A new documentary, entitled “Food Inc.” is scheduled to be released in NYC, L.A. and San Francisco on June 12th, and will hopefully be shown soon around the rest of the country.

food-inc

The film’s website describes the documentary as a film that:

Lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.

The film addresses the issues of genetic engineering, cloning, farm worker protection, environmental impact, factory farming, pesticides and healthy eating.

We talk a lot here at So Good about fast food companies, and frequently I’m writing about food products that are about as unhealthy as it gets – I recognize this, and just because I write about something does not mean I’m endorsing it or encouraging you to eat it.  The bottom line is that So Good looks at the world of food through the angle of what products are the most absurd, and what marketing campaigns are the most interesting. Since a lot of fast food is incredibly unhealthy and unnecessary for people to buy, these companies work extra hard to create absurd new products and creative new marketing strategies – which, in turn, makes it more interesting for me to write about.

I’m certainly not a vegetarian, and I will mock the organic/eat local/save the world people when their rhetoric gets too silly not to be mocked, but the fact of the matter is that these issues are important to me, and they should be important to you.  I feel relatively powerless as just one consumer, but I would love to see a massive cultural shift in the way our country approaches eating, food and the food industry. There are so many better safeguards our government can put in place, and there are  many buying habits that American consumers can change.

The bottom line is that Americans eat crap, and a lot of it. Whether it be foods that are high in fat, overly processed, or full of chemicals. We are incredibly disconnected from our food supply, and many people LIKE living in ignorance, fearing they wouldn’t want to eat their favorite foods anymore if they knew how it was produced.  It should be a major goal of our country to change our eating habits no matter how much pressure we get from big agri-business or the major food companies.  I’m not advocating taking away the choice of consumers to eat whatever the hell they want, but education can go a long way towards motivating people to, on their own, make wiser choices.  In many ways, the health and the lives of our citizens depends on it.

Check out the Food Inc. trailer below.  Hopefully this film will make its way to DC at some point soon.

H/T to Cold Mud for the trailer.

9 Responses

  1. Brian

    I’m eating some locally grown strawberries I picked up at the farmers market yesterday as I read this. They’re damn good.

    Reply
  2. Sethonious

    A massive cultural shift starts at home.

    My wife and I recently made the decision to eat local and organic. It is kind of unreasonable to expect to eat blueberries from Chile in the middle of winter. The energy (calories) in the amount of fuel it takes to ship that from South America is way more than the amout of calories our bodies derive from the food itself. The practice of shipping food that far is adding an unrequired amount to the entropy of the system.

    For us it isn’t just about being a health nut, or an insane “localvore” it is about energy (oil) dependance and taste. Quite frankly foods (especially fruits and veggies) that are picked under ripe and shipped across continenets don’t taste as good as the local stuff. Often times things are grown for “shipability” not taste.

    Also it is patriotic to buy American goods (cars, washing machines, etc.). I think it is equally as patriotic to but locally produced food. When my neighbor sees the benefit of my food dollar it improves our economy.

    All that being said I also wouldn’t want to force my decision on anyone else… ever. I think the crux of the matter is that Americans souhld eat more fruits and vegetables. If folks can only afford F&V that are shipped or grown conventionally because it is a few bucks cheaper than the local organic, then go for it. Put down the cheetos and eat some carrots from Argentina, you have my blessing.

    I would like to share that in the few months that we have made the switch we both feel better. I have tastier ingredients to cook with, which has renewed my love of cooking.

    Spring and summer (in CA) is a great (easy) time to make the switch. So much good stuff is available that it really hasn’t been a sacrifice. Let’s see what happens in the winter after the eating nothing but hard squash, greens, and citrus. Hopefully we can continue.

    Just remember that a movement starts at home, and if your family can afford to make the switch the benefits are present in spades.

    Reply
  3. wouldibuyitagain

    Well said Sethonious. I think that the food industry is next in line after tobacco. I would agree that it all starts at home and there has to be a continued focus on education and making sure that people are always asking questions. Once there is curiosity, it can be applied to food, recycling, energy, etc… Interesting trailer and I hope that it makes it to the Midwest (yeah right?!)

    Reply
  4. Shannon

    Thanks for posting the trailer for Food, Inc., coming out in theaters June 12, in San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles (other play dates available here: http://www.magpictures.com/dates.aspx?id=3e3938d1-b785-4286-9ae0-8eb5952f1480)! There is also a book companion to the movie, Food, Inc. available at Amazon.com. The book explores topics that were discussed in the movie, such as the industrialization of our food supply and the benefits of local and organic eating. Food experts including Marion Nestle, Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, and Anna Lappé, take these topics to another level through thirteen fascinating essays, some of which have been written especially for this book. Check it out!

    Shannon Matloob
    Participant Media

    Reply
  5. Wayne Shoemaker

    After seeing Food,, Inc., Make an impact! Join the Dine Indie movement. No Chains. No Agribusiness. Icons for local ingredients used and vegan options. Check out DineIndie.com/TakeAction

    Reply

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