Eating Alabama tells the story of a young couple who return to their home state and set out to eat the way their grandparents did – seasonally and locally. But after they’ve driven nearly 800 miles criss-crossing Alabama in search of a balanced meal, they realize that everything about the food system has changed since their grandparents left the farm. This dynamic documentary about the local food movement is never overly didactic. Instead, it’s an accessible and often hilarious meditation on community, the South and sustainability.
At the heart of the film is the story of the filmmaker, Andrew, and his wife Rashmi. Both Alabamians by birth, their return home sparks an interest in the local food movement as they wonder whether or not it would be possible to eat only food grown or raised within Alabama. Soon, they’ve enlisted a few friends to embark on this journey to reconnect foodways the industrial agriculture system has broken apart. Referring back to his grandfather’s experience leaving the farm in the 40s, Andrew, who also narrates, engages with his own naïveté as he soon discovers that there are few farmers left in Alabama. Encountering the lives of these farmers – most of whom struggle to make a living – the story shifts to the current realities of farming in the global economy. As he visits a farmer sued for saving seeds and a chicken grower who singlehandedly raises over a million birds each year, he discovers that the simple stories of life on the farm have mostly disappeared. But he also hears counterpoints to these corporate systems from young farmers who have embraced sustainable practices and urban farming. An essay both thoughtful and entertaining, ultimately Eating Alabama is a story about why food matters.
To learn more about the film, visit the website for Eating Alabama where you can get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips and read an interview with the filmmaker.
Tonight at 8pm on KCPT