I finally found “approximately 90 minutes” to watch Food, Inc. This movie was an Academy Award Nominee and Best Feature Documentary. Here’s the online summary if you care to read it, or just skip to my commentary below 🙂 :
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.
This movie was good…not good like The Notebook good, but informative good. Most of the information I think I knew way in the back of my mind, but none of it was anything I’ve wanted to believe. To have it verbalized and picturized for me on film made a huge impact. Even my “meatatarian” hubby said this movie was not good for our household and that even he may have to reduce his meat intake (gasp! Now that is saying a lot!).
This movie does not advocate vegetarianism, nor does it try to get you to boycott all meat for the rest of your life. I was afraid it was going to be one of those movies that uses gruesome pictures to make me cry and feel sorry for animals and vow never to touch any sort of animal product ever again. Thankfully, it was much more tastefully done than that. What it does do is educate on how our food is processed and how we need to be more aware of where our food comes from.
It uses facts and statistics and real people in the business to get the point across. It pulled on the heart strings a bit when it featured a woman who lost her little boy to “E. coli 0157:H7” (common strand that is causing recalls) after eating a fast food hamburger. But it didn’t feature her mourning the loss of her son as much as it featured her being an advocate for better food standards and how these poor standards are resulting in increased cases of E. coli in the first place (grass fed beef only, people).
It showed the contrast between factory meat production facilities (yuk) versus local, humanely slaughtered poultry, pork and beef. It opened my eyes to chicken farms that are run by local farmers but regulated by big corporations, resulting in poor, dirty conditions for the animals and total disregard for the humans running it.
Do I recommend people watch this? Absolutely. Did it change how I shop? Definitely. There will be times I falter for sure, but it gave me something to strive for, for the safety of my family. I started this journey on the everyday road to healthy knowing that I would not be perfect and that I could not protect my family from everything bad in this world, but I will do whatever I can to learn and make improvements little by little, in the hopes that it makes a difference.