If “organic” is one of those keywords co-opted by food companies to sell us shit we don’t need (remember “low-carb” Oreos?), then Jean-Paul Jaud’s indignant doc is equally worthless for preaching the merits of organic chow via an emotionally reactive argument instead of an investigative one. (Or maybe it’s because this past summer’s Food, Inc. already proved so meaty in its shocking food-industry insights that Food Beware seems comparatively dull and anorexic in scope.) A Power-Point presentation scrolls over some kids playing hopscotch to scare/tell us that cancer and dropping sperm counts can largely be attributed to pesticides and fertilizers in our agro-environment. That’s as profound as the thesis gets: Parents and individual farmers are culpable for our first-ever generation of children growing up unhealthier than their elders, but, gee, isn’t it wildly radical that the mayor of a tiny French village has demanded that their school’s lunch menus be entirely organic? Jaud lays the interviews on thick, and they consist mostly of depressing anecdotes about the interviewees’ loved ones getting ill. But Food Beware doesn’t even work as cinematic spinach since the nutritional value of its case is as light as a rice cake.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 13, 2009