Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My 'Why'

Motivational speakers will tell you that you need to find your 'why'.  Your reason for doing what you do. The reason why you spend so much time and effort on something.  By realizing your reason, you will not look upon these tasks as drudgery, but as an outlet to increase what you value or help those you love.

I don't know my 'why' of my flower garden.  I like it.  I enjoy it.  It gives me peace and joy.  I think it's pretty, it's a creative outlet, etc., etc., etc.  But that doesn't really tell me 'why'.  The vegetable garden, however, is different.  It's not something I really enjoy.  It's not my love.  But I have a 'why', and so I have a vegetable garden.

What's my 'why'?

Well, I love movies based on historical facts, and historical documentaries.  But, since I am a gardener, I have expanded that to seeing several documentaries on farming, food, and basically - eating.  I like eating even more than I like documentaries!

Do you eat?  There are three food documentaries that I think every person should see.  If it doesn't change the way you eat, at least you will be informed.  These documentaries are my 'why'.

1)  The Future of Food (2004)
A documentary about genetically modified foods.  Before watching this documentary, I had no opinion on genetically modified foods.  It didn't affect me - I thought.  Boy, was I wrong!  What are they doing to food?  You will be amazed!

Lots of lettuce still in my garden.

2)  Food, Inc. (2008)
An illuminating documentary with something important to say.  How can we feed so many for so little?  This sheds some light on that.  I promise, you will look at food differently after seeing this documentary.  It changed the way I eat.  Be warned: it may change the way you eat, too!

3)  King Corn (2007)
Do you really know what you're eating?  This will make you wonder about every bite you take!  Not the most riveting documentary ever made, but what I liked most was their fairness.  Throughout the documentary, the policy of one certain man kept coming up.  But they interviewed him, and found out his reason - his 'why' - and it gets right to the heart of the food dilemma.

These documentaries are not new.  But they are important.

Have you seen them?  I'd love to hear what you think!


  1. Yes, those are very interesting! I haven't seen the first one yet, but I have seen the others and they were certainly informative. It's crazy!

  2. Holley, now you've given me something to view. I've never seen any of these documentaries, but hope to soon. Asking yourself 'why' you do something is a very good point to ponder. Now I'll think twice before I grab another cookie.

  3. Nice to be able to grow your own :)

  4. Hi Holley - I saw Food Inc. about a year ago and was absolutely horrified. It changed the way we as a family eat completely. Radically. Totally. It was an incredible eye opener to me - almost like a horror movie in fact. Some of the scenes I could not watch and had to turn away (the chickens!). It was about the time I first thought about "growing my own" and I do so now on a small scale. But most importantly everything we buy is free range, organic where possible and MacDonalds and the like will never ever see me again! Even my pets get free range meat (they get a little cooked chicken with their kibbles). For me a huge part of changing was about the inhumane conditions the animals live in.

    I think I should watch the first one you mentioned. I hope its not also a Horror Movie!

  5. Hi Holley, It is scary what is happening to our food supply... I haven't seen any of those documentaries but I've read quite a few other publications about it..

    I do have blog friends who are farmers and cannot believe what is happening right now --with all of the regulations out there... Farmers are quitting ---so our food supplies will come from places like Chili.... Our Govt. is running all American businesses out of this country... GADS!!!! SCARY!

    As you know, we are gardeners also--but not food... Maybe we should consider that!!!!!!

    Great post.

  6. I have heard each of those documentaries and have been half scared to watch them. It is truly amazing what gets by us and what is done to us each day.

  7. A good book to read is Omnivores Dilemma. I never introduced my children to fast food, but if I was ever tempted then the documentary Super Size Me cured me forever. I will try out some of the movies you recommended, which I know about but haven't watched.

  8. Hanni - They are real eye-openeners, aren't they?

    Karen - I hope you take the time this winter to watch them. It'll give you something to do during the next snow storm!

    Dewi - Yes, it is. I think that's why there's so many urban gardens springing up!

    Gardening Blog - haha I'm just not squeamish like that, but no, I think the first one's pretty tame. Those two are the reason we buy organic, and locally, too. I had someone ask me if I really paid extra for organic and I told him if he knew what he was eating, he'd paid extra for organic, too!

    Betsy - I love the roses, not the vegetables, but our vegetables have been given a much higher priority since learning about what's in the food supply! And I am worried about the farmers, too. It's sad what's happening.

    Tufa Girl - haha Start with King Corn. It's very tame. But, one thing they don't ask which they should have is "What is this Liberty being sprayed on the corn?" The Future of Food answers that and a lot more!

    Carolyn - I have not read that book, but I will put it on my winter's reading list. You are smart not to introduce your children to fast food! Amazing - congratulations!

  9. All worth a watch. I have not seem any of them, but the topics and your brief commentary are intriguing. I will be checking the PBS listings.

  10. GWGT - If every person in the nation saw these documentaries, the way we grow and produce food would change. They are that powerful!

  11. Like some of the others who have commented, I'm almost afraid to watch them fearing I'll feel helpless to really do anything about it. A poor excuse I know but honest. My daughter will be very interested in this list...perhaps we can watch them together during the break.

    The "why" question is a good one...will have to incorporate that into my internal dialogue!

  12. HolleyGarden, are you rocking my boat? I haven't seen them. Probably don't want to. I watched a "60-Minutes" once a long time ago about chicken processing that included the disgusting slime soup they "washed" the gutted chickens in. Absolutely gross! Do I have to go there with veggies, too? Well, I'll keep an eye out for them as long as you guarantee they're not just propaganda. If they're true, I'll watch. Thanks for the thoughtful post. Too bad I have no room for veggies and rise too late for the farmer's market. :))

  13. The only one I've seen is Food Inc which was really a revelation about what is happening with our food. I also have read The Ominovore's Dilemma which was thought provoking. The library has both of the other two documentaries on DVD, and I will put in a request for them! Thank you for the reviews! Another one that I really liked was The Real Dirt on Farmer John.

  14. I haven't seen any of them but look very good and informative. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I haven't seen any of them but I've taken a note, thanks for the heads up Holley!

    Sometime your 'why' is difficult to explain, just felt. And if you feel happy then you know your 'why' :)

  16. Cat - I don't think we're helpless. We have alternatives, even though they may take a bit more effort to find them. And if enough people know, maybe the system will change. It at least will present a good discussion!

    sherry - I did try to pick documentaries that aren't biased. Food Inc would be on the line, but it is the most eye-opening. I have seen other food documentaries that I wouldn't suggest because they are just too radical. I don't grow as much as I should, and I do try to go to the farmer's market occasionally, but it has also made me more aware when I'm in the grocery store or restaurants.

    dorothy - Thanks for the suggestion. I'll put that one my list to watch!

    Malar - I think they are worth watching.

    Kelli - The Future of Food, really, goes into international policies. I hope you can take a look at it sometime.

    Mark and Gaz - We are all entwined with imports and exports, although I think your country has more restrictions on genetically modified food. Still, it's good to be informed. I love that my 'why' could just be to feel happy! Thanks!

  17. I have not seen the films but have read a lot. I try not to buy any packaged food if I can figure out a way to make it myself. I have been starting to put a lot of that on my blog and more will come over the winter.

    I have the perfect answer to why I grow a vegetable garden it is to survive. I spend a lot more time making sure my vegetables do well than I do my flowers. It they die or don't produce so be it they are not filling my hungry tummy.

    As far as organic and free range coming from a small town the markets just don't offer such things.

    I worry also about the way our seed for our vegetable gardens are being genetically altered. I am in the process of switching over to all heirloom seed and starting to save my own seed as much as possible. My only problem there is they are open pollinating and I do worry a little about cross pollination and saving my own seed. Grow heirlooms. Save our plants.

  18. I've seen Food Inc, but not the other too. Thanks for the rec's. I've been making a more conscious effort to grow as much as I can and eat locally and not as much packaged or processed food. May I recommend a book--The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen? I just finished it. The first part of the book talks about how corn is pretty much in everything.

  19. I've also ready Omnivore's Dilemma, and it changed the way we eat. It added a new term to our lexicon: The Devil's Brew (high fructose corn syrup).

    My "why" of gardening: I think to make the world a little more beautiful. It's already pretty spectacular! I just try add a little bit at my house and neighborhood.

  20. I LOVE to garden, I LOVE to be outside, I LOVE to eat but I am afraid once I watch those movies I won't know want to eat! While I do want to get back to growing more of our own food including chickens (err for the eggs) - I think for me it is a slow process of change.

  21. wilderness - I'm trying to make most things from scratch, too. It takes time and determination. And, I certainly agree with using heirloom seeds! I try to only grow heirlooms, and am learning how to save the seed. We'll see next year how successful I was with that!

    Bumble Lush - I will definitely read that book this winter! It will be good to have it reinforced for me.

    Cynthia - I love your why! To just do what we can, and make it better (and prettier). :)

    bakingbarb - It would be impossible to change overnight, I think. I think small changes are more permanent. But, if you watch the movies, it might give you some ideas of where to start changing first, and where you want to end up.

  22. I've seen King Corn and I agree that it is an important, thought-changing film. People have no idea how important a role corn plays in our lives. I'd put it right up their with our dependence upon oil.

  23. Chad B - You are absolutely correct, and a great analogy!

  24. I'd have to second Carolyn's suggestions. Some of the same messages in Michael Pollan's books and documentaries. I've heard of the movies you recommend, but haven't seen any of them. I'll put them on the list. Thanks!

  25. I haven't read these documentaries, but I am intrigued after reading comments posted here about them. I do know that many of our health problems, from heart disease and cancer to a lot of other ailments, are products of what and how we eat. We pay a price for our fast paced, grab a bite and run society.

  26. I haven't seen these films, but I read a lot. It is scary what we eat.

  27. I've not seen the documentaries.

    My "why" of vegetable gardening is simply because it's healthier, and it's soothing. I love living off our land; it makes me feel as though I'm doing something good and important for my family.

    My "why" to flower gardening is because those beautiful blooms and lush greenery bring me joy and serenity.

  28. Holley I have heard of them but had not seen them...I stay on top of these very issues and have been detoxifying my diet which is why i grow my own food...I want to be healthy and eat healthy and I cannot trust the food even at the Farmer's Market...too many chemicals in our food...I will look for these films..thx Holley!!

  29. PlantPostings - I'm going to devour Michael Pollen's books this winter. I'm glad to find something new to read, too!

    debsgarden - So true. A heavy price. That's the cost of cheap food.

    Tatyana - And so sad that most Americans have no idea!

    Loretta - I wish we were self-sufficient. I try to grow veggies, but I do end up at the farmer's market to supplement more than I want. And I don't eat 'good' all the time, but at least I'm aware.

    Donna - I agree that even the Farmer's Market can be scary. I have learned to go to only a couple of vendors. That's sad!

  30. Thanks for hi-lighting theses. Just an observation on the flowers, it seems like 'I love' is the 'why' that makes the world go 'round to me..the biggest one other there. Otherwise nobody would have kids, I'm pretty sure. :)

  31. Jess - You are so right! Wise words there, girl. Thanks for commenting.


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