Beginning Feb 12th on VisionTV is a very well-meaning documentary, Ageless Gardens. This five-part series looks at the role of tending to a garden, be it to grow for food or to pretty a front lawn, can affect anyone on many levels. Whether that’s in to stay physically or mentally healthy, to avoid expensive trips to the grocery or to take up as a hobby, the results from the people who tend to them are many. When my doctor is surprised at how well my mom is doing at her age, I said that’s because she’s outside tending to our garden. He responded I should still keep an eye on her but keep at it!
To hear director, producer and cinematographer Ian Toews (Bugs on the Menu) created this series to show that the elderly do not have to be put in care homes. They can be engaged in an outdoor activity from their own comfort zone. For those who can’t move around as much, sons, daughters or special care nurses are around to help as the episode “Therapeutic Gardens” demonstrated. This series feels very personal. He’s spreading the word to encourage others to get off the couch and explore what the outdoors can do to anyone, at any age. This show is intended for the older generation to watch, but even kids like me need hard knocks too.
The feature-length movie Bugs on the Menu will soon be served across Canada beginning Tuesday, October 11 (9pm ET / 6pm PT) on CBC Canada’s Documentary Channel! If you can’t PVR this show, it does repeat again on the 16th (9 pm ET/ 10pm PT) and hopefully change a few culinary minds.
When I first saw this movie during the Victoria Feast, Food and Film Festival, I was all over it like ants to sugar because I have always been open to the thought of adding an unusual crunch to any of my meals. Samples were offered and I was anxious to see if a vendor would appear to offer up grasshopper (there was). To imagine the staples — mealworms or crickets — added to hamburger only has me salivating. But the question of which source has more protein needs to be asked. Some people may get surprised at the fact that crickets contain more per ounce than a similar slice of bovine, and this detail is just one of many factoids revealed in the program.
The Vic Theatre
808 Douglas Street.
May 15, 2016, 7pm
Bugs on the Menu is a very eye-opening documentary about entomophagy, the art of eating insects. While not everyone like the-the idea of snacking on, for example, crickets, other countries around the world are already preparing it in culinary ways. In a grander sense, not every culture has the infrastructure required to raise farm animals like chickens, pigs and cattle (the big three) for feeding a civilization. When compared to the smaller environmental and ecological footprint required to cultivate these smaller creatures, the evidence of which is easier to grow is very clear.
This film began with a discussion of water conservation, and the massive droughts that some parts of the world face. Before I knew it, the discussion about how insects can be made as a new food source was in full force. It also makes a very compelling argument for changing over to a different organism to sustain a growing population, and in what I liked, just where people can go to try these insects is peppered throughout the film. When prepared right, they can add spice to any dish, including rice!
Plays at The Vic Theatre
808 Douglas Street.
May 13, 2016, 7pm
May 15, 2016, 7pm
Food samples will be offered before the screening of this film.
Director Ian Toews and Producer Mark Bradley will be present for a Q&A afterwards.
If you give me a home where edible bugs roam, I can easily snack on them all day like popcorn. Not everyone is keen on the concept, but I’m open to the idea of nibbling on mealworms or crickets. Some folks think of it as just a gimmick to add to the gross factor, but when the apocalypse comes and most of the traditional livestock are gone, irradiated, just what else can a person eat? It’s almost as simple as digging in one’s back yard!
Or you better know the difference between edible fungi and the poisonous ones. Eating insects should not be a shocker. I point out one famous scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Dr. René Belloq had some bug climb into his mouth and it never came out. Not even in editing did Steven Spielberg consider cutting that scene out or using a different take (who knows how many times that moment was filmed). If actor Paul Freeman was ever asked about that one scene, I’m sure he’d say it was delicious!
The documentary Bugs on the Menu looks at a new movement of cultivating sustainability in the food market that’s taking place all around the world. Instead of the traditional meats and “the harm” animal rights advocates are opining about, humanity can find a new way of sustaining itself by growing certain bugs for human consumption. People can’t randomly capture them in the wild for concerns over what kind of toxins may be in them, so they have to be raised. Documentarian Ian Toews travels to South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana to learn about what’s being farmed. From Mopane caterpillars to termites, the thought of trying to eat the latter will have some folks gagging at the thought. No, I doubt Indy would have been able to eat his way out of a red soldier ant brigade, but the fourth (and lamented) film in this series did come to mind.