Monday, 15 February 2010

Food Inc. the Industrialisation of what we eat

Food Inc is an excellent documentary exposing the industrialisation of the food we eat. It's a sobering look at how we have lost our connections with our food. We now live in a world where we poison the soil with pesticides, condemn millions of animals to existences of abject cruelty and pay people a pittance to do dangerous dirty jobs. And the result of this industrialisation is that we all become obese because we're producing the wrong types of food and ill from the chemicals used to produce those foods and allergic to antibiotics because too many of them are used in farming.

Big industry corn farmers in the US flooded the Mexican market which put loads of Mexican corn farmers out of business, these corn farmers are then enticed to illegally enter the US to work for beef concerns where t he cattle are fed on corn from big industry farmers.

Many farmers are effectively slaves to multinational food corporations.

Millions of animals are kept in inhumane conditions.

In some US states you can be sent to prison for criticising their agricultural practices, specifically the production of meat (the so called veggie libel laws).

I would have one criticism of the film - for a UK viewer the film is too much from a US perspective even to the extent that some of the Action Points at the end are only possible for US citizens.

See this film, but be warned - you may come out a vegetarian who will only buy food that has been locally and organically produced.

To find out more about organic food production visit the Soil Association website.
To find your local food producers in the UK visit Local Food Advisor.
To find out about vegetarian diets visit the Vegetarian Society.

18 comments:

Deb G said...

I think I need to pass on seeing the movie...reading about it is hard enough. So important to be careful about where things come from these days.

steven said...

jamie oliver said on a very recent t.e.d. talk that the current generation's life-expectancy is ten years less than the previous generation. entirely because of what they eat and drink and because they lack the skillset to cook for themselves. the irony is that it is extremely easy to buy fresh food in most locales. i wish for so much for this world and that is one area where i wish for awareness to increase exponentially. steven

Stine in Ontario said...

Our food is getting scarier and scarier. And I'm already a vegetarian!

Elizabeth M Rimmer said...

Americans do seem to think that the US is the world, but then again, we forget how big the US is. And how many of our own politicians and economists think that the US model is not only normal but desirable. It makes you shudder.

Ana said...

I did not become a vegetarian. But, I am definitely even more careful on what I buy and where I buy it from.
I understand that in EU there is opposition for genetically modified seeds?
@steven
Yes there is plenty of fresh meat and produce here in US. The issue is that even if I buy it and cook at home I still get unhealthy food because whatever they put in the animal feed and GE seeds

The Weaver of Grass said...

There was a programme on TV the other week about a huge pig farm in the US where sows were kept in small 'cages' for more or less the whole of their lives. I find it appalling the way we humans treat our farm animals. When I think of our heifers here and what a happy life they have it cheers me up a bit - but there is such a lot wrong with food producation.

Christina said...

You would think that if you were going to eat an animal you would have a lot more respect for that animal and only give them the best foods/life and treat them with mercy. I dont understand it. The garbage that passes as food just amazes me. I think the food changes are the primary reason why there is so much more cancer and heart problems. I have considered many many times becomming a vegetarian. Now they are talking about genetically engineering food. Its incredible and so scary. Where does the UK get most of their meat?

Bill said...

You're right about that film. Worth seeing, even if it's not always easy to watch.

SzélsőFa said...

I'm off to see, thanks for the link.
my favourite film in this issue is themeatrix.com

@Ana: yes, there is a definite opposition to all sorts of commercially available gmo-s over here. for educational/research purposes, these monsters are already here.

Howard BME said...

I haven’t got around to seeing the film, but a while back I read a book which I’d recommend: Eat Your Heart Out by Felicity Lawrence. It is a British book, but it also covers the ownership of the US food industry but a very small number of enormous companies, among other things.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Deb G - a very difficult and upsetting film to watch in parts, yes...

Steven - its astonishing that we've lost so many culinary skills and so much knowledge in a generation, weird too...

Stine - yes it is pretty scary.

Elizabeth - America is too often used as the norm these days...

Ana - yes a lot of opposition, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are GM free as far as it can be so,

Weaver - the conditions are appalling sometimes, your heifers are lucky,

Christina - it's odd isn't it, how people don't make the connections. As a veggie, I have to admit I don't pay a lot of attention as to where our country's meat comes from. I do know that if I did eat meat i'd get it from the local farmers market and find a farmer i could totally trust.

Szelsofa - not seen the meatrix but I'll look out for it.

Howard - I'll look out for that book too...

libbyquilter said...

am in the middle of reading Barbera Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and it's been an eye opener for me~!!~

:)
libbyQ

The Bunns said...

A troublesome situation - and solutions are still not seeming to be close. Most people like fast food, processed food, high fructose corn-syrup food and cheap food.

Good to see all the education and points brought up ...

Lucy said...

I don't know if I'll get to see it, but it's good to be reminded time and again, to stay aware and at least try to make a bit of difference and consume more responsibly. Cheapness, ready availability, our taste for unhealthy food - I like sweet and salt too much I know - and inertia make it all too easy to slip into taking the line of least resistance about what we eat, and ignore the horrors of how it came to us.

Crafty Green Poet said...

The Bunns and Lucy - our taste for sweet and salty things and fat are evolutionary adaptations to fit us for the times way back when these types of food were rare in our natural environment and in small quantities they're essential to us. Since food has become industrialised, food companies have used these tastes to help sell their foods and in large quantities they're bad for us.

Paula said...

It grieves me that the food I put on my table is sometimes the product of Big Agriculture. I try to be careful about what I buy but it's not always easy to balance a food budget against taking a stand on certain issues. The way I deal with it is to just exclude certain kinds of food, especially meat products. They're just not welcome in my pantry.

thetoddlerwhisperer said...

the film absolutely positively changed the way we buy food, where we buy food and what kind of food we buy.

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