Films you’ll want to lick

PopcornBefore we even stepped into the Letelier Theater’s cozy lobby, the smell of apple cider had met our noses. We entered, picked up our tickets, accepted our free copies of Real Food, and headed to the bar for a free drink. Patrons chose between the sweet-smelling cider and wine (my friend and I went for the latter–it had been a long, cold day), and then the owners of Dolcezza Gelato asked if we wanted a hearty scoop-sized sample of a citrusy avocado sorbet or mascarpone-berry gelato. I knew we were entitled to a drink and organic popcorn, but the frozen desserts were a surprise. I decided I wasn’t all THAT cold and took the mascarpone.

This event, FRESHFARM Markets’ recent movie night, fed all of the senses. It gave a smell, taste, and vision to local food ideals, and it motivated viewers at any level of involvement to take eating local into their own hands.

After we had our goodies, we headed into the theater, a room across the patio from the lobby. We saw three distinctly different but equally inspiring films:

“The True Cost of Food“, a production from the Sierra Club that uses the same Free Range Studios talent that brought you The Meatrix, which uses animation and humor to talk about some heavy issues related to industrial farming;

“Fridays at the Farm” (watch it here or read about it here), a look at participation in a CSA (community-supported agriculture farm) but also community, birth, and all sorts of other themes. “Fridays” shines an adoring light on CSAs and local foods with beautiful photography and an award-winning script, but not one that is glaring to the point of propaganda. The film admits the challenges of growing food organically as well as the benefits;

and a movie the hosts dubbed, with a laugh, “FRESHFARMS the Movie” (coming soon to YouTube). Between the screenings, as we sipped the warm drinks, slurped the creamy frozen yummies, and crunched on popcorn, local food folks told us about what they do.

Robb Duncan, one half of the gelato/sorbet team, talked about their locally-sourced ingredients. He and his wife follow the seasons to get the best produce and dairy products. If that means having fantastic strawberry gelato for five weeks a year and none at any other time, that’s how it goes. There are too many varieties of basil, too many ways to use hand-squeezed citrus fruits, and too many kinds of local peaches to dwell on any one ingredient.

Renee Catacalos, editor and publisher of Edible Chesapeake magazine, told us about the subjects she strives to cover in the colorful pages. Local artisanal food crafters, recipes, thoughts on food and sustainable agriculture… needless to say, I’m looking forward to devouring the magazine.

It’ s good to have nights like that to stimulate the palate and the inner activist.

For a schedule of upcoming events, including dinners at D.C.-area restaurants featuring local foods, check out the FRESHFARM Markets calendar.

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