Sunday, December 27, 2009

Food Inc. The Movie

The movie Food Inc. has been out for some time now, and I’ve finally watched it. For anyone who has not seen it I will agree with most other’s opinions that it is a well put together documentary that everyone can get something from. For those of us who have seen it, perhaps we can discuss.

I was very happy with the way information was presented. There was a clear distinction between facts and opinions which I think is very important in a serious picture like this. I feel like I’ve educated myself quite well on most of the issues Food Inc. breaches so there were few ‘new’ ideas to me. I do appreciate that the ideas were presented in a well organized, easy to understand manner.

In my opinion the single most interesting chapter of the movie was the story of the poverty stricken family who could manage a full stomach off a fast food dollar menu, but would starve on a grocery store bought diet. That’s right; $1.18 got one single bunch of broccoli at the grocery, but fed their small child at Burger King! It brings up a whole slurry of questions. Could fast food be ‘good’ for some people? Is turning our food over to corporate giants and selling our souls the only way to feed the growing population? Will differences in food production create a new class of Americans? Should those less wealthy people be forced to ignore the inherent moral ambiguity of giant corporate food production standards?

The other idea that most sticks with me from the movie is that fast food companies control the whole, yes WHOLE food production system as it is they are the most prolific purchasers. It only makes sense to make your best customer your happiest customer. How do you break that chain? It’s capitalism, it’s American, it’s success!

The farmer is the ‘pickle in the middle’ of this whole debacle. A modest man, with modest goals, willing to live a modest life might enjoy the work of organic, sustainable farming in today’s environment. But can you fault anyone who is already elbow deep down on the farm, neck deep in debt, with his farmer colleagues failing fast, give in to the corporate giants? On the other hand can you afford the higher prices that organic, sustainable products require? Yes, these products require a higher price since they cost much more to bring to market. As customers, we can’t have it both ways. We can’t condemn the mega farmer while refusing to support the ecco-farmer.

1 comment:

chris said...

great info on the diet industry's dirty little secrets!