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August 31, 2009

Food, Inc.

by Franz Patrick


Food, Inc. (2008)
★★★★ / ★★★★

“Food, Inc.” is definitely worth watching for the messages it wants to impart. One of those messages is that it is ultimately up to us consumers to be more aware of what we eat and where the food we choose to eat comes from. Second, do not trust the government, such as the FDA and USDA, to protect our health because the very same people whose jobs are supposed to make sure that we do not get food poisoning or die from E. coli have worked for the biggest corporations that control the food industry; those people only care about the money and will continue to only care about the money. Directed by Robert Kenner, he makes it his goal to show his audiences what the food corporations are trying so hard to keep from the masses. For instance, the chicken we eat might have been raised in a place where they never get to see sunlight, get so heavy to the point where they cannot walk so they tend to collapse and die, and live for the rest of its life in overcrowded warehouses with (literally) thousands of other chicken. There were scenes that really got to me such as dead chickens being left on the floor for days because the people in charge could not tell such chickens are dead. There are also scenes that involves killing cows and pigs in such inhumane (and unsanitary) conditions; they are the very same scenes that shows us how fecal matter can easily get into our food system. In some aspects, it covers some of the Biology that comes with raising animals and what evolution designed them to eat so I really got into it. For example, cows, chicken, pigs and even fish eat corn nowadays in order to get fatter at a faster rate. (That information is not new to me because I’ve seen another excellent documentary called “King Corn,” which I suggest you check out as well.) I also liked the fact that this film does not ignore the ones who take corporations’ bullying: the farmers, the illegal immigrants, and the butchers. It was a smart move because it made the picture that much more emotional and personal. It goes to show that the jobs that most people would tend to look down upon are quite crucial. But the one that I wanted to get to know more was the story about Barbara Kowalcyk’s struggle to pass a legislation to prevent others of dying from eating food infected with E. coli as her son did. As sad as what had happened, I thought it was inspirational how she had risen and fought (and continues to fight) for a cause that could potentially help millions of people. Lastly, I admire that this movie is not just about showing people the consequences of the corporations’ greed. It actually tells us what we can do to make wiser choices when it comes to what and where to buy certain kinds of food. (I found it refreshing that it had something positive to say about Wal-Mart because most documentaries I’ve seen tend to make Wal-Mart as a complete monster.) Because after all, when you enter the supermarket, a tomato make look like a tomato… but it’s really quite something… different.

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