Food for Life 

The Good Food of the Pacific Northwest

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Every couple of years, there's a rash of documentaries that all have the same subject. There was the "Africa is fucked" era, for instance, which was preceded by the "American soldiers in Iraq are fucked" movement. We're currently in the midst of a whole-food/Michael Pollan-y period of filmmaking, where the industrialization of agriculture is constantly and justly villainized, and everything coming from a farmers' market is glorified.

Good Food, as its title quite literally indicates, is the latest entry in this school of filmmaking, but it's specifically focused on the Pacific Northwest. In addition, it distinguishes itself by centering on farmers' experiences, revealing in interviews the supreme challenges (and rewards) of organic farming. They also delve into some of the region's finer grocery stores, including a cruise through the Seven Corners' New Seasons in Southeast Portland.

The film effectively reinforces the seasonal, local doctrine that is oft repeated in food circles, with the added bonus of making you feel like a heel for ever having balked at the cost of organic groceries. It also brings to light the incredible advantage that the Pacific Northwest has over most of the rest of the country with its huge variety of locally procurable foods. It's in-depth, entirely earnest, and—assuming you shop like you're supposed to—a wee bit self-congratulatory.

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