A new documentary about the U.S. food system hit its first round of theatres this month. American Meat, directed by Graham Merriwether, documents the lives of dozens of American farmers producing both industrially and sustainably raised meat. The film’s main subject is Joel Salatin, a pasture-based pork rancher featured in Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. Salatin has started producing pork for two Chipotles locations in Virginia, creating a bunch of jobs along the way.
American Meat follows on the success of Super Size Me and Food, Inc., which helped spark public awareness of the environmental and health impacts of the U.S. industrial meat system. But the doc is less polemical than those films, says Meriwether. “Our film is very much about the struggle that farmers face,” he told Grist. “We actually introduce you to the farmers on both sides, the commodity farmers and the pasture-based farmers, and we show you the challenges they face and the joys they share.”
Photo: Grass-fed cattle grazing at Dobson Farm.