Food, Inc.

Tonight, my sister-in-laws and I went to see Food, Inc.  We were quite the trio: three animal-lovers; me an environmentalist small-farmer’s daughter, Kate an organic/vegan chef, and Melissa a fisherman’s wife who runs a booth at farmer’s markets.  While we did feel like we already knew a lot about what was in the film and that we, along with our families, have already taken many steps in the right direction, we still found the film to be worthwile.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXSxJF43XGA&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0]

I could go on and on about how some of my favorite environmentalists are in it, including Michael Pollan and Joel Salatin.  I could also talk for a while about how I’m disgusted by the industrial meat industry, frustrated with Monsanto’s monopoly, or my increasing mistrust of food produced by people outside of my family.  But instead, I’m going to talk about what I’m taking away from this film.

I had never realized that so many officials in government agencies, including the FDA, EPA, justices, representatives, etc., have ties to industrial agribusiness.  No wonder consumers don’t have the protections they want and deserve.  No wonder people get sick from E. coli, can’t afford to buy healthy food instead of fast food, don’t have the right to know if food is GM or cloned, and no wonder our nation is becoming increasingly unhealthy.  The government has made it so.

However, I walk away from this film with hope.  The reality, and the beauty, of our country is that individual citizens can and do make changes, make an impact, at every meal.  As Gary Hirschberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm, says in the film, consumers may think they can’t make a change, but we vote with our dollars every time we purchase food. 

However, I don’t think that’s enough.  We need to not only vote with our dollars for our own food, but we also need to become politically active.  That’s right! No longer can we complacently fill our reusable bags with healthy foods and ignore the policies that allow and promote industrial agribusiness, cruelty to animals, contaminated food, poor conditions for workers, and take away our right to free speech, to the detriment of the health of our citizens, small farmers, and the environment. 

So here’s what I will do.  I will do my research before I vote, especially when it comes to the small, local elections.  I won’t lie: I hate politics! But if I want to see positive changes, I need to get involved.  I will speak to and write letters and emails to my representatives in favor of promoting small family farms and in opposition to industrial agribusiness; in favor of healthy food and in opposition to highly processed, packaged fast food.  And I will encourage others to do the same.  I won’t become discouraged and ask how little old me can make a difference.  As Margaret Mead said:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Have you seen Food, Inc.? What message did you walk away with?

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13 Comments

Filed under Food, Local Agriculture, Sustainable Living

13 Responses to Food, Inc.

  1. I haven’t seen Food, Inc. But that trailer looks great.

    I sort of hate politics, too. Or at least I feel too timid to actually become politically active. But I increasingly feel the same way that you do – we need to make our voices heard.

    I think I will start by watching the movie, though. :)

  2. Rob

    Watchout Abs- you may become one of those danged radicals! LOL It happens to the best of us!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, wanted to see it during the free showing here in seattle, but had to work. Hopefully it will be out on DVD/Netflix soon! I did recently see the parrots of telegraph hill on netflix, very good, way off your subject. But it made my eyes water.

  3. Thanks for the review, Ab! Will have to see this!

    Thanks, too, for all the ideas of what one person can do. Oh, by the way, your Dad is up for re-election in small-town politics, and as much as I also hate “politics,” I learned so much from my 14 years on our local Board of Education, and have to feel I made a difference, even in a small way.

    Also, by the way, I offered to help “man” the agricultural tent at our upcoming town festival; are you in?

  4. ctdaffodil

    Abby – Where is it playing – I just watched the trailer on the courant’s website last night – I want to see it too….

  5. Colleen

    I have yet to see it but it is on my list of must sees this month. I loath politics but have also realized this year that if I want anything to change I have to be aware and start paying better attention.

    The first documentary that really opened my eyes to Agribusiness and the ties to the Government was “The Future of Food”. I showed it to my APES kids this year and it really made an impact on them and I hope to be able to show Food Inc as well.

  6. Thanks for the feedback on the movie. I’ve still not gotten to see it yet. However, I totally agree with out about becoming active in local politics. I too HATE politics but I do think that, especially at the local level, we can have a big impact.

  7. Bee

    FYI — more than one sister-in-law is “sisters-in-law,” not “sister-in-laws.”

  8. Haven’t seen the movie yet but watched an interview with the film’s creator on Jon Stewart. One tidbit that I picked up from listening in was that we, our generation, is up against a lot more when it comes to making healthy, nutritional, environmental choices when it comes to purchasing food. Many folks who know my husband and me can’t believe that we spend as much as we do on our food (probably as much as families in America did some 40 years ago), and I usually respond that in order to give our daughter the quality of foods that our parents had better access to (when we were kids), we need to buy “local” and buy “organic” foods.

    And not necessarily because of Food Inc., but over the last several years I have lost faith in organizations like the EPA and FDA. I don’t, therefore, pay much attention to what is certified organic by the FDA. Not quite sure what their standards mean anyway . . .

  9. I can’t wait to see it as well. I check every once in a while to see if it’s playing anywhere in Iowa, but absolutely no luck. According to Amazon, the DVD comes out November 3.

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