Posted on | July 12, 2009 | No Comments
Food Inc. is now playing at the Regal Village Square theater in Las Vegas. Some of it is difficult to watch, but I feel it’s an important film that’s quite well done, and I highly recommend it.
I’ve been reading the “Food Inc.” companion book since last month, but am a bit more motivated to finish it now that I’ve actually seen the film. Since I’m not very good at reviewing films, I’ve asked Adam to do the honors, as follows:
Kristi and I went to see “Food, Inc.” this weekend. I’ve not kept up with the world of truth in food growth / preparation since reading “Fast Food Nation” a few years ago. Aside from that enlightening book, I think we’ve watched “Super Size Me”, and that’s about it.
Going into “Food, Inc.” I was pretty sure I’d be surprised and / or sickened by something, but I thought it would be from something graphic. There’s plenty that could have done it — how Perdue and Tyson encourages its farmers to raise chickens in complete darkness, chicken coops full of packed-in chickens that are so fat they can’t walk more than two steps, cows up to their ankles in feces that are being “trained” to eat corn… and many other examples.
However, what frightened me more than any of that is the company known as Monsanto. I imagine that if a company could be summed up in only one word, this company would likely be summed up by most people that viewed this film as “evil”. It bullies, threatens, and throws almost unlimited funds against farmers and others that it feels are infringing on its patented seed or cow “enhancement” hormones either intentionally or completely accidentally. Yes, they have a patent on a living thing. There’s a lot more to it than that, but suffice it to say that it’s jaw-dropping. Don’t be surprised if they try to patent the cow.
Of course, “Food, Inc.” is meant to be shocking. I can’t really call this a documentary, because it’s oriented towards getting people angry about how corporate food creation has become. And rightfully so, I think. From the assembly-line approach to food creation (and job specialization), to the import of illegal immigrants and then deportation of them, the horrible conditions of both cows and chickens in modern-day farms, the way corn has become used in over 70% of processed food products, the desire to not label cloned meat as being from a cloned animal, to the shady practices of major players in the food production industry, “Food, Inc.” has something that should rile up everyone, even if you have different buttons that get you there.
That’s not to say that the film only serves to punch you in the gut. There’s some very entertaining stuff in it as well, and a few laughs, many courtesy of Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms. He’s to-the-point, cheery, and… well, he’s right on a lot of issues. I wish we had some farms like his around Las Vegas, because we’d buy from them over just about anything else.
In the end, “Food, Inc.” serves as a great reminder of why everyone should shop local farmer’s markets, question the ingredients (and additives) in their food, buy locally, buy seasonally, and get involved with state and federal government to enact food safety laws, allow labeling, and encourage the FDA to get off its ass and actually inspect and regulate, rather than allowing self-regulation by companies that obviously aren’t interested in doing so. If you are what you eat, wouldn’t you like to know what you really are? ”Food, Inc.” motivates you to ask just that.