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In a gruesome depiction of how food is made in America, Food Inc. lays down the gritty facts of how what we eat is produced, from the mass production of crammed chicken to processed beef at McDonalds. It had a lasting impression on me and I do not think that I will ever be able to eat or even look at food the same way. Surely, it will make everyone who has watched this film have second thoughts the next time one pulls by a drive-thru.
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The activist documentary features interviews and voice-overs from author of "In Defense of Food" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma", Michael Pollan, organic farmer Joel Salatin, and many other organic food advocates. It also humorously documents the director's journey through a "McDonalds-only diet". We are taken to his doctor's visits and observe his body's response to this sudden excess of fast-food in his body.
The film starts with a general examination of the manufacturing course of meat production, a grisly image of the industrialization of the food-making process. It also focuses on the fact that so much of the food we consume nowadays is simply a reproduction of corn: the magical ingredient that is corn syrup. It goes through the dreadful details of how food finally ends up on your table. And it is not pretty.
But more importantly, it assesses the economic ties of food-corporations and how food production has turned into an industrialized process. Food, according to director Robert Keener, takes now more than ever a less natural path. In order to make food that is cheaper to produce and even faster to make, corporations have been allowed legal leeway. This impedes our right to know how the food we consume comes to us.
The documentary is incredibly powerful as it brings to mind issues about our daily food consumption that are paid very little attention to. It draws attention to the fact that as consumers, we do have a certain power over what we choose to purchase. Understandably, we are drawn in by the affordability of industrialized food and have difficulty giving up that luxury. But if a wave of educated-consumers stands up to the mass production of food and encourages organic and local food, it will be even cheaper in the long run. This will, in fact, not only influence our pockets and the way corporations produce our food, but more significantly, it will impact and change what we put into our bodies, hence our health.
From the film, I have learned one major point: I can make safer and healthier choices in terms of my food consumption that will impact my health on a great scale. Even more importantly, I feel that I need to rid myself of a negative discouraging attitude towards implementing change with small personal actions.
Individual consumer awareness will help society to fully disclose not only the harm in their products, but also the process in which their products are made.