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'Ingredients' Documentary Screening and Slow Food LA Panel Discussion

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Photo by Eli Sussman for LAist
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By Eli Sussman/Special to LAist

Last night at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, Slow Food Los Angeles and Area 23a presented a screening of the documentary Ingredients, which was followed by a panel featuring some of L.A.'s most respected voices in the farming and food community. Written and directed by Robert Bates, Ingredients focuses on the concept that establishing relationships and buying locally from independent farmers can foster positive social and economic change while providing fantastic health benefits.

While this model of embracing fresh local produce has been presented before, perhaps most famously by Michael Pollan who said, “eat real food, not too much, mostly plants”; Ingredients focuses on the growers who love cultivating their own pesticide and chemical free produce. The film is almost entirely free of the usual talking heads suspects even though Alice Waters does make an eloquent and graceful appearance. Many of the farmers profiled in the film exude romantic notions while they speak passionately about searching for a slower lifestyle with greater connection to the land, their food and their community. Their love is never more evident when throughout the film several farmers grab handfuls of their soil and deeply inhale the earth with glee and surging pride.