“There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it’s kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it’s the idea of a tomato.”– Michael Pollan, FOOD INC.
This quote sums up basically everything we are eating and this documentary fully explains how this quote is relevant and how food now, is the idea of food. The funny thing about documentaries is I only watch good ones. If it’s bad, I usually get bored and don’t finish. So if I’m reviewing a documentary it’s probably going to be a good grade. No exception here. I’ve heard some Oscar buzz about FOOD, INC. and I do believe it’s well deserved talk.
FOOD, INC. reveals what’s behind our nation’s food industry. American consumers keep hearing that our food is unhealthy and unnatural, well this film dives deep into this topic and exposes the frightening truth on how our food is produced and the lack of control we have. Our nations’ food production has drastically changed since the growth of the fast food industry in the 1950’s and is now controlled by just a few multinational corporations rather than the many. In order to turn a bigger profit quickly, these few corporations have found a way to make cheap food regardless of the negative consequences. Consumer health, American farmers, our environment and the safety of the workers are all spiraling downward. We learn that the food corporations seem to have different laws and practices that they are held to. It appears these corporations are so big that the government regulatory agencies (USDA and FDA) are helping out the corporations rather than the consumer.
We have engineered bigger chickens (too fat to walk), bigger pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, tomatoes that won’t go bad and corn into everything, but in doing so we also have created new strains of e coli–a harmful bacteria that cause illness in Americans annually. Since there are only a few production corporations, if one is contaminated, everything is contaminated, as we have already witnessed by countless recalls in the last decade. It’s quite scary. Even if you try to eat healthy the same ingredients are all coming from the same company as your fast food joint. There is no escape.
Like SUPER SIZE ME, FOOD, INC. takes on the food industry revealing truths in a visually pleasing and entertaining fashion while cramming a lot of information the regular viewing public probably knows very little about. I for one was very appreciative of the tactics. It does not come off preachy, but simply showing us the facts and letting us decide. In usual fashion I’m shocked and appalled at my new found education. Towards the end FOOD INC does attempt to give hope by saying each of us can make a difference by demanding to see what is on our labels and eating organic from local farmer’s markets. Soon we will have the pricing going back in favor of real food rather than the manufactured food. I’m not so hopeful, but none of this changes the fact that tainted or non-tainted, a hamburger and fries is definitely one of my favorite foods to eat.