Culture

Published on June 11th, 2009 | by greenranger

10

Food, Inc. Documentary Movie Removes Shroud of Secrecy

For those in America who have yet to read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Fast Food Nation or even The Jungle, the new docu pic Food, Inc. smoothly stirs the boiling pot of food production controversy while allowing those not familiar with the dark secrets of the food production industry to enjoy a film in bite size nuggets.

With Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser a co-producers and Omnivore’s Dilemma writer Michael Pollen one of the consultants (in addition to being on-screen participants) the film offers a solid, well presented structure that offers not only scary, gut wrenching even stomach turning scenes in meatpacking plants, chicken coops and but offers a silver lining into the future of food.

Producer/Director Robert Kenner weaves the film through the various food landscapes from the cramped chicken coops of Maryland to the aerial CAFO vistas to the open grasslands of Polyface Farms. Inside one of the chicken coops live chickens that wallow in their own filth and barely have room to move. Factory farm shots show downer cows being uplifted by forklifts to be transported to the slaughterhouse. The film makes a point of showing people how dangerous and unregulated our food system remains.

Besides showing the torturously nauseating animal conditions, the film doesn’t forget the human factor and the social justice issues. Food, Inc. follows undocumented factory farm workers being arrested while making the point that the huge company that they work for should be the ones under the squad car lights. Kenner also captures the human element in the case of one California family that must decide between fast food hamburgers and broccoli as a result of economic hardship. (Guess which they choose?) Food, Inc displays the bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, and even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but also shows the new strains of e coli—and the deadly results.

But the film is not all about “dishonest food” and the “ugly truth” as Kenner captures lively footage of environmentally progressive owners such as Stonyfield Farms’ Gary Hirschberg and Polyface Farms’ Joe Salatin who both proudly declare and demonstrate how food can be produced honestly and without a wall of secrecy. Like The Wizard of Oz, Food, Inc. reveals that cow behind the curtain.

Already this docu pic has several large food conglomerates just a tad worried with companies like Monsanto and the American Meat Institute creating their own websites in response to the film. It’s curious why it took till now to get a response from these food giants because according to the filmmakers representatives from Monsanto, Tyson, Perdue and Smithfield, declined to be interviewed for the movie.

Food, Inc. comes off less like a documentary and more like a food based 1984 where the food conglomerates act like Big Brother. Parts of this film appear to be as scary as any recent horror film. But consider, most horror films are works of fiction while this film deals with stuff that sits on your dinner plate.



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  • http://www.DineIndie.com Wayne Shoemaker

    After screening Film, Inc., make an impact and visit Dine Indie. No chains. No agribusiness + locally sourced ingredients are the mission of this web upstart. Stick it to Burger King and pay a visit to DineIndie.com/TakeAction.

  • http://in-gods-name.blogspot.com Francis Marion Braidfute

    Hi,

    Good post… sounds like a good documentary.. even though it doesn’t — from the sound of it — address the fundamental underlying root cause; of all of these problems; namely overpopulation colliding with scarce and finite resources. Anyway.

    FYI:

    Official Legal and Political Complaint to Nobel Institute: Norwegian Nobel Committee (excerpt):

    Dear Norwegian Nobel Committee,

    Notice of Legal and Political Request to:

    (I) Withdraw Nobel Peace Prize’s from Nelson Mandela, F.W. de Klerk, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, for (a) Intellectual Dishonesty & Hypocrisy; (b) Moral, Political and Religious Prostitution; and (c) ‘TRC-RSA’ Fraud and Betrayal; and

    (II) Accept Nobel Peace Prize Nominations for Dr. Albert Bartlett; Dr. Garret James Harden, and Dr. M. King Hubbert, for Intellectually Honest and Politically Honourable Ecologically Sustainable, Human Rights, Peace and Social Justice Advocacy.

  • http://www.SafeFoodInc.com Janet Riley

    Hi — we aren’t so much worried as irritated since we at the American Meat Institute were never asked to be part of the film (and for the record, I reached out to Eric Schlosser AGAIN this week to ask for a meeting). I also approached Robert Kenner at the showing and told him of my desire to have discussions. He has my card.

    I hold my head high and won’t apologize for being part of an industry that produces the safest, most affordable and most abundant food supply in the the world. It would take 40 million ogranic farmers to feed Americans. We have 1 million farmers today.

    Having seen the film, it’s clear that context and facts are seriously lacking. That’s why we produced the web site http://www.SafeFoodInc.com. If anyone would like to have further discussions, feel free to contact me at jriley@meatami.com

    Happy eating.

  • russ

    Janet Riley – The green mafia cares nothing about truth or facts. They only care about narrow topics they ‘think’ supports their point of view.

    Their trying to rewrite the distribution of the Nobel prize is another example of the green mafia at work – think in the past but not the future.

  • http://smedway.blogspot.com Sharon

    There was a special on Channel Thirteen about this upcoming release and the producer/director Robert Kenner said that he has been sued over this film more than any other. That they legal fees needed to even TALK about how food is really made are more than he has ever seen before.

    He also touched on how Opra was sued for saying that she would never want to eat a hamburger again if something had happened to her family. The idea being that we will stop trusting where our food comes from if we realize that the placid scene on the package has nothing to do with anything and these companies will loose profit. And you know what… IT WILL and IT SHOULD and it is ABOUT TIME.

  • http://www.ediblegardens.com william martin

    This movie is awesome, and accurate. We are digging our graves with our teeth. Relocalizing food is essential, bringing it down to a human scale. The best place to start is in your own backyard.

    Here is a short 2min video from Dr.Vandana Shiva on what you can do to make a difference in the food system…

    http://www.tinyurl.com/growfood

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