“Food, Inc.” is a documentary-style expose that seeks to reveal the world behind the food industry and answer the not-so-simple question: where did my meal come from? Years ago, that answer used to be clear–the farmer down the road provided the milk, you got your meat from a butcher who picked a steer from a rancher nearby, and so on. But now, as we walk down the supermarket aisles, we have little to no indication of where our food really comes from and what chemicals, genetically modified ingredients, etc. comprise what we are putting into our body.
And, when you stop and think about it, that is kind of scary.
But, I would like to point out here that I have very much heard just one side of the story. Like any politically driven documentary, it is quite easy to be moved by the argument the director wants you to believe. As a conscientious consumer, I think it is absolutely right to be thinking about these things, but you must also consider the other side.
So I must say that at this point, all of my personal research has been done on this one side of the coin.
Food, Inc. is absolutely an incredibly well-done film. Its impact has been large, as can be measured by the number of social media references and even the fact that the nonprofit I work for recently held a screening of it that was completely sold out. People are shocked by what it reveals and terrorized at the thought of what is happening to the food we eat before it gets to our mouths.
There are times when you are physically sickened by what is shown and want to run to greener pastures to find free range chicken and steers who actually get to eat grass instead of being forced to digest what is unnatural to them, corn.
I have seen the film twice now and felt compelled to read one of the books that is heavily featured in the film, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. I will write a review of it once I have finished, but so far it has been incredibly enlightening to see the way corn has dramatically changed the agriculture industry in the US, on a variety of levels.
All of that being said, I think “Food, Inc.” is an important film to view because it raises questions about what we are eating and how healthy it is for our bodies. Regardless of what may be truth and what may be exaggeration, the film does encourage viewers to support local farmers and growers.
When we held our film screening earlier this week, I invited some local farmers to come out and talk about what they grow, what is in season when, etc. It was a wonderful chance for the audience members to connect with these farmers and learn how to buy fresh and local, which is always a healthier choice.
So, do watch this film at some point when you get the chance. Watch it with an open mind but also with a grain of salt, making sure you do the research yourself before you believe everything that you see.