First We Eat
Director: Suzanne Crocker | 101 min | 2020 | Canada
“This challenging look at food security and sustainability is also an intimate study of a family in the midst of a tough but rewarding experiment.”
— Aisha Jamal, Hot Docs
In Yukon, northern Canada, just 300 km south of the Arctic Circle, 97% of the food eaten is trucked in.
If you thought a month in Level 4 with no McDonalds was challenging, try this.
In 2017 retired family doctor Suzanne Crocker removed absolutely all grocery store food from her house and proclaimed her family would eat nothing that wasn't grown or produced locally. For a year. Her objective was to create a public conversation about food self-sufficiency.
With three sceptical teenagers, one reluctant coffee-loving husband, no salt, caffeine or sugar, and minus 40 temperatures, Suzanne's plan was a brave one.
The Crockers hunted, foraged, fished, grew and raised their own food, struggling along the way to create meal plans with variety and flavour. Would the family thrive, survive, or turn on one another?
The family's year exposed vulnerabilities and inefficiencies of the current food system. Studying traditional practices and indigenous wisdom helped, and suggested a need to plan for more efficient future methods of storage and distribution. While some of the challenges the Crockers faced were particular to living in a small town in a cold climate, the issues the film raises are global.
Whether you're motivated by ethics, and want to know where your food comes from, whether you're driven by respect, for the land and the people who work it, or whether your interests focus around sustainability, nutritional value, diminishing oil supplies, carbon footprints or food costs and accessibility, 'First We Eat's' year of exploring the realities of food security will engage your brain.
Suzanne's family will engage your emotions. Her use of dried human blood as seasoning may engage your inner vampire — or gag reflex.
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