Alicia's Food For Thought

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Film Review
September 27, 2009, 8:23 PM
Filed under: Media Bites

Hi readers! :)

On this cloudy Sunday afternoon, I think it is only appropriate to write about my review on the movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (my first 3D movie experience!). I watched the movie with my residents at Regal Cinemas on 13th Street and Broadway with Alan Seise (RA on C2 Floors 4 & 5). I have not read the children’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meaballs by Judi Barrett, but I’ve heard that they are completely different. But I imagine that’s how I’m going to feel when I see “Where the Wild Things Are” (comes out October 16th–so excited!).

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Book

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Book

To give you a brief summary, the movie is about a young inventor named Flint, and he is a fumbling genius that makes inventions that usually ends in disaster. His small town (let alone his father) doesn’t understand the way his mind works and the only person who did was his mother, who died when Flint was a young child. One day, Flint creates a machine that converts water into food (by mutating the molecular structure). Accidentally, the machine ends up in the atmosphere and converts the water in clouds to food–hence it starts raining meatballs and other food in his small town.

Flint with his invention

Flint with his invention

I highly recommend watching  the “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” The movie does a great job on gently bringing up current food issues that our society is facing. Not to mention, Flint is totally someone I would love to date if he was a real person. Anyways, moving on to the more serious topics of the film:

Genetically Engineered Food:

Large food falling from the sky.

Large food falling from the sky.

As the movie goes along, the food gets progressively bigger. This is a really interesting point because in America, our food is getting bigger and we are over-eating and over-consuming large amounts of food. Also, are food is becoming bigger because we are genetically altering them so that only large food are grown. A hamburger/dinner plate now compared to a hamburger/dinner 50 years ago looks completely different.

This brings up another “Food for Thought” about how genetically engineering our food has caused the amount of biodiversity in our world to go down. Our eating habits are pressuring producers/farmers/manufacturers to make food that look and taste the same. So what’s the big deal if there is only one type of turkey left in the world instead of 450 like there are supposed to be? (Don’t take these numbers seriously, I’m using them for dramatic effect). Well, I don’t really know the sole reason why biodiversity matters, but all I know is that I am really going to be pissed if one day we find that the cure to diabetes or cancer in a particular plant went extinct from our neon green food producing ways.

Fast/Processed Food:

Super Size Me

Super Size Me

This extraordinary machine that Flint invented only converted water into fast/processed food. It would be pizza, fried chicken, ice cream, peanut brittle, hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. etc. Definitely did not see any veggies or fruits falling from the sky. (Bare with me as I over analyze this movie) But somehow that really disgusted me. I definitely did not leave the theatre hungry, but rather sick from all the junk food that fell from the sky in the movie. It was weird how something so natural (such as water) was changed into the fattiest food known to mankind.

The mayor of Flint’s town became so enamored with the food that fell from the sky that he became severely obese. It was interesting how the mayor turned to the food to solve all the problems of the town (i.e. he wanted to use the “Food falling from the sky” to attract tourists and bring $$$ to the town). I think that brings up another interesting point, why do we turn to food to solve our problems. I supposed it is because food doesn’t judge and there is such a high value of comfort that come along with “eating away your sorrows”.

Fat Mayo

So I don’t know about you, but I tend to feel really uncomfortable around morbidly obese people. It really is an epidemic that our nation is facing. I am unsure as to when it was not OK to talk about weight. I don’t think I care about how people look, but obese (and too skinny) people should be more concerned about their health! So many reasons why we have some many health issues is because we don’t watch what we eat. Counting calories is not going to solve anything, but I think being more educated and aware about the food we intake would make us a more health conscious society. So when did it not become OK to talk about our waistband? We go around as a society criticizing people about alcohol use, drug abuse, smoking, etc. etc. So why aren’t we talking about obesity? Obese people are killing themselves the same way as someone smoking cigarettes is.

There are many other things that the movie make social commentary of but one thing that the movie did not address (which I find almost annoying) is world hunger. The only cities that were mentioned in the movie were all from the Western culture and did not have a problem with hunger in their society. I think it was unrealistic to have this type of machine to begin with (it chemically is not sound to be able to mutate hydrogen and oxygen molecules into carbohydrates, protein, lipids, and nutrients). However, if there ever was such a machine, I think the first thing it would have been used for was for those “starving children in Africa/China”. I mean really, how selfish of a society are we if we use the machine to make it snow ice cream whenever we feel like it?

Anyways, this movie was really entertaining and there are so many other good points that I like about it. I really think you should watch it and have a conversation with yourself about how you are contributing to these food problems we are having. Also, do your own research about the food politics and form your own opinions (don’t just listen to what I have to say, I would love to have a discussion if any one of you on it!)

Always keep in mind that moderation is the key to eating and remember that there will be food tomorrow (yes, leftovers taste delicious) and let’s talk about this huge health issue that America is facing and not be so overly concerned about “hurting” other people’s feelings when a lot of their medical problems could go away if they lost those 50 lbs.

Leave me a comment about how you feel and your feedback!

Thanks for reading and good eats everyone!

Alicia Kim
Food For Thought Resident Assistant

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