Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Food, Inc.

"You'll never look at dinner the same way again."

Since they don't allow the trailer to be embedded in blogs, you'll have to go to youtube to see it. In the meantime, here's a screenshot I snagged from The Bovine.

Coming this summer!

With a constituency limited to anyone who eats, "Food, Inc." is a civilized horror movie for the socially conscious, the nutritionally curious and the hungry. Yes, it has a deceptively cheery palette, but helmer Robert Kenner's doc -- which does for the supermarket what "Jaws" did for the beach -- marches straight into the dark side of cutthroat agri-business, corporatized meat and the greedy manipulation of both genetics and the law. Doc biz may be in the doldrums, but "Food, Inc." is so aesthetically polished and politically urgent, theatrical play seems a no-brainer, though it won't do much for popcorn sales.


Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

Opens June 12, 2009


Bruce said...

A recent discovery made me aware how hard it is to escape Industrialized Farming.

I've made my own bread for several years, using 'good' flour. I had no idea that the commercially available dried yeast I'm using is all grown (raised?) on GMO corn.

Thanks for the tip Nance.

Bruce said...

I think there's a strong connection between the Neo-Liberal Ideology of Big Ag (and the rest of the oligarchs) and the health outcomes shown in the results of a recent OECD study.

"Here are the US rankings out of the 30 OECD countries (1 is best; 30 is worst -- worst as in Somalia-like). The names of the countries even more Somalian than the US appear in parens.

Infant Deaths: 28 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey).

Life Expectancy: 24 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Czech & Slovak Republics).

Health Expenditures: 1 out of 30.

Poverty Rates: 28 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey).

Child Poverty: 27 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey, Poland).

Income Inequality: 27 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey, Portugal).

Obesity: 30 out of 30.

Incarceration: 30 out of 30.

Work Hours (ranked in ascending order): 30 out of 30.

Height (women): 25 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey, Korea, Portugal, Japan).

Height (men): 24 out of 30 (Italy, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Korea, Japan).

OECD countries: Turkey, Mexico, Poland, USA, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Greece, Luxemburg, Australia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Korea, Czech Republic, UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland, France, Austria, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

David said...

I hope this movie changes some minds.

What is Neo-Liberal and how is it that Big-Ag is Neo-Liberal?

Bruce said...


It's a collection of policies, mostly centered around the idea that the "free-market" should be the arbiter of all things. And that people exist to serve economic ideas rather than the other way around.

Stan Goff has a good, if academic, definition here:
"Neoconservatism is but a last attempt to rescue neoliberalism. They have little to do with what we generally associate with the root terms, “conservative” and “liberal.” The original US neoliberal executive was Ronald Reagan. I might suggest David Harvey’s book, A Brief History of Neoliberalism as a primer.

As a long-term political trend, neoliberalism was an attempt to restore eroded class power to the US ruling class. It was precipitated by crises that have roots in Vietnam and before (post-WWII), and which came to a head under Nixon. It is failing now; and neoliberalism, in practice — not subprime mortgages, etc etc — is the basis of the systemic failure we are now witnessing… one that neither Obama nor anyone else can cure.
20 March 2009, 5:12 pm "

Big Ag uses the tortured logic behind the mythical free market to consolidate and hold their power.

For a long answer to the Big Ag=Neo-Lib question, I think the post that his comment came from, "It's Not Rocket Science: Land Productivity, Food Rights" by DeAnander, is worth reading.

Bruce said...

Forgot to include the link to Stan Goff's comment.

It's here.

Chris said...

Well I work at an environmental focused charter school and farm education is a big part of our school. So much that we lead book groups to discuss these topics. I think the next group will be focused around this movie and possibly the book that goes with it (of the same name). Food issues and Big-Ag is become a serious issue.
Thanks for posting this. I am going to do the same on my blog.

Bruce said...


It's an incredible story isn't it.

The true (nutritional and other) needs of every eater are consistently set aside by a system that is geared toward making money for agri-biz.

I don't know if you're familiar with Stan Goff and De Clarke (DeAnander), both who write--primarily--at Feral Scholar. The depth and breadth of their experience on this, and other seemingly unrelated issues, is amazing.

Good luck with your class.

Chris said...

I am not familiar with either of those writer but I will check them out now. I just finished reading a book titled "The Meat You Eat" which describes in detail the meat, dairy, and egg production facilities in the US. It is pretty shocking what is happening all around and the lack of any reporting on these issues except when there is an outbreak of e coli or something. As you said the Agri-biz is out to make money and not meet the nutritional and health needs of Americans.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the trailer for Food, Inc., coming out in theaters June 12, in San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles (other play dates available here:! There is also a book companion to the movie, Food, Inc. available at The book explores topics that were discussed in the movie, such as the industrialization of our food supply and the benefits of local and organic eating. Food experts including Marion Nestle, Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, and Anna Lappé, take these topics to another level through thirteen fascinating essays, some of which have been written especially for this book. Check it out!

Shannon Matloob
Participant Media