Documentary "Food, Inc." Analyzes the Sour Side of America's Food Industry
Is it more important to have a never-rotting tomato (kind of like Willy Wonka's Everlasting Gobstoppers), or a tomato rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants? Do we want plump, salty chickens, or those which are rich, flavorful and nutritious? Food, Inc., a documentary now in theaters, examines the highly processed and mechanized food industry in America.
This film, directed by Rob Kenner, follows the path of food in America as it has become increasingly less nutritious over the past 50 years through the use of genetic modification, pesticides and artificial additives, and factory farming. The film asserts that the USDA and FDA are ineffectively regulating the industries they govern, and that this is contributing to the increase in food born illness, such as E.coli, as well as obesity, malnutrition, and diabetes. The food we eat is manufactured (according to the film's synopsis and website, it is more a manufacturing industry than an agricultural industry in current times), by a small handful of corporations who are more interested in profit than public health. While food is becoming cheaper, and cheaper for the consumer, health care costs are at an all time high (a coincidence?).
The film further discusses the negative impact the food industry has on our environment, and the detrimental path it is on. For example, the film claims that the average food product travels 1,500 miles to make it to the store shelf before we purchase it (this leads to over 30,000 TONS of greenhouse gas emissions per year). The pesticides used on most farms today have been linked to cancers, autism, and neurological disorders. Animals, raised in disgusting conditions, create enormous pollution. (See today's Daily Greening on the benefits of buying local produce!)
This film (think Fast Food Nation) is definitely worth a view. Take a look at the film's website for local show times, general information on the issues, tips on small changes you can make to have a positive impact on our food system, and information on ways you can contribute to the cause.