Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Food Inc. (2009)

Title: Food Inc. (2009)

Director: Robert Kenner

This world is fucked up. That’s what documentaries make me think about. I mean, if one was to watch Who Killed The Electric Car? (2006) Jesus Camp (2006) Jonestown: The Life and Death of the Peoples Temple (2006) Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Living (2005) Sicko (2007) Capitalism: A Love Story (2010) and now Food Inc. (2009) one after another, one would not want to go on living in the world as we know it. And honestly, I find it so sad that the world is the way it is. You know what they say, the more you know about how things really are, the more bitter you get. I guess you learn to find happiness in other things in life, but the reality remains that this world is one sad place when we really stop to look at it. Still, I like to watch these documentaries, psychologically torturous as the may be, because they are like a bitter pill that the world needs to take in order to get better. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, that’s when we know we have to fix our tie. When we look at these documentaries, we know what is wrong in the world, and what we can do to make it better.

Hey, where did that pretty American Farm go to?

In this case, the bitter pill has to do with the food we eat. Every day, we eat chicken, pork, soy beans, vegetables, corn, yet we don’t really know where they come from. We see a neat little package in the supermarket, we buy it, but do we ever stop and think what the food in the supermarket has gone through to get there? Food Inc. shows you exactly what it went through, and it isn’t pretty. The documentary focuses on three areas, the production of meat, the production of grains and vegetables like soy and corn, and finally, the documentary focuses on the power these gigantic companies have, crushing smaller farmers and using legal tactics to shut them down, just so they can have a complete monopoly over food production. Like I said, it’s sad the way the world really is. It’s a dog eat dog world in the food industry, and its sad to see the smaller farmers putting up the good fight against these giant multinationals. How weird is it that one of these giant companies can actually genetically alter a grain, and then own it? As in no one else can grow that grain of soy, but them? I mean, arent grains part of nature? How can a company own a freaking grain? Ask the giants, they've deviced a tricky way of doing it. It’s strange to see farmers acting all scared in front of the cameras, like they are showing some dirty secret that they are going to get punished for talking about. And sad part is, they probably are going to “get it” for talking about how the food we eat is handled. The bravery shown by some of these farmers who were willing to open up the doors of their farms to show us how our food is handled is commendable.

You’ll see how chickens are grown in complete darkness, and grown so fat that they can’t even take three steps without falling down! The chickens can’t even hold their own weight! Really, it’s the mass production of it all that sickens me. These companies need to produce so much food, so fast and on a day to day basis, that the quality of the food goes down because they take short cuts to produce more, bigger and faster. I enjoyed how the documentary also focuses on smaller farms, the organic kind. These farmers produce less food and don’t want to ever get huge or multinational. They want to remain small, and produce quality food for their neighbors. Id love to support farmers like these, unfortunately, where I live, people live off of the supermarket and the supermarket alone. I think it’s sad when you think that not many people grow their own food anymore. The idea is so remote from their minds! The way things are set up in the world, we only have time to go to work, come back, and eat something we bought at the supermarket. We don’t know what its like to grow our own food, because we don’t have the time to do it.

"Hey, they left out that extra order of saturated fat that I ordered!"

A quick drive to McDonalds or Burger King can solve your hunger problem in a jiffy, its cheap, but its crap. Unfortunately, when you make little money (as many families do in our current economical reality) going to a fast food joint is sometimes the ONLY option to get the whole family to eat. I mean, how unfair and messed up are things in the world when buying vegetables in the supermarket is way more expensive then getting a happy meal at McDonalds? How wrong is that? Shouldn’t the good food be cheaper? It should. It would be the right thing, but we live in a world where what is done is the wrong thing. Just take a look at all those documentaries I mentioned earlier. But its not all gloom and doom, thankfully, the documentary does offer up good points on how we can improve our eating habits, how we can kill the giants, by not buying the crap with pretty packages that is sold to us at the supermarket, but by consuming organic products sold on Farmers Markets, amongst other things. In other words, know what you eat! Watching this documentary will help you do that. I support this kind of documentary because it lets us see things the way they really are, not a false exterior, but the real truth of it all which we seldom get in this world. Highly recommended viewing.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Food, Inc.Jonestown - The Life & Death of Peoples TempleWho Killed the Electric Car?


venoms5 said...

Awesome post, Francisco! I will be on the look out for this!

Franco Macabro said...

Thanks for the comment Venom, it really is an eye opener of a documentary. I mean I knew there was something wrong about food production for the masses, Id seen other films related to this subject manner (like Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation) but damn, it never ceases to amaze me how much wrong and evil there is in the world.

Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway] said...

As a companion piece to this I'd wholeheartedly endorse Victor Schonfeld's 1981 documentary THE ANIMALS FILM. Its easily one of the most horrifying and disturbing films I've ever seen. Another good documentary worth seeking out is THE CORPORATION. Excellent review as ever Franco!

Franco Macabro said...

Thanks for the recommendation Shaun, Ive had my eye on The Corporation for a while now, Ill see it soon. The Animals Film, I had never heard of that one, Ill check it out, thanks man!

Neil Fulwood said...

I can second Shaun's recommendation of 'The Corporation' - it's quite long for a documentary, about two and a quarter hours, but a real eye-opener!

I've not seen 'Food Inc', but I'm familiar with most of the other documentaries you mention in this post. Taken together with the likes of 'Super Size Me', 'McLibel' and 'Taking Liberties', they add up to a picture of a contemporary consumerist society in thrall to corporationism. You're right when you say that they don't make for entertaining viewing - in fact some of them leave you feeling either morally outraged or borderline depressed - but movies like these are vital in communicating the unsavoury truth about the way things are, and in making people think.

Franco Macabro said...

The truth is a jagged little pill, but its better to know then not know. I think this is part of the symbolism we see in films like 'The Matrix' were they offer you the blue pill of lies or the red pill of truth, point is, you could take the lies, but you'll be a fool all your life.

If ow choose to see the truth, however undesirable it may be, at least its the truth, and you know where you are really standing and what you need to do.

What I got the most out of this documentary was how scared people are of the government and the big companies, the talk in low tones, and don't dare talk about certain things. As if some mafia was going to come and make them pay if they 'spilled the beans' so to speak.

You kind of feel the crush of the powerful with this documentary, or with all the other ones weve mentioned for that matter.

Castor said...

Excellent review of a very good documentary. Most of the facts in the film is relatively popular knowledge but it's nice to see it all put together in one place to raise awareness. Most shocking for me were the access door to the cow's stomach and the disgusting meat filler sequence.

Welcome to LAMB!

Franco Macabro said...

Yeah, that access door to the cows stomach, how freaking weird was that! The cow was alive and we were seeing her innards...

Thanks for the welcome, as they say: Proud to be a Lamb!

Reina said...

i like what you( cause i find it absolutely truth) "that when you look in the mirror, thats when you know you have to to fix our ties"..i wish i could do more good to the world by them a the mean time. we'll keep eating vegetarian, healthy food, cooked with love...and feeling like shit while watching documentaries like these..thank you for a great, socially conscious review of great documentary!


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