Remote Hog

Independent Lens
11:30 tonite
KCET/Channel 28

When I caught the title of this week's documentary—”The Real Dirt on Farmer John”—I was hoping the dark secrets of the flesh of hog cabal that boasts “the eastern most in quality, the western most in flavor” would finally be exposed. We'd learn the top secret chemical composition of the clear condoms that wrap Farmer John's sausages and weenies. And we'd find out if America can handle the truth: that behind the folksy farmer with a mile-wide smile and overalls is a web of sleazy pork cartels and dirty money lorded over by a criminal mastermind: Vin Scully! (And you thought he was hanging onto that broadcasting job because he bleeds Dodger blue. As if. It provides the perfect cover for his plans for world domination—one tasty Dodger Dog at a time. Bwaa-hah-hah!) But despite Remote Hogging those previous 135 words, “The Real Dirt on Farmer John” is not about that Farmer John. It's about John Peterson, who was desperately trying to revive the Caledonia, Ill., farm that's been in his family since the early 1900s when he came up with a winning strategy: growing organic produce. Now, his farm has not only fought off a takeover by multinationals like so many other American family farms, Peterson's Angelic Organics provides fresh organic produce for 1,200 shareholder families. Indeed, Angelic's tasty produce would be the perfect complement to that other Farmer John's yummy racks of robotic ribs.

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