Forget Halloween, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or anything with Jennifer Aniston --- this is one scary movie.
Food Inc. is the true horror film of where our food comes from, and the villains are big business, big government, and corn.
When I walk through the supermarket I don't really think about where the food comes from. Food, Inc. is about the source of our food, and folks, I gotta tell you... eww... it ain't pretty. The film talks about the big business of food, about the what's behind the 47,000 products in the average American supermarket. It's big oil, or Wall Street. With livestock.
The food we eat is totally different than what our grandparents ate, even when it looks the same. Because the big companies want it to look the same. But truth is, as you hold that shrink-wrapped boneless skinless plumped up chicken breast in your hands, if you were to follow the food chain back to origin, it goes to a factory not a farm, and to a chicken hopped up on antibiotics so it grows twice the size in half the time, a chicken that never sees sunlight, a chicken that lives a short brutal life, because we want everything faster and cheaper.
Yep, totally gross. And I eat chicken regularly. Not so happy about that now.Who's to blame? Well I blame Glenn Beck. Okay, not really. Our fast food culture is to blame, specifically the Walmartization of our culture, where we want everything bigger, faster, cheaper, where a small number of very big companies influence how things are made and how government policy is written.
Why is the government to blame? Due to government subsidies on corn, wheat, and soy, that make them so profitable, junk food is cheaper than real food.
Why is big business to blame? A few number of companies control the whole food system from seed to supermarket, and make billions. These big companies do not want farmers talking, do not want this story told - there is a food world deliberately hidden from us, and it is no Candyland. As told in the most disturbing part of Food, Inc., where we see the chickens as mass merchandise and not live beings, in the 1930s fast food changed the world of food when McDonald's brought the factory system to back of the restaurant, when the kitchen became a production line of uniformity and cheapness.
When McDonald's is the largest purchaser of beef and potatoes in the US and one of the biggest purchasers of chicken, pork, and tomatoes, they determine how food is made. Even if you don't eat at McDonald's, you are eating food made to their specifications: chickens raised in 48 days rather than 70, twice the size, fattened up with gallons of antibiotics so have more white meat, all to produce more, faster, cheaper. The birds are a production line, they never see sunlight, they all need to be the same size --- all to produce a lot of food on a smaller piece of land at an affordable price.
Distressful as the movie is, it's not really depressing --- okay, okay, it is a little, and you're gonna put down the chocolate-dipped triple stuff Oreo as you watch. Food, Inc. does a great job as it also looks forward and tells what we each can do eat better (eat organic, eat local, eat unprocessed).
Rent it. Watch it while you enjoy a large milkshake, party-size Chicken McNuggets, and supersized fries...