Food, Inc. — a film by Robert Kenner

Film poster for Food, Inc.There are horror films about ghosts, monsters, and murders, but a really scary documentary is Food, Inc. a film about the underbelly of the American food industry.

This documentary, by award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner, peels back the curtain on a dirty little secret — a handful of food industry giants, with the consent and knowledge of the U.S. Government, have taken over most of the food in American grocery stores and they’ve filled it with preservatives, additives, hormones, high-fructose corn syrup, and other egregious chemicals that don’t belong in food or in our bodies. This adulterated “food” is making us obese and slowly killing us with cancers, heart disease, and other serious illnesses. And it’s all done in the name of almighty profit.

As Food, Inc. clearly demonstrates, our food supply is now completely controlled by a few, powerful, multi-national corporations. They produce more and cheaper food, but at a steep cost to the environment, to farm animals, and to workers and farmers. Hidden cameras chillingly show animals being raised in horrid conditions and sick animals being  slaughtered for food.The images illustrate how bacteria like E. coli easily get into our food and how millions of pounds of runoff from feedlots and chemical-laden fields pollute our land, groundwater, and waterways. Additionally, the film clearly tells the story of workers forced to work for low wages in dangerous conditions and of farmers held hostage by companies too powerful to resist.

Food, Inc. shows how food industry moguls have a stranglehold both on our food and on our politicians, much like the tobacco industry did back in the 1950s. It also points to a way out toward better, healthier food, a cleaner environment, and fairer labor practices. This is a film anyone in America who eats should watch. It’s available for rent in movie stores everywhere.

Startling Facts About Junk Food

  • In the United States, obesity second greatest cause of death.
  • The United States Food Industry spends more than $33 billion a year advertising products loaded with fat, salt and sugar. $12 billion a year of that is spent on marketing to youth.
  • More than 90% of American children eat at McDonald’s every month.
  • Portion sizes are out of control. In the 1950s, a typical soft drink was 8 ounces. Today, a “child-sized” order of Coke at McDonald’s 12 ounces, and a large Coke is 32 ounces (a whole quart!).
  • Boys 12- to 19-years-old drink an average of 868 cans of pop per year; girls drink 651.
  • Chicken McNuggets contain twice as much fat as hamburger per ounce.
  • A Stanford University study showed that when children aged 3 to 5 were offered two identical meals, one wrapped in plain paper and one in MacDonald’s packaging, children preferred the MacDonald’s-wrapped item and insisted that it tasted better.
  • The American artificial flavor industry has annual revenues of approximately $1.4 billion.
  • The average strawberry milkshake purchased at a fast food outlet contains 50 artificial ingredients.

Sources:
Nutrition Action, December 2000.

Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation. New York: Houghton Miffin Company, 2001.

“Watch what we eat? We eat what we watch.” Cathleen F. Crowley, Albany Times Union, July 24, 2008.

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