Monday, June 22, 2009
I Saw "Food, Inc." this Weekend
I saw the movie, Food, Inc., this weekend.
The film, based on the books, The Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation, by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, respectively, is very good. In fact, there was audience applause in the theater as the credits rolled at the end of the film.
The film is like a high school or college survey course on the food industry. It pulls back the curtain to reveal where our food actually comes from. Our food doesn't come from farms; rather it comes from factories owned and controlled by a small handful of multinational corporations that care little about their workers, animals, the environment, or our health.
The images in the film were eye-opening. It's one thing to read in The Omnivore's Dilemma about crowded cattle standing knee-deep in manure. It's quite another thing to actually see it - to see cattle completely covered in caked-on manure as it's being slaughtered and then turned into the meat that's shipped to supermarkets across the country. I nearly gagged.
Since becoming a vegetarian nearly 2 years ago, my weekly grocery bill has been noticeably higher. I could therefore relate to, and sympathize with, the low-income family of four that was featured in the film trying to juggle, on the one hand, their desire to eat healthy foods (e.g., your basic fruits and vegetables) with, on the other hand, the reality of their economic situation in which the only thing they could afford unhealthy food off the dollar menu at fast food joints.
There's more about this film that I would like to discuss, for example, the exploitation of undocumented workers. But, I don't want to ruin it for those who intend to see it.
Food, Inc. is a really well-organized and well-narrated film that should be shown in our schools. The movie's website links to resources where you can learn more about some of the issues raised in the film.
I highly recommend seeing this film!