Published Sep 08, 2008Nutritional daredevil Morgan Spurlock and the widow of Jerry Garcia team up for The Future Of Food, a 90-minute pitch on how tampered produce is changing the face of agriculture and what it means to the impatient American family. Depicted largely through narrated animation, the film focuses on beleaguered farmers and the conflicts they face in sticking to tradition, from patent lawsuits to adventurous new technology. Its easy to sympathize portrayed as stubborn and regrettably vestigial, theres a sense of loss over "how it should be. But issues as complex as food security cant be so easily summarized and the docs lone dimension will have some viewers suspecting hyperbole. In fact, a lot of the oversimplifying is perfectly captured in the films final juxtaposition: spraying a strawberry field cut with a kid eating strawberries. Mothers will clutch their children, as intended, but theyll be doing so in the First World where consumer choice trumps simple sustenance. Inevitably thats what the whole thing is about: America and the threat to Americans. Theres hand-wringing about the worlds poor but no strategy except advocating further phobia towards genetically modified foods, a concept that evokes understandable fear but little consideration of the lives it could save. In this sense, the filmmakers have allowed their romance for rural life to mutate into a fetish for poverty, making people in dusty hats seem quaint when theyre likely just malnourished. Despite being two discs, the DVD extras are mainly websites and recipes, although a few longer interviews help add some needed context. The Future Of Food contains some important points but only half of them have merit, something to keep in mind before going anywhere with those good intentions.