Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Movie Review: Food Inc.

This past weekend we watched a slue of "Where does your food really come from and what's really in it" movies (yes I just made that genre up). Here is the first of a few movie reviews I will writing about each:

Premise: "In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly 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." [from]

Most Shocking: The most appalling part was when the film showed Chicken farming. Of all the farmers asked, only one would show her coops for the film (another agreed but after being chastised by Perdue, reneged on his offer). The inside was disgusting. Chickens were crowded, could only walk a few steps before collapsing due to their 1/2 time double size development, and dozens of chickens died everyday. Most appalling was that the farmer who showed her chickens still had opened sided coops and lost her contract after the film was made partly due to not upgrading to the dark, tunnel-ventilated coops. Also, chicken farmers are an average of $500,000 in debt and are paid an average of $18,000/year.

Most Interesting: One organic farmer featured in the film, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Stauton, VA, is actually just South of our home. When I went to a local store that sells local products they actually had some chicken from his farm! I bought some, although pricey at $3.99/lb, and I'll let you know how that turns out when we try it! The farm has an open policy for self-guided tours and I'm looking forward to making a trip there.

Favorite: Stonyfield was featured and I was excited to know that even though they have been bought out by a larger parent company, they have still retained management under the original owner.

Least Favorite: There was a cow, (a "lame" cow, which means too weak to move) that was pushed into a truck for slaughtering with a forklift which almost completely ran over the cow.

Lesson Learned: I'm a little more convicted about organics. I won't go vegetarian because I like eggs, dairy, and meat and God has allowed us to eat them, but I am very seriously considering going completely organic on meat. The change may be slow as it is expensive though.

Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Share in the comments section.


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