Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jumping on the Bandwagon :: Food Inc.

After reading many reviews from various farm and farm related blogs I decided it was time that I jumped on the Food, Inc. bandwagon and watched the film. So, the other day I went to the local Family Video and rented a copy (luckily they had three copies in their new release section). I ended up watching the film a couple of times and checked out all of the extras. I will readily admit that I am pretty far behind on this one (that is usually the case), but I am glad I watched it and would like to share few thoughts...
  • I absolutely loved King Corn ... I think I have said that enough times (even though I was very skeptical to begin with). I mention that because I think in a way Food, Inc. did some of what King Corn did in just presenting the information and giving a couple sides to the story. I especially found the comments from the Vice President of the Corn Grower's Association (or whatever it's called) to be very interesting and revealing. But, I still like King Corn better -- that's just my opinion.
  • Apathetic ... I'm not sure if that is exactly the word I'm looking for, so if you have a better suggestion let me know. But, I always find it interesting when I watch and read things from farmers who are working within the large industrial model. As I mention in the first point the V.P. of the Corn Growers had some interesting comments and really didn't seem to excited about the system as it exists today. The chicken growers (both the segments in the film and in the deleted scenes) all seemed somewhat "blah" about the job the were doing and the way they had to do it. And, even the dairy farmers who met the Wal-Mart dairy buyers had no problem telling them that they don't even shop at Wal-Mart ... which was ironic because their milk was being made into products and sold at Wal-Mart. The most excited farmer ... Joel Salatin.
  • The story of the woman who lost her child because of the tainted beef really tugs on the heart strings. I am still afraid though (and this is what really made the heart hurt more) that no amount of government regulation would solve the food dangers when our system is so industrialized. But, I don't know all the ins and outs of that sort of thing and I'm sure there are a lot of people say that we have to start somewhere.
  • Monsanto and the attack on the farmers wanting to save their own seed (assuming it is not Monsanto's seed) was pretty frustrating. And, I found it more interesting (or disconcerting) that almost immediatly after showing the man's lawyers saying that if he doesn't win it will be the end of all farmer's who want to save seeds and the seed cleaners the fact is revealed the he settled because of lack of money.
All in all I thought it was a film worth watching and I would encourage you to see it if you haven't already. I realize that you may not agree with everything (or much for that matter), but it is still worth a shot and you should allow yourself to think a little as you take it all in. But, did I mention I really like King Corn!



4 comments:

Steven said...

I really thought that the movie was good, but it was a shock and awe type of movie and probably didn't do enough to show the positive things that are happening in transparent/sustainable agriculture. I guess that the reason for this is that the movie makers weren't really all that optimistic, I'll admit, when you start reading about Monsanto, NAIS, etc. it starts to feel like there is no hope. But, of course there is. Fresh the movie is probably going to be just the answer to Food Inc. I'm going to miss a screening in St. Louis this Sunday but hopefully I'll see it soon.

Mike said...

Hey, I actually just got Food Inc. last night from Netflix (I'm also a bit behind on watching it...) But after reading your post am quite excited.

I also loved King Corn, which I saw 2 weeks ago... And it is pretty difficult to watch these movies, see how deeply entrenched and industrialized the food/agri business is... And wonder... how in the world are we ever going to get out of that...

It definitely isn't something that can happen over night... but small steps are the key... and I think people such as yourself, who just start to get into farming are where it all begins... the more people get involved... and all we can really hope is that it'll make organic, local, sustainable food more accessible... and all we can really do is move forward from there... (And i know that is a big step unto itself; but only a small one in the bigger picture...)

artdyke said...

Hi, I just found your blog last week and I've been reading through the whole thing (still back in November 07, heh). Just wanted to pipe up and say I have a ton of respect for Micheal Pollan (one of the writers behind Food, Inc.). I haven't seen the movie, but I've read several of his books, including The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is how I first heard about Joel Salatin and what first got me to really think about where my food comes from and change my life... so much so that I'm currently in the beginning stages of planning a grass-fed farm myself! So I plan to learn a great deal from your experiences, haha. Anyway, it may all be old news to you by now, but I highly recommend that book (or any of his books - he's a real pleasure to read). I also read Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation, which was also very informative, but I'm not sure it would have motivated me to change my eating habits like Omnivore's Dilemma did had I not already made that change... I think Pollan's extensive profile of Polyface Farm is what did it, showing that there was a much, much better option, a better way to farm out there. Very inspiring!

Been meaning to check out King Corn, too, but I had to cancel my Netflix subscription about a year ago right before it came up in my queue... :(

Term Papers said...

The chicken growers (both the segments in the film and in the deleted scenes) all seemed somewhat "blah" about the job the were doing and the way they had to do it.

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