Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

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Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Ben » Tue May 11, 2010 4:01 am

Read the review.
If you've seen the movie, please post your remarks.
Unfortunately, I'll have to wait until it comes out on DVD to see it in Tasmania!

Food, Inc.


RICHARD CORNISH
May 10, 2010 - 10:30PM

Genre Documentary Actors Gary Hirshberg, Michael Pollan, Joel Salatin, Troy Roush, Eric Schlosser Director Robert Kenner OFLC rating PG THIS is an important film. It’s a warning. Don’t follow the US down the path of food self-regulation. It leads to a nightmarish dystopia where children are killed by burgers, where the raising of animals under appalling conditions happens behind closed doors and where illegal immigrants are poorly paid to mistreat animals under conditions almost as inhumane to them. It’s a nation where if you try to tell the world about the dirty, dirty ways of the big food companies that control US food production, they will silence you with a phalanx of lawyers. In one state you can be jailed.

This 94-minute film, at its core, is a visualisation of two groundbreaking books: Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Both appear in the film along with farmers including Joel Salatin with Schlosser as co-executive producer.


This polished shockumentary graphically and disturbingly reveals the unintended consequences of the concentration of food production to just a handful of massive companies, with processed genetically modified corn and soy as the basis of the national diet.

Shame, rage and sadness are evoked by Food, Inc.’s telling of unseen costs of the US government’s corn subsidy. Cheap subsidised corn is fed to cattle – animals evolved to eat grass. Their stomachs’ react, producing too much acid – the perfect environment for a new deadly strain of E. coli to develop. This pathogen is carried in manure, which covers the animals’ hides in feedlots and then infects meat in mechanised disassembly lines. The infected meat sickens and kills Americans, including children. As a result American beef companies are making ‘‘safe’’ hamburger meat filler by treating the beef — with ammonia hydroxide. Seventy per cent of US hamburgers contain beef treated with ammonia.

The film covers the devastating impact of genetically modified patent laws in traditional farming that sees some crops now 90 per cent dominated by GM seeds owned by chemical companies. Seventy per cent of food on US supermarket shelves contains an ingredient made from a GM plant.

The result of cheap un-nutritious food is a fat nation where one in three people born after 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes. One in two Hispanics. The film follows one Hispanic family who dine on burgers in the car because they have no time to cook — and a burger is cheaper than two pears or a head of broccoli.

Flashy computer graphics give mind-numbingly sad statistics of an unhealthy national diet an acceptable ‘‘look’’ while the soundtrack, like any Hollywood product, gives us emotional cues. The ominous low-frequency drone under the mechanised abattoir scene gives way to country birdcall soundscape under the footage of killing free-range chickens at Joel Salatin’s farm.

The footage of animal cruelty and gross mass production of industrial food is gut-turning.

‘‘The industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about what you are eating,’’ says Schlosser in the film.

‘‘Because if you did, you might not want to eat it.’’

Food, inc. has been described as The Inconvenient Truth of food. Let’s hope this has more effect on our politicians.

Food, Inc. opens nationally on May 20.

SOURCE: Epicure

-- http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/ ... -uoaq.html
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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Pannapetar » Tue May 11, 2010 2:12 pm

Boy, I am glad I live in the land of noodle stalls where nutritious and cheap food is abundant. :D

I wonder if Americans also put burgers into the alms bowls of all these Californian monks.

Yummy. :roll:

Seems to be along the lines of the "Supersize me" documentary.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Anicca » Tue May 11, 2010 7:08 pm

PBS ran it during the Earth Day festivities, you can watch a trailer here. If you are a member you can watch it full length online at NetFlix or get the dvd for home viewing.

Portrayed many aspects of how things went wrong. One aspect - large corporations (remaining nameless here) were able to shape the entire industries to fit their bottom line profits and in the process destroy not only the integrity of the product and the health of the consumer but the vitality of the market place and the ability of the workers to be anything more than indentured servants - slaves if you will.

Very upsetting - but they were 'preaching to the choir' at our house - wife and i buy organic local produce as much as possible at farmer's markets - free-range organic eggs and organic cheese, org soy milk etc - we are both veggies almost vegan. First organic garden and milk goats in the early 70's. Today still have a garden - yard and flowers all organic.

Can go into any specifics you'd like.

The same mentality keeps us out of the "big box" stores and seeking out the locally owned and intelligently staffed smaller stores whenever possible. It may seem that you pay more for such things - but movies like this document the way i've always viewed it - you pay more in 'hidden costs' for the cheaper stuff in the long run.

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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby alan » Wed May 12, 2010 1:01 am

Can recommend Fast Food Nation without hesitation. I'd like to see it become required reading in US high schools.
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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed May 12, 2010 6:51 pm

Ironies being what they are... I just watched this a couple of day ago. It has me thinking, profoundly. I did not hear anything new, but I saw some things that scared me deeply. Combine that with Ben's recent thread about the evil's of chocolate, and I am about ready to make some major changes about what I eat and why. (Why'd it have to be CHOCOLATE? I would gladly give up most of my bad habits, but chocolate? Final proof that there is no God....)

I was raised on a soy bean farm. Even in the 1970's, there was an awareness of some kind of evil plot developing. Farmers were selling their produce to some unnamed, unknown corporation that repeatedly eliminated the competition and then demanded cheaper prices. My childhood soybean farm is a shopping mall now.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Agent » Thu May 13, 2010 1:15 am

I thought it was an excellent documentary. The evils of the Monsanto corporation are beyond what I imagined (and I imagined some pretty bad stuff considering they bought out the company where my mother worked and then systematically destroyed the lives of all it's employees as best they could). It will definitely make you want to start buying local. Makes me wish I lived somewhere with year round farmers markets.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.
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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Anicca » Thu May 13, 2010 1:36 am

Not just Monsanto!

Yeah - outdoor gardening is seasonal - see if you can find hydroponic or aquaponic growers for year-round.

An awesome supplement / alternative / option to Farmer's Markets is community supported agriculture - check it out in your area!
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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Agent » Thu May 13, 2010 1:54 am

The only year round growing that happens around here is limited to greenhouses, which are few and far between. Most are used only in the months before spring to get a bit of a head start.
I also don't find myself in a financial situation that will allow me to support the food systems I would like to. I'll take a look at the CSA info though, that sounds like it might be a good option and I've been meaning to look into it. I would love to buy all organic, grass fed, free range, etc. but cannot afford to. I do the best I can, though, and try to support the local farmers as much as possible. Even though I have to stretch my budget to do so I feel it's important to support sustainable food to the best of my ability. Plus the more people that do it the cheaper it will become. Right now demand is low so prices remain high.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.
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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Anicca » Thu May 13, 2010 2:11 am

Agent wrote:I do the best I can, though, and try to support the local farmers as much as possible. Even though I have to stretch my budget to do so I feel it's important to support sustainable food to the best of my ability. Plus the more people that do it the cheaper it will become.


Is there a karmic pay back to spending - kinda like using the Discover card? Has this been examined in another thread?

I know - write "Buddha" on your dollar and send it to me - i'll spend it in a karmically splendid way for you and *you'll* get the good karma! Oops - my evangelical roots are showing...

Sorry - this is serious. What a wonderful world this could be if we all had your attitude, Agent! :clap:
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Re: Food Inc: disturbing doco on food production

Postby Agent » Thu May 13, 2010 1:22 pm

Haha, talk about reward points!

Thank you for your kind words, Anicca. It's good to know other people have similar values. Helps me keep perspective.
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