Film Bites: Food Inc.

by Kelsey
“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.” –

Finally got around to seeing the film Food Inc., and while I’m still an omnivore, I am a more conscious one now. The film raised a number of alarming questions – some that I’ve never thought about and some I’ve thought about quite a lot – like: where does my food come from? How are the government agencies involved in food production motivated? How are our workers in the meat-packing industry treated? Why do strains of E. coli bacteria appear in our produce seemingly every time we catch our breath from the last outbreak?

I won’t try to answer all those questions: you really must see the film. But a lot of them will blow you away with their severity, particularly in the ways farmers are treated under the few monopolizing corporations in power, the conflicts of interest in government regulatory agencies, and the treatment of meat production workers. This is not solely some liberal ranting or child’s play argument – the numbers are pretty convincing.

The best part about this film for me was two-fold. Firstly, it didn’t focus strictly on vegetarianizing the entire country (though it definitely gave reason to consider it). It broke my heart to see the little cows and chickens and pigs in some terrible farming conditions, but I am glad that that wasn’t filmmaker Robert Kenner’s main point. If there was vegetarianism-persuasion involved, it was only a side effect of the education of the nation’s food industry. (But seriously, think about what you’re eating the next time you’re at the market. Try vegetarian.)

Secondly, it was a very well made film. The website said it took Kenner over six years to bring Food Inc. to the screen, and it shows. The many issues it covers are well organized, easy to follow, and quite detailed. The interviews within the film are tasteful, well-edited and poignant, particularly the ones with Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma), and Joel Salatin (owner/farmer of a Virginia farm, where he feeds his livestock grass – the way nature intended). There are little jabs at the people/corporations the film believes are responsible for the issues, but it isn’t one side of a playground back-and-forth bully fight. Kenner just presents the issues, says who is responsible, and moves on.

Now, I’m no film critic, but I would get out of your chairs and pay to see this in the theatre, if only to laugh at the vegetarians in the audience. You will end up learning something new and it will be interesting.

If you do see it, leave a comment and let us know what you thought of it.

— Kelsey Ramos

Photo used with permission from Flickr user allaboutgeorge.

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felishaaaa August 23, 2009 - 6:25 pm

Kelsey, I totally agree with you about this movie. It was nice to not feel like vegetarianism was being shoved down our throats. After watching it I felt like not eating food in general, not just meat. The conflicts of interest in the USDA and FDA is incredible and makes me really angry. Somebody needed to let this information be known, and I hope that things will begin to move in the right direction.

Kelsey August 23, 2009 - 7:32 pm

Thanks for your comments, Felisha.

"After watching it I felt like not eating food in general, not just meat."

This comment is a poignant example of how much things need to change in U.S. food production, don't you think?

felishaaaa August 24, 2009 - 5:55 pm

Yeah. I was especially appalled at the whole soybean monopoly. Soy products are a huge alternative for eating healthier and going veg, but now I feel like my right to eat healthy is being violated because I don't want to buy products that support that company, yet they own 90% of all soybeans. Something needs to change!


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