When a Choice can be Revolutionary. Manifesto for Sustainable Food. Food ReLOVution
Finally, Food ReLOVution – the long-awaited documentary movie by Thomas Torelli – has been completed.
Thomas Torelli succeeds also this time in what humanity itself should do. Asking questions about the present, questioning the reason why what is existing seems fundamentally correct as it is.
There is something that everyone does, everywhere, every day. Something that belongs to our purely animal functions: eating. A choice that marks a matter of life and death, where surviving plays the key difference. If the act of eating does not imply a voluntary adhesion, it is always an act to be performed in the domain of choice because, in addition to being animals, we are humans. Our responsibility is to be “human.”
The domain of choice is entrusted to our will. Humanity can choose what it wants to do and then what it wants to be.
Thomas Torelli explores the depths of global ethic consciousness. It transforms the perspective of food into an ethical field where everyone should mirror himself and make a decision. Choosing implies full responsibility and especially it involves the people’s awareness. One must acquire a consciousness that considers the consequences of our actions not only in individual repercussions – hence the references to diet and health are unmistakably clear – but considers the environmental, animal and, surprisingly, the economic and instrumental effects.
All this brings us back, as well as other documentaries by Thomas Torelli, to a complex dimension of human reality and not only that: it is unthinkable to apply fictitious separations to the existing reality, so that everything becomes fragmented. These divisions between cause and effect, between before and after, between near and far, between oneself and other creatures are not only illusory, but also misleading and deceptive. As in Pachamama and Another World, Torelli is telling us again how everything is interconnected, complex, circular, that effects and causes chase each other in a circle where no one sees a beginning or an end, and where, above all, no one knows a priori what the final result will be.
Torelli corroborates this through the evidence of experts who bring their verbal testimony as a real evidence of what they proclaim. Not just a list of opinions, but arguments of substantial content and supported by objective data, research and studies: the statement of his high case happens through the official paradigm of science. Just like Bateson and Hillman, Torelli shares a complex thought away from the hasty and dogmatic simplifications. Showing the consistency of the whole living world, the unity of what appears to be divided, the inseverability of the disciplines (economics, science, nutrition, ethics, ecology), he creates the preconditions for an evaluation of human actions at 360 degrees and, consequently, of human choices.
Food ReLOVution is fully integrated and aligned with sustainable thinking, where human activity is measured and assessed in the light of what it means for people and local environment. The testimonies of experts, who are interviewed in the documentary, unanimously agree on one fact: claiming our food choices, which include excessively meat, we are unsustainable.
We are unsustainable because the system that worldwide produces meat is highly inefficient. This is instrumental to the power of lobbies in whose hands is concentrated the global economy: it generates paucity. The growing impoverishment for humanity is connected to the meat market which is expected only to more affluent countries. In order to be sustainable, we need to use efficiently our natural resources (which are abundant): promoting abundance and not scarcity, which is a concept linked to the use of resources themselves.
We are unsustainable because the lack of information on nutrition is functional to maintain the system as it is, according to the myth that goes: “you have to eat meat”. This conspiracy of mis-information induced by marketing prevents the consumer from making the right choice for himself for the benefit of the economic system. On the other hand, actually the market is not driven by itself: food is the most powerful way to change the course of events and to achieve a commonly-shared happiness. The individual is the point from which to restart the rebirth of civilization and the global economic regeneration.
We are unsustainable for the relocation of production, mainly due to economic and instrumental reasons. This will subtract production from a local vision of the territory which makes the communities active: as stated by Torelli in his documentary, local food production is the solution to overcome the current unsustainability of the system.
Communities are aggregates of individuals and represent the element from which to implement the regeneration of the economy. Above all, a mature awareness at a community level could be the element to start a global economic overall renewal.
We are unsustainable from the point of view of the planet, the environment, the resources, the climate, the elimination of biodiversity, denying a principle of harmony and equilibrium in the living world. Animals are treated as objects when we exert a bias towards certain species which are not considered equal to others. The respect of the species is functional in order to achieve the only aim to evolve positively the unique living system.
We are unsustainable because the waste is very high. This is opposed to the natural principle of bio imitation, according to which harmony is achieved when waste, scrap, adverse effects should not exist, except as a fallout of those who act the economic process itself in the name of responsibility.
We are unsustainable because production of food and meat on our planet does not respect the rhythms of nature, but the ones of production. This is in contradiction with the harmonious and appropriate rhythms of nature and causes unhealthy distortions, trauma and toxicity of food products.
Unsustainable, finally, because the growth of public health spending is a voice of GNP: the worst public health gets the more benefit returns to the economy. This agrees with the unsustainability of the growth concept, endlessly irreconciliable with an improved quality of life and unable to achieve our happiness and well-being. We should rather develop our existing resources to ensure sustainable development.
Thomas Torelli leaves us again with many questions. Perhaps this is the most obvious sign we have listened to the message that he really wanted to convey. Beyond any other thing.