I’ve been curious about “Food, Inc” for awhile now. I was tempted to see it in the theaters, but there weren’t many theaters around here that screened it. I was able to watch it this afternoon while doing some light research and other things and found myself giving full attention to the film.
This is a brief summary from the film’s website:
“In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms’ Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.”
For me, to put the pieces together and see just how much the food industry has changed was eye-opening. It is a unique look into our history and speaks to what our food can and will say about us as a society. It’s clear that we need to take away the facade that all farmers spend quality time with their product with their number one goal being safety. Unfortunately, the number one goal now is money. And this is not the farmer’s fault entirely! It is the fault of the corporations and, unfortunately, society. When we demand certain things, corporations will use drastic measures to supply them. Whether that means scientifically engineering something or adding different products that can make us unhealthy. And safety? That might be number two or three on the list.
The most disturbing part of the movie were the clips from hidden cameras shot in slaughterhouses and other places where mass quantities of meat are “grown” for consumption. It isn’t pretty – to say it nicely – and there were a few times where I had to close my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that animals need to die in order for me to consume them. However, there is a difference between humane treatment and just plain torture.
While the film was disturbing – especially in terms of meat production – it hasn’t influenced me to become a vegetarian. What is has done is made me more conscious about what I’m eating and where it’s coming from. There are products produced by companies that are “featured” in the film that will probably not buy anymore – for example, Smithfield. Tyson and Perdue are on my list too. The film has made me question purchasing any meat from a large company because of the tactics they most likely use.
Which leads me to another issue brought up in the film – the cost of food. Why is fast food so cheap? Why do I need to really consider buying “organic” because it costs more than the other – perhaps unhealthier – food? It is really sad when you have to settle for unhealthier food because the organic food is so much more expensive at times. And we wonder why there are so many unhealthy people in our country.
There are other issues brought up in the film, and if you’re at all curious about the food industry you should watch it. If everyone did see this film and starting making more conscious decisions about their food, we could change the unhealthy habits of the food industry.
So here’s my pledge to do my part – I will be more responsible with my food choices. Consider doing the same – no matter what you decide is best for you. 🙂
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