Monday, August 1, 2011

food inc. review!

And now…my review of Food, Inc.! Many bloggers have touched on the basic principles of Food, Inc., so I won’t take time to do that. Here are a few of the things that stood out to me:
food inc
  • According to the movie, factory farm animals are grown in an economically advantageous but not necessarily sanitary way. The rise of E.coli epidemics and other foodborne illnesses are said to be partly attributed to the factory farm method.
  • When it all boils down, just a handful of companies are behind the products you see in the grocery store. These companies monopolize their respective industries, and the government has little power to regulate them since many of their supporters hold government offices.
  • Many packaged {and processed} food products contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms}. Although we don’t know the long term effects of consuming GMOs, we should have the right to know which products contain them.
So, what can we do to change the way our food is processed and labeled?
  • Do what you can with what you have. Although the movie says that we can “vote” 3 times a day when we choose what to eat, not everyone has the freedom to choose. As a grad student, I struggle with the cost of food; I don’t have tons of money to spend on organic groceries or Amish-raised cows. As long as fast food restaurants buy from the industries, they will continue to survive. I think equal attention should be devoted to improving food pantries and helping families grow their own produce, so they won’t have to rely on fast food for fuel. Buy local produce at famers markets when you can and eat as responsibly as your wallet allows.

  • Demand to know what’s in your food and where it comes from. That means pressing for GMO-containing food to be labeled and being aware of in-season produce. I’ve seen firsthand how consumer demand can change the course of industry {read how research on BPA and consumer demand caused Nalgene to start making BPA-free water bottles}. Write your Congressman, and try to eat less processed foods.
  • Spread the word. I think a lot of people have an inkling of what goes on in the meat and corn/soybean industry, but they choose to ignore their suspicions. Many of us bloggers are more aware of what’s going on…tell your families, friends, and co-workers about Food, Inc. and urge them to be more responsible consumers.
There is so much more I could write, but I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here. The blogworld is probably one of the most informed communities in which I’m involved; we need to focus on reaching the non-foodies and unconcerned, apathetic consumers. One of the ways I want to reduce my consumption of non-local and non organic produce is by starting a garden. Some of my friends have already done so and have experienced fresh cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, and onions already this summer. If anyone has any thoughts or tips on this, leave me a comment!
If you haven’t seen Food, Inc. yet, I’d really encourage you to do so. Despite reading other bloggers’ thoughts on the movie beforehand, seeing it for myself definitely made an impact.
If you’ve already seen the movie, I’d love to hear how it’s changed your perception of food or your shopping habits.
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16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the movie. The food production industry really can be terrifying, and most Americans never give it a second thought. Sad.

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  2. Great review Emily! I need to see this movie, although I'm still not going to eat a completely organic/natural diet. The more people who see this movie, and the more people it effects, the more likely organic produce/foods will decrease in price. So I hope this movie has a good effect!

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  3. Happy anniversary to your dear folks!!

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  4. aww happy anniversary to your parents!!
    GREAT review - I have yet to see that movie!

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  5. I agree with everything said about Food, Inc! Well said.


    And happy anniversary to your parents ; )

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  6. i can't wait to see this film. i definitely agree about spreading the word. there are so many people who are uneducated on the subject of food, or simply don't care about it.

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  7. Great food inc review! I definitely agree with you, and I wish we could find a way to spread the world to the masses--most of the blog world here is already conscientious. Happy anniversary to your parents!

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  8. I am with you on the price of organic food. I just can't afford organic meat!

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  9. Happy Anniversary! I haven't seen Food, Inc. yet, but I really want to. I would agree with you on the garden part, I'd really like to start one when it cools down a bit here :)

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  10. All this talk about food production in the US makes me wonder what other countries do. Not saying that it's right, but how else are we supposed to get such mass quantities of meat? I'd be interested in how other countries raise animals.

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  11. i'll definitely go to see the movie!
    happy anniversary to your lovely parents! :)

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  12. aah, i really want to see it!! tried once but it was sold out :( (i guess that's good tho!) i'm with you on the grad school/now postdoc $$ front so that's my approach as well.

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  13. It really gave some great info. And I feel obligated now to do more than just not eat this food - I want to help change this messed up system. I also agree that going organic is hard for me - money is not flowing freely around here. And you shouldn't have to ingest pesticides or whatever just because you can't afford better. We need to lookout for one another - and the animals. This situation has got to be changed.

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  14. Great review! I cried watching this movie- how farmers that are trying to stay clear of GM seeds and factory farming practices are being treated, how workers in factory farms are being treated, the power of the food industry on our diets and health and the effect of our diets/lifestyles on our planet. It made me sad. This movie (and the book The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan -have you read it?) have definitely changed the way i think about food as well. I went to volunteer on a farm in British Columbia this summer to learn what our food looks like and where it comes from. It was a great experience (one I have to blog about!).
    I've always been vegetarian so just don't eat factory-farmed animals, I'm now very aware of where the food I eat comes from and try to eat local and/or organic as much as possible, I shop at farmer's markets as often as I can and I will start growing some vegetables and herbs (to begin with!) when I move in a few weeks.
    Good luck with your garden- keep us up-to-date!

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  15. Thank you for spreading the word about Food, Inc - both on your blog and on the ADA Online Student Community of Interest! It's great to see so many bloggers interested in seeing the movie and changing this system. For recommendations on changing the system - I recommend all dietetics students join the Hunger & Environmental Nutrition (HEN) Dietetic Practice Group and the HEN list-serve - just get involved in the conversation and it will spark ideas as to what we can do next! I myself am going to be involved in their ADA Sponsorship Task Force to try and get unhealthy food companies to stop being sponsors of the ADA! How could you contribute? The possibilities are endless! But in my opinion, it starts with the HEN list-serve - they're great people!! HEN website = http://hendpg.org. And FYI you can read my blog response to Food, Inc here: http://food4thoughtandaction.blogspot.com/2009/04/food-inc.html

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  16. Those companies only account for 10% of ADA's funds. Surely, this money could be replaced by sponsorship by companies that make healthier & organic food and have more integrity.

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