11 June 2009

Food, Inc.

Movie opening on Friday regarding the commercial food industry. Name of the movie is Food, Inc. and is based on the book by the same name. I'll quote directly from the movie's page regarding "about the film":

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, insecticide-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.

Having recently finishing reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, this film release comes at an appropriate time. I'm sure the film will be graphic - illustrating the conditions under which animals are forced to live which won't come across in text.

The preview on the film's web page is also worth watching. There is a great line in there preview "...when we run an item across the supermarket scanner, we're voting for local or not, or organic or not...", etc.

Now I'm not a conspiracy nut and I do believe that nutrition through animal consumption is hard wired into our omnivore genes. As with other changes to my diet, I'm just looking for healthier options out there. I'm coming around to firmly believing in trying to support the local farmer and buy truly organic products.


  1. I haven't seen the documentary, but I'm pretty famialar with most of the practices you describe. My concern with the documentary is that in pointing the blame at industrial food production, it allows people to blame something else for their issues.

    Our food quality has certainly decreased with the increasing centrilization of production. But there are plenty of people who manage to take personal responsiblity for their health and do well in the modern world.

  2. Chris, yes I realize that the inclination is there to blame the big food industry. People can make choices. But, it is difficult to eat locally for every meal. I tend to be a european shopper where I figure out what to make and usually run to the store for what I need. That is tough to do unless you live near a large local farm.

    I'm not trying to bring down the food industry, I'm just trying to eat healthier myself and it appears there are better choices out there, but it takes some work to support those better choices.