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Food, Inc. - Movie Review - 2009

An Investigation of Food Production in The United States

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Food, Inc. - Movie Review - 2009

Joel Salatin in 'Food, Inc.'

Participant Media
Food, Inc. is an alarming expose of the way food is produced and distributed in the United States. Interviewing investigators, journalists and farmers, filmmaker Robert Kenner shows how almost everything we eat is produced and distributed by a very few huge multinational corporations, such as Monsanto and Tyson, and that quality of nutrition is secondary to production cost and corporate profits.

Presented statistics, expert opinions and commentaries by whistle-blowing farmers are shocking. Even worse, footage showing inhumane, unhealthy and unsanitary conditions of livestock and of food industry workers is horrific.

You Are What You Eat -- Can It Be This?

After you see this film--and it is essential that you do--you will never again approach nutrition in the same way. Not only will you eschew fast foods, you'll find it difficult to find foods that are readily available in popular outlets and is appealing, nutritious and healthful.

In covering the current means of food production and distribution in the United States, Robert Kenner shows that almost all sorts of food stuffs, ranging from chickens, cows and pigs, to corn and soy, are tainted.

As we learned in King Corn, genetically engineered corn has become the mainstay of the American diet. It's found -- a fructose and other derivatives -- in almost every food product you find on the shelves of supermarkets. Food, Inc. shows us that it's also used to feed all of our livestock -- including farmed talapia and salmon. The pervasiveness of corn in our diet makes Americans not only corny, literally, but also undernourished and overweight.

We also see that farming -- of corn, soy and almost all other crops -- is now almost completely controlled by several huge (and unsympathetic) corporations. For example, Monsanto has patented the strain of soy that is most widely grown and has found ways of prosecuting farmers who strive to avoid using their genetically engineered seed.

Large corporations -- such as Tyson and Purdue -- also control the production and distribution of all kinds of meat. Kenner takes us to see the inhumane, unhealthy and unsanitary conditions in which chickens, cattle and pigs are raised and slaughtered.

Processing the Information

We've been exposed to this before -- in Death On A Factory Farm, for example, and in Oprah Winfrey's lawsuit, which is actually referenced in Food, Inc. -- but Kenner links the conditions to the E-coli outbreaks and other health problems.

Farmers and ranchers who refuse to accept the corporate program are squeezed out, and we see how for-hire food industry workers on factory farms and in slaughterhouses are constantly exploited and put in harms way.

Experts Speak Out

Interviews with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto), Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farms, organic yogurt-makers), Joel Salatin (Polyface Farms, feeding livestock with grass instead of corn) and others suggest ways to reclaim America's food production for a healthy future.

The Future

Food in America, it seems, has become a guilty essential and the consequences, unless we change our ways, will not be a pleasure. The film makes it clear that it's time to turn the situation around. But see it for yourself, and decide. This is information you need.

If This Documentary Interests You, You Might Also Like:

Film Details:

  • Food, Inc - 2008
  • Food Inc Website & Trailer
  • Director: Robert Kenner
  • US Theatrical Release Date: June 12, 2009 (limited)
  • Running Time: 94 mins.
  • Parental Advisory: Content advisory for parents
  • Location: USA
  • Language: English
  • Production Country: USA
  • Production Company: Participant Media
  • Distribution Company: Magnolia Pictures
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Important Information, Lackluster Wrapping, Member lilsouth

See this film for the content and be patient with the presentation. I went and saw this the day it opened in our town. I hope later showings had larger crowds -- my three daughers and I made up more than half the audience -- because this is a film everyone who eats needs to see. However, be prepared to sit through some boring bits. It's a long film made longer by some lackluster moments. Having seen similar documentaries and read related books, I was familiar with the message although there were a number of things shown that I'd not heard about or read about previously or that were presented from a different angle. Very educational -- and disturbing. I felt the filmmakers let a few segments drag on just a little too long with interviewees who didn'really hold my interest for long. And some points weren't emphasized strongly enough, such as the organic and buying local angles as important alternatives. I would have liked to have seen more concise, emphatic action points -- things to do, steps to take -- for viewers at the end, through both speakers and bullet lists. I'm afraid too many (most) viewers might be shocked and appalled for a day or so, maybe skip McDonald's that day, but then slip too easily into indifference because the film doesn't have a strong call to action. Yes, some might argue that they are simply putting the information out there to allow the viewer to come to their own conclusions, find there own way, but that's doing a disservice when this is an issue affecting everyone -- hurting everyone -- enslaving and killing everyone. But overall, the subject of the film rises above any shortcomings in the filmmaking style. See it. See it. See it. Get it in front of your family, your friends. Invite everyone over for a cookout with grass-fed beef or buffalo hamburger patties, organically grown local tomatoes and lettuce, organic ketchup without any GMO-laced corn syrup in it, and a big ol' glass of hormone-free milk. Show 'em what real food tastes like.

18 out of 21 people found this helpful.

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