A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to watch the film Food, Inc. To be honest, I didn’t really want to watch it, but I had heard so much good about it that it piqued my interest (plus Chipotle was promoting it… and if Chipotle likes it, I like it). Basically, the film sheds light on the “where” and “how” our food gets from farm to fork – mostly stuff that we don’t think about and, frankly, probably don’t even want to think about.
But its interesting stuff, nonetheless. Like the fact that McDonald’s is the largest buyer of meat and potatoes in the world. Hmmmm. Makes you wonder. There are a lot of McDonald’s out there. And if they are the largest purchaser of these foods, then they probably have the muscle to dictate how these foods are produced. Which they do.
It’s not that McDonald’s and other large food conglomerates are inherently evil, but they have been responsible for creating a system that has screwed up our thinking a little bit. For example, why is it that you can buy a cheeseburger for 99 cents, but it costs $1.19 for a bushel of brocolli? That just seems odd.
Since there is such a high demand in America for processed food, these companies have been instrumental in coming up with ways to create enough of it really, really fast. This is why most of our food contains high caloric, sugar laden ingredients, and much of the meat we buy in fast-food chains or supermarkets come from factory farms in which animals are raised genetically and under incredibly inhumane conditions. Things that shouldn’t even be in food are, and things that shouldn’t even be fed to cows and chickens are, because we have found a “secret” to manufacturing unhealthy and environmentally harmful solutions, cheaply and in mass-quantity, to feed our demand. Even our government subsidizes farmers to over-produce genetically-modified crops in order to use them in various forms throughout almost every product and process in America, in spite of the fact that these genetically-altered ingredients contribute to 1 in 3 Americans developing diabetes, heart diseases, and cancers.
Anyway…. I’ll leave my two cents at that. I don’t want to bore you with my regurgitation of the film. I would highly recommend you watch it, though. It really isn’t too “Michael Moore-ish” as I might be making it out to be. The film’s director, Robert Kenner, doesn’t even really “attack” the current system of industrialized food production. In an interview, he said, “All we want is transparency and a good conversation about these things.”
The truth is, the film simply changes the way you look at food. It may not stop you from ever buying a Big Mac, which, quite frankly, I’m sure I’ll even buy one from time to time. However, it will make you more “conscious” of what you are buying and eating. Rest assure, there are solutions to the epidemic. Changing the way America eats won’t change overnight. It probably won’t even change over the next ten years. But gradually it could start moving in the right direction. As the film puts it, we each get a vote…. at least 3 times a day.
You can buy the film on Amazon.com for about $10. Click here for info.