Food, Inc.

Andrea and I watched Food, Inc. the other night.  We genuinely enjoyed it and learned a great deal.  Here’s a brief summary of the film:

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the food_inchighly 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.

The documentary was really well done.  It was full of helpful information and insightful interviews; and I really appreciate documentaries which give a solid challenge to its viewers to do something with the information that has now been disclosed.  The only disappointing things about the film was #1) the lack of information and contribution from the major food corporations discussed in the film (unfortunately, they wanted nothing to do with it and declined all requests for interviews) and #2) at times, the topics seemed a tad bit rushed or incomplete (after all, talking about the entire food industry in 90 minutes is a seriously daunting task!)

The “free-market libertarian” in me loved the way Food, Inc. challenges us to support our local Farmer’s Market.  We did a little research and found one in Clearwater.  We plan to check it out soon.  We’re also stirred to get re-connected to a local food co-op which purchases organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farmers.

I highly recommend the film.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  Here’s the web site and here’s the introduction to Food, Inc.: