Today another series around the theme: ‘knowing where your food comes from’. You probably haven’t noticed at all that I find this theme important *coughing*. When you want to know more about the origin of your food and how it’s made, there are quite a lot of subjects to cover. The use of pesticides, whether it’s local, who has produced it and under which circumstances, etc. But besides those general subjects I try to always look at, Netflix gave me some new subject to think about. That’s because I’ve seen the series Rotten. It shows how some businesses in the food industry are rotten.
The series Rotten on Netflix discusses specific products, not a general term like organic food. It goes very deep into a few specific products and shows what’s wrong in that specific supply chain. The first season (maybe there are more to come, who knows) discusses honey, peanuts, garlic, chicken, milk and fish. Six episodes of each about an hour. Even though I am vegan and don’t eat most of these products, I still learned new things.
I’ve said it before, I find it very important to know more about the food you personally consume. I keep saying it. Why? Because you have to know the full story to make conscious choices. Then you don’t pick the product with the most beautiful packaging (even though I hope you shop zero waste because it is the bomb), no, you pick the product with the best story. And if you still choose to buy products with a horrible story then at least you do this consciously. Right now you might contribute to some dirty business even though you don’t want to. That’s unfair. Remember, knowledge is power.
The Episodes and What I Learned
I don’t want to spoil that much, but I am going to tell you about each episode and what I personally learned from it. If you don’t want to know anything: skip this part and watch the series first.
Episode 1 is about honey, especially honey produced at mass scale. Not extremely important to me personally since I’m vegan and don’t consume honey. This episode showed me that it’s usually best to buy at your local farmer. Then you know what’s in the product. The problem with mass-scale production of honey is that it’s often a scam (among other problems), they fake the honey with cheap alternatives.
Episode 2 is about allergies. And then one specific allergy which is increasing in number over the last decades: peanuts. I learned a lot of new things about allergies. For example: if you’re never exposed to a certain kind of food at a young age you have a bigger change of developing an allergy for it lateron.
Garlic. It shows the story of corruption around this specific product in the United States. A specific company from China therefore doesn’t have to pay import charges. This way farmers in the United States can’t compete with this Chinese garlic. I learned again that buying local is a good thing. You support your own community and farmers. And if you buy processed garlic, there is a big chance this is produced by prisoners who are forced to proces the garlic (peeling it for example) under terrible conditions.
Episode 4 is about chickens and chicken farms. I never really understood why you’d want to be a chicken farmer since I’m vegan. But this episode made me understand it a little more. Farmers are encouraged to become a chicken farmer and once they built the farm they’re stuck because they have debt to pay off. They earn very little even though they work hard. My lesson from this episode is: don’t eat chicken.
Milk. The demand for cow milk is decreasing (and I am personally very happy with this) and just like with the chicken farmers this means that the cow milk farmers have the same problem. They’re stuck in debt. The demand for raw cow milk is however growing and the episode shows that this brings along a lot of risks. I am vegan so I don’t consume cow milk and I still stick to that after this episode.
Episode 6 tells the story of fishing and overfishing. I am a fan of fishing quotums because otherwise we’d fish all the oceans empty. This episode shows the downside for the fishers. I think it’s good to pay attention to their story but I didn’t change my mind about the quotums because we have to protect our oceans. There are alternative jobs for fishers, there are no alternative oceans. My lessons after this episode still is: don’t eat fish.
All in All
Rotten is a relevant series which discusses specific problems around specific products. I thought it was quite interesting and I hope you will too. If more seasons appear I will probably share it on here. For now, have fun watching Rotten!
Have you seen the series Rotten?