Here’s a synopsis of the film from the producers: “American Meat is a solutions-oriented documentary chronicling the current state of the U.S. meat industry. Featuring Joel Salatin, Chuck Wirtz, Fred Kirschenmann, Steve Ells, Paul Willis, and farmers across America, it takes an even-handed look at animal husbandry. First explaining how America arrived at our current industrial system, the story shifts to the present day, showing the feedlots and confinement houses, not through hidden cameras but through the eyes of the farmers who live and work there. From there, the documentary introduces the revolution taking root in animal husbandry, led by the charismatic and passionate Joel Salatin. Stories are shared of farmers across the country who have changed their life to start grass-based farms, and everyday solutions highlight actions people can make to support America’s agriculture.
Here are some quotes from the director of the film, Graham Meriwether: “Joel Salatin is one of the main characters of our documentary. Filming at Polyface periodically over the course of three years, we show the various seasons on the farm and the ways in which animals, insects and ecosystems work together to create both a healthy environment and an economically profitable farm.”
“One story we tell that’s indicative of a potential sea change in the industry is that of Chipotle and Polyface. Chipotle starts sourcing meat locally from Polyface Farms for their Charlottesville, VA location, and it is a big success for all involved. There’s a lot of reasons that local sourcing makes sense, environmentally, and economically, and if a company with the purchasing power of Chipotle is making the switch, it may not be long until other large restaurant chains follow suit. These kinds of hands-on solutions allow people to leave our documentary feeling optimistic about the future of food in our nation.”
Is it possible to produce meat in a way that works for family farmers and consumers? Can a localized farming system be better than the industrial farming system? What can we do as consumers to encourage retailers to stock local, humanely raised meats? We will discuss these questions and others that the movie raises after the film. Be sure to join us!
To whet your appetite (pun intended!), here is the trailer for the film: