For the past year I had always heard “if you watch Food Inc., you won’t want to ever eat again”…so I finally got around to watching it and the film definitely lives up to the hype.
As the documentary opens up, the slow panning shots down grocery aisles seem immediately disturbing. The neatly stacked rows of boxes and cans are colorful and eye-catching, but I couldn’t help but start thinking “where does all this come from? what is exactly in it?”.
The first section of the film takes a look at chicken houses and the grim existence most chickens face before butchering. While chickens stuffed full of antibiotics can’t even carry their own weight while walking, they also never see the light of day while held prisoner in darkness. It is easy to think eating chickens is a healthy alternative to red meat, but wait till you see the meat packing scenes…
The film also spends a good amount of time on America’s addiction to corn production and how government subsidies are creating a vicious and inescapable cycle. Even more troubling is the amount of corn syrup being pumped into as many foods as possible by the industry.
Another piece of the film looks at the monopolization of soy bean farming and how many farmers are forced to cut corners to keep their contracts. It also doesn’t help when most of the FDA has been hired from the boards of major food companies, with both Clinton and Bush Administrations bringing in cronies that are looking to maximize the almighty dollar for America’s foodinstitutions.
Food Inc. is not entirely gloom and doom when it spotlights regional and independent farmers who refuse to give into corporate pressure. Organic companies are also cast in a positive light due to their efforts in eliminating pesticides and other harmful chemicals used in the rest of fruits and vegetables that are sitting in every local grocery store.
While I found Food Inc. incredibly frightening and compelling, I felt there weren’t enough answers. Of course there are many things wrong with America’s food industry, but what can we all do to change it? I felt the small laundry list of suggestions at the end of the film wasn’t enough, but perhaps it is up to all of us to change it ourselves. I wholeheartedly recommend a viewing of Food Inc. to all readers.