FOOD, INC is a fascinating new op-doc that comes out in theaters on Friday June 12th. Unlike most films of this genre, it doesn’t try to gross you out and substitute fear mongering for facts. Stylized and thought provoking filmmaking FOOD, INC also offers solutions and is not strictly an expose.
Where does your food come from? Why is the tomato always in season? Who is really to blame for E-Coli outbreaks? Director Robert Kenner teams with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) to take a journey from the grocery store to the heartland in order to answer these questions.
Schloisser says “The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000, but the image that’s used to sell the food … you go into the supermarket and you see pictures of farmers. [They have] a picket fence and the silo and the 1930s farmhouse and the green grass. The reality is … it’s not a farm, it’s a factory. That meat is being processed by huge multi-national corporations that have very little to do with ranches and farmers.”
That’s right, like the media, 90% of food is produced by four companies. Farmers are no longer these folkies “Farm Aid” types. The industrial model for producing fast food has been applied to ALL food. One chicken raiser claims the corporation has it down to a science. Why should he tamper with the experts? This science includes cows and chickens packed into small confines and in some cases, leg deep in manure. The film smartly does not get all PETA on you. That would be speaking to the converted. It shows that eating animals raised in these conditions is not healthy. Should one animal become contaminated with E-Coli or Hoof and Mouth, a serious outbreak can occur.
They also explore the science of advanced growth in these animals. In recent years, chickens and cows have been genetically enhanced with steroids, growth hormone and corn. CORN? What’s wrong with corn? Cows are herbivores and are only supposed to eat grass. Thanks to government subsidies carboload corn is cheaper than grass. The result is animals who grow three times as large in a fraction of the time. By slaughter time, here legs cannot even support them.
This begs a question, “Why are there congressional investigations of baseball players who use steroids and not investigations of chickens and cows who do?” In the big picture, a Barry Bonds or Manny Ramirez has little effect on my life outside of the occasional heartbreak. Chickens and cows using performance enhancing drugs do. The answer is simple Bush and Clinton both appointed Food Corporation lobbyists and insiders to the head of the FDA. In essence the wolves are guarding the hen house. Those who should be investigated lead the investigations.
Unfortunately, most of the solutions are more expensive than ordering a 99-cent burger. You’ll have to see the film to understand them completely. One thing you can remember, you vote every time you scan out at the supermarket. Your health is up to you.
Slow cooked in gravy for 5 hours and they are terrific!
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