Saturday, November 7, 2009

Eye-Opening Movie

I really need to start this post by thanking both the Chicago Gardner and the Nature Nerd for cluing me in to this movie.  Having literally just finished watching it, I can say it has changed the way I am going to look at and shop for food from now on.

One thing my wife and I have had a lot of discussions about lately is America's disconnect from the land.  A lot of Americans do not know and do not care where their food comes from - as long as it is cheap and readily available.  It is this dispassionate attitude toward food that leads to the system that is laid before us in Food, Inc.  It is also this ambivalence that makes such a movie necessary.

The movie is an investigative look into where our food comes from and how industrialized it has become.  It looks into the way animals are raised and slaughtered for consumption.  It also does the same thing for key cash crops like corn and soy beans.  Along the way we run into corrupt politics, greedy corporate heads, victims of the industry, and a few heroes.

Here are some of my impressions from this movie:
  • Joel Salatin, the head of Polyface farms, is now my hero.  He was so well spoken and made several astute comments on how the people and corporation that treat their animals like a number will end up treating people and other cultures the same way.  I think all we need to do is look at our world today to see how true this is.  He also has a wonderful way of embracing the natural tendencies of his animals to run his farm in a very efficient, yet healthy manner.
  • If cows are made to eat grass...why do we feed them corn?
  • I've always liked Stonyfield I like them even more... 
  • The big corporations in this film treat their employees like their product...not very well.
  • I'd say what I am going to do with my meat purchases now...but I could be sued - evidently...isn't there an amendment about that?
  • If we want to have a solution for food would be better to get someone outside the food industry to be the head of the FDA or USDA...
  • When money and politics comes before the safety of a people...there is something patently wrong with that.  Oh wait...isn't that happening with the health bill now, too? (more of a rant on this later)
  • Chipotle will be getting more of my business....
  • So will the local Farmer's Market
  • I'm glad the grocery stores in this area are starting to show where their produce comes from.
I know I have only given a little bit of a snap-shot of what this movie is about...but that is on purpose.  It is one of those few movies I would say everyone should go out and see.  In fact, even though I rented it from my local Blockbuster, soon it will take a place beside other documentaries such as 6 Degrees which have opened my eyes a little more and spurred me on to a little more change.


  1. Joel Salatin also has a great book out as well. BTW it might be too late but Farmer Nick at the Grayslake Farmers' Market has a meat CSA and I know that all of his livestock is raised in the same vein as Joel's.

    How did you like the meat bleaching process?

  2. Here's another one -- we haven't seen it yet, but on Friday (the 13th) at the Byron Colby barn they're screening a movie about our food system called Fresh, and there are going to be local farmers there to lead a discussion after, or something. It's at 7 or 7:30 (can't remember). We're going, you should think about coming too... (from Naomi, logged in as Chris)

  3. The washing of the meat filler with ammonia was disgusting...We'll be there on Friday night. :)