Think about what you eat

Think about what you eat

The film Food, Inc makes it plainly clear that we really have no idea what is in the food on our dinner plate.

foodinc

With 2006’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan sets the tone for the way we eat, calling his readers to look at labels and understand what makes up our food. Three years later, the phrases organic, sustainable, and free-range have become more common place, and yet Food, Inc is still a startling, eye-opening look at the food industry, intended to show, not just tell, what the trouble is all about.

The movie asks the prime question “How much do we really know about the food we buy and eat?” Throughout the 93 minute film, journalist Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan, and an array of farmers, meat producers, politicians, and citizens, shed light on that question. Scenes shift from unkempt chicken coops to employees struggling in unfair labor situations in slaughter houses; watching scenes of farmers who are left with little choice but to follow unsettling corporate policy, it is hard to not demand change.

Food, Inc insists that Americans are eating without thinking, and eating choices affect the environment, the food industry, politics and labor practices. The film discusses new strains of E.colli, caused by feeding cows corn(when they naturally feed on grass), which is spread into the water through their feces. It showcases the politics of subsidizing the corn industry and the dismay caused by patenting a crop and controlling individual farms. The film highlights the poor practices that arise when 80% of a market is controlled by four companies and details these companies’ unfair labor policies and treatment of employees.

Looking at the problems with the industry, Food, Inc also showcases farmers and companies who stand up to these practices. There is an insiders view of organic companies, sustainable farms, and farmers who stand up to corporations, even when it means loosing their jobs. The film emphasizes the burgeoning organic food industry, and promotes the men and woman who promote food safety.

In the end, the film asks it’s viewers to make choices about what they eat. While many people choose to shun fast food choices, they do not realize the meat they purchase from the supermarket is the same meat they would be eating at these chain restaurants. Colas and packaged goods packed full of preservatives and corn derivatives are supporting these industries, intentionally or not. The question is asked again, “What is in the food you eat?” Food, Inc‘s answer is found in supporting local farmers markets, reading labels, buying locally, and eating at home more often. Food, Inc suggests these 10 simple things to change our food system.

This is a must see film, because changing the way we eat is not only important, it is imperative. With the state of our food industry, environment, and labor practices, this shocking film is sure to educate and change your mind about the way your eat and what you put on your plate.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    ProVillage said,

    I just want to add to the “10 little things”-list the eleventh issue:
    – Buy as locally produced as you can.

    I think that transportation is not only about wasting (if there is a solution nearer) fossile fuels, but also a ‘time-question’ = fresher food. I’ve been in the straw-berry business and long transportation ruined (40 years ago) the straw-berries.
    The answer then, was not shorter transportation, but new sorts of berries, harder and more durable. Unfortunately they do not taste as good as the ‘sloppy ones’ 🙂

    I live in Finland, and we are building a “Artisan- and Handicraft-village”. Beside that, we will have a free Fairy Tale-forest for kids and local meat walking around: Cows, pigs, hen, lamb. [You did not think about anything else, did you?]

    We are not “hippies moving back to the country-side”, but people that wants other people to know about art, handycraft, the culture of old building-methods, and what they really eat; courses but also “just walking around” as the small persons, the kids, are climbing the Pirate-ship or visiting Red Riding Hood’s grand-mothers house.
    That is about our goal.
    There is a good book, [Äkta vara], in Swedish only, about “what are these e-numbers and other chemical stuff in the food”. Quite shocking that we do not have any real food anymore, as everything has to last, through the chain, as long as possible. And people do not buy, if it does not.
    So, I think that the question should not be, that we blame the companies, but that we should use the mirror and think a little bit.
    And above all we should find the ‘gray facts’, not only the shocking head-lines. The facts can be found in the net, unsorted, but more sorted in the nearest library. Or book-shop.
    But we also need international cooperation, because the facts can be nicely sorted and documented, but in the “wrong” language.

    Anyhow, I put here my “How to reach us”-info, if you do not mind:

    Here in Finland, we will build straw-bale houses. The original idea comes from USA, some hundred year back.
    If you would like to see pictures and drawings from our project [partly Underground straw bale house], you find pdf-files in English and Finnish here:

    http://provillage.wordpress.com/

    More rendered 3D-drawings and pics, a lot about building straw-bale houses and all kind of related stuff. We discuss here:

    http://henry.blogit.uusisuomi.fi

    Even if it is in Finnish, you will understand most of the 3D-drawings and what they are connected to.
    You can also comment in English, Russian, Chinese, Swedish, Norwegian or Arabic.
    It does not matter which of these languages.

    We are interested in all kind of international cooperation.

    Henry Björklid

    • 2

      Henry,

      Thank you for your thorough and informative response. Your “village” in Finland sounds to be promoting just the ideas, Food, Inc discusses, and I wish you success with this venture!

      You are quite right, buying as locally as possible is a very important part of looking at what we are eating. And yes, turning the mirror towards ourselves really is the main goal, because the big companies will continue to produce what is in demand, so until we, as consumers, change that demand, no real change will be made.

      Here in America, produce, meat, and goods, often travel thousands of miles to reach consumers. By shopping at farmers markets, from stores that stock local products, and from local farms, you are ensuring both a better quality product, and one that hasn’t undergone changes to allow it withstand the wear and tear from long distance travel. You are supporting your local economy, and using your dollars to vote for sustainable, responsible living.

      Thanks for reading and again I wish you luck with your ventures in Finland!

      Katherine

  2. 3

    Judy said,

    Have you read “Real Food” by Nina Planck? If so, I’m curious what you think of her philosophy on what we eat

    • 4

      I haven’t read “Real Food: What to Eat and Why”, but after spending some time reading about it, I’ve put it next on my reading list. Thanks for the suggestion, and I’ll let you know what I think after I’m done!


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