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Food, Inc.

July 26, 2009

 

I saw Food  Inc. over a week ago. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

 

 

What surprised me so much, was how difficult it is to find information about the food we eat. Where does it come from?

 

Some standout stats from the movie (all are United States based*):

  • 4 companies control 80% of the beef market
  • All of this beef is slaughtered at only THIRTEEN slaughterhouses.
  • Laws are not in place to protect the consumer. The USDA does not have the power to shut down meat plants after repeated contamination.
  • Number of food inspections in 1972? ~50000. In 2006? ~9000

In addition, meat processing facilities are horrendous places for animals, and humans. Farmers are severely restricted by these corporations as to the facilities the animals can live an, and to the products they can grow. The average farmer is in huge amounts of debt ($500000)  and yet only makes ~$18000/yr.

 

Oh, and corn? It’s in EVERYTHING. From cow feed to ketchup to batteries. Why? It’s subsidized so much, that it’s insanely cheap. Not necessarily the most healthful, for cows or us, but cheap.

 

In addition to discussing factory farming, Food Inc presented one alternative, organic farming. Organic farming can range from the small, local farm to corporations selling products at Walmart.  (There are certainly issues and debates amongst organic farms as well!)

 

What I liked most about this movie, and why I will be telling everyone I know to see it, is it didn’t present any solution as THE solution. It’s claim was that factory farming is harmful, to animals, humans and the environment, but it didn’t say that you had to be a vegan to help solve the issues. It wasn’t gory, or full of shock-value. I really, really appreciated this – as with most causes, I think shock-value images hurt more than help. There are lots of possible solutions, and probably, a combination may be the best solution!

  • gardening
  • farmer’s markets
  • organic
  • eat less meat

 

What I think the best impact of Food, Inc. will be that it gets people talking – asking, where does my food come from?’

I also really enjoyed this clip, “The Truth About Food Inc” with Michael Kenner (producer of Food, Inc.) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemna, In Defense of Food)

 

 

 

 

Lastly, has Food, Inc. affected the TWIST household? Absolutely. theHusband and I went to see Food, Inc. together (one of the reasons I was so appreciative the movie didn’t say you had to or should be a vegetarian!). We’ve made a commitment to try to buy our meats, produce and dairy from local producers (ie. the Farmer’s Market). It’s going to be more expensive, but worth it.

 

*A part of me wants to say that the issues presented in Food, Inc. are United States based only. This would be a major cop out on my part. And not true. The presence of high-fructose-corn-syrup (aka glucose-fructose in Canada) in every barbeque sauce I could find at the grocery store attests to the probability that every issue presented in Food, Inc. as an American problem, is likely also a Canadian problem. That said, I’m doing as much research as I can to find out what’s different, and what the laws and restrictions are for food production in Canada.

 

Have you seen Food, Inc? (if not, do you plan to see it?) What did you think?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 26, 2009 7:14 pm

    I saw Food, Inc. last week, definitely reinforced my desire to eat locally.

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