Released nationwide on June 8th, Food, Inc. sets out to inform to public on what it has no way of knowing. Like any investigatory documentary, these directors and producers conducted interviews with key players and also were ignored or got the door slammed in their face by those purported as the perpetrators of some of the food crises our country has experienced, as well as the several risks consumers are putting themselves at with each bite of food.
My quick thoughts...
It's really good, although, I initially found it disturbing that the Director and Pollan and others still eat burgers, etc., despite their supposedly vast knowledge. The messages at the end ask the public to write to their senators/reps, know where their food is from by asking and checking labels, yet the whole movie is about how you can't trust the FDA/Agri government regulators and food industry heavyweights that control everything, because they're all bed fellows and all lie. So why they don't then promote veganism is odd, but I'd guess it's because they were also trying to help food growers, including organic animal food farmers.
I would say to someone who's seen it and is still on the fence about eating meat, to just go vegan in order to be on the safe side.
From Gene Baur, Founder and Director of Farm Sanctuary
June 22, 2009
"I was able to see Food, Inc. over the weekend, and it was great to see that the theater was packed. The film’s popularity suggests we’re in the midst of a burgeoning food movement in the United States as consumers are finally learning about the abuses of factory farming and the importance of making informed food choices. Food, Inc. doesn’t explicitly promote a vegan lifestyle, but it does urge consumers to make a difference “one bite at a time.” Among several recommendations, the film urges citizens to plant a garden (even a small one) and to shop at farmer’s markets. The movie shows footage of chickens, pigs and cattle kept on industrialized farms, along with other affronts to animal welfare. A non-industrialized farmer is interviewed and criticizes factory farming. He describes how confined animals are more likely to be contaminated and diseased, and that people who mistreat animals are also more likely to mistreat humans. Ironically, he’s making these comments while chickens are being slaughtered at his farm and he’s pulling out their guts on camera. The film also talks about how agribusiness bullies farmers and citizens who challenge the status quo, including through costly litigation and promoting laws to make it illegal to take photos at factory farms. Factory farming requires secrecy to continue as it has, but Food, Inc. is helping promote more discussion and awareness. That’s a very good thing."
BR: I want to go but fear I will have to see more animals abused, if there is any of that in there, I will choose not to go? Is there any does anyone know?
CK (me) : @BR -- Yep, there are images of animal abuse but only as a necessity to inform not necessarily shock, as other films do (for good reason). I'd encourage you to see it, though, as it may affirm your convictions against cruelty and for a vegan diet (hopefully). It is never easy to watch any living creature be abused, but this movie is educational in its depictions of the reality of the way animals are treated, in addtion to the way the poor farmers working for the monstrous food corps are, in a way, imprisoned.
You can learn a lot on your own here, at the site for the Center for Food Safety. Interested in veganism? Educate yourself first, as I did, to be sure you are making a decision you will not back out on, you can defend to others that will inevitably question you and your choices -- and, normally, I get tons of questions, because people are curious, want to know, maybe are considering a veg diet themselves.
I learned that I had no choice, if I was to uphold one of my core values, which is to act and be in consistent with my beliefs, one of the strongest being that animal cruelty is wrong and I will not contribute to it. Eating animal food, consuming products, such as clothing, made of animals, contributes to animal cruelty. It's very simple, however not easy to put into practice, so give it time, if this is something you would like to transition toward -- that being a cruelty-free lifestyle.
As for the film, it's incredibly scary that our food can so easily be poisonous to our body. I have looked up green markets in NYC, so that I can purchase more locally grown foods. Check this out, find one near you: http://www.cenyc.org/files/gmkt/map.pdf