowing through the swarm! So many insects were embedded on the windshield that my view ahead became compromised.   The stench was so prevalent, so strong, so foul, that after the incident I had to pull the car over, and open every door, just to air it out.  It took about fifteen minutes to regain olfactory balance, afterward. On the rest of the drive back, I couldn't get it out of my mind, "Is that where our food really comes from?"  Someone, somewhere will be ingesting the by-product of what I had just experienced.  How much of my food is consumed though such horrific sources?  If you happen to be in Sonoma this week during the festival, please make sure you watch this film!  You need to know exactly what you're eating.  Here's the trailer...

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