Food, Inc.

As you guys know, I watched “Food, Inc.” the other night. Actually, I have watched it twice now because I wanted to make sure I absorbed as much as I could. I think if I watched it again, I’d likely pick up something else I missed the first two times.

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Anyway, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the movie, “Food, Inc.” is a film that explores the relationship between our food supply and the big corporations that control it all. It also tells the stories of farmers who are forced to borrow money and not make much in return. And a woman fighting for stricter government standards after her son died from E Coli.

There’s so much more to it than that but I thought it would be better for me to stop there and just share my thoughts with you:

First, I became a vegan for health reasons as I’ve mentioned several times. But this movie was really the first time I had watched something that showed animals being led to their deaths. I was horrified.

What really got me was the assembly line of baby chickens. This happened in the first five minutes of the movie and I cried. There were a few more instances like this in the film but it wasn’t the primary focus, in case you were afraid to watch it for that reason.

Here are some things I learned from the film that I didn’t know before:

  • Even if you don’t eat fast food, you are still eating meat from one of the “big” companies (4 companies control 80% of the beef in America)
  • The average American eats 200 lbs of meat per year!
  • There are only 13 slaughterhouses in the U.S., where all of the meat here comes from.
  • Cows are meant to eat grass but they are fed corn because it is cheap and makes them fatter quicker.
  • The FDA has reduced it’s number of inspections over the years, big time!

I really enjoyed the commentary by Michael Pollan. I have not yet read his books but he came to visit my workplace a year or so ago and I got the chance to hear him speak. The man knows a lot about food!

I also had an “Oh, great!” moment when I saw the farmer from McLean County, KY. I didn’t even know the place existed but I looked it up and it’s more Western KY, like where Josh’s grandma lives.

Anyway, that guy seemed to care more about making money than anything. It was sad. Especially considering it’s in my state.

I also found it disappointing that the big companies all declined to be interviewed for the film. I would have liked to hear their side of the story but I guess if they won’t even comment, then I just have to assume what they are reporting on in this film is true. They obviously have something to hide.

I already don’t eat meat but one thing I could stand to do more of is shop at Farmer’s Markets. The “season” is coming to a close soon for most markets but I found one here in Louisville that is open until mid-December so I thought I would try to get out there before it closes.

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I also remembered a market that I’d been too with my parents a few times which has a lot of local goods, so I think I will make a trip out there as well.

Next summer, when all the markets are back open, I hope to get all of my produce from there!

It will be a gradual process but I hope to also convert some of my purchases to organic. I’d been hesitant in the past due to cost, but since I avoid meat and dairy products in order not to consume hormones or antibiotics, why not hold my the food I do eat to the same standards?

I really enjoyed the film and it really made me think and realize that while I care a lot about being healthy and vegan, I need to be more conscious of where all of my food is coming from and what is in it.

“You can change the world with every bite.”

Have you seen this movie? What did you think?

There is so much more to it than the little bit I covered here. I hope you will rent it and see for yourself. Have a great day!

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About Sarah Frankel

I am 29 years old and a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. I've been married to my husband Josh for 6 years and we have a 5 year old beagle named Suzie. Four years ago, I changed my eating and exercise habits, dropping 70 pounds and gaining an entirely new life. I took up running in September 2007 and became vegan in October 2009. I am constantly striving to improve my life so that I can live it to the fullest! I hope you will join me on my life journey.

Posted on November 24, 2009, in movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. I definitely want to see this movie. I have read Michael Pollan’s books and they are really inspiring!

  2. I have seen differ people review this movie on various blogs and I want to make a point to watch it to form my own opinion but one thing I can NOT handle is animal cruelty! and I am scared what I might see =/ . When I watched the Peta documentary, I was a mess.

    • There was some of that in this film, so I hope you are prepared but I’m sure it is not as bad as the Peta stuff, I have never been able to bring myself to watch it. It is not the entire focus of the movie but still an important part. I think it is good that you want to form your own opinion, I thought the same thing. And I’m glad I did. It’s good to be informed!

  3. I was a little hesitant going into the movie because I was expecting it to be all PETA clips/one sided railing against the food system, but I felt like it was more factual and research based then I expected. I really liked it. It made me think about eating, my food, and where it comes from as much more political than I had considered before. One of the reasons I stopped eating meat was to “vote” against the giant factory systems and vote more in favor for the small farms.

    I wonder if there are also food co-ops or CSAs near you, if there aren’t a lot of farmer’s markets. It’s another good way to know where you food is coming from

    http://www.coopdirectory.org/

  4. I too was horrified when I saw this movie. I try to share this movie with as many people as possible because I feel that many are not aware of the practices of these companies, nor how they treat the animals or even the conditions/environment in which they are raised. It is very sad. Thanks for such a thoughtful and caring post.

    • Thank YOU for reading it and commenting :) I’m going to do my best to make sure this movie circulates around my friends and family. We should ALL be aware of where our food comes from. Like they say in the movie, if you know where it comes from and what it goes through to get to you, you might not eat it.

  5. I still haven’t seen it. It was only in the theaters here for like a week, and it passed me by. Now, I keep meaning to rent it, but I rarely have time sit down and watch a whole movie…hopefully over Thanksgiving weekend. I’d really like my meat-eating boyfriend to watch this.

    • I would like to get my husband to watch it too. I am not trying to get him to quit eating meat, I just want him to realize the “process” it goes through to get to him.

      • The other day I told my husband that I would like it if he only ate meat that he killed himself. Yeah, I’ve been a bit hardcore. I think that I’ll try watching this with him instead. Thanks for the idea!

  6. I’ve seen the movie and I really liked it. It is a commentary on a lot of issues that need to be addressed both by our government, and by us as consumers. The most important thing I gained from it is that we vote with our dollars- WE can change the way we consume.

  7. My hubby and I saw the movie this week also. I was not surprised on what I saw in the factory scenes(some parts I closed my eyes).
    The guy that made the movie Super Size Me does a show called 30 days. He had an episode were a meat hunter/eater went to live with a vegan family for a month. The meat eater went on a mission with this organization that rescues sick cows that are discarded from these factories. The guy told the meat-eater, after they rescued a young cow with pneumonia, that these discarded cows majority of the time are used for GROUND BEEF. That was the craziest thing that I ever heard. That was one of the reasons why I stopped eating ground beef. I don’t have an issue with eating meat. It’s the fact that the animals are not treated humanely or raised the way nature intended them to be raised. That’s why I loved the one farmer they interviewed. Hopefully, we as a society, can learn to support more farmers like him. I also can’t believe the whole thing going on with the Monsanto? company.

  8. Sorry to hijack your comment but I hit submit by accident.

    Overall, I really liked the movie and I hope a lot of people see it. Then maybe people can make little changes to contribute like buying organic, support local farms, or buy from companies that don’t use GMO’s.

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