Food Inc.

Just a quick warning: unless you want to entirely change everything about every food you buy at the store, do not watch “Food Inc”(which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary).

Picture that movie, “Supersize Me”, coupled with hidden cameras at meat packing plants and slaughterhouses (the same ones that package not some, but ALL the meat you buy) and interviews of families who have lost young children to strains of E-coli that have become resistant to antibiotics because of all the corn the cows have been eating (it’s cheaper than grass).  Just research “Kevin’s Law” if you don’t believe me.

They also state some pretty startling facts:.

The Center for Disease Prevention estimated that 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,00 hospitalized, and 5,000 die from food related illnesses each year.

1 in 3 children born after 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes. This rate increases to 1 in 2 amongst minorities. It’s not just Fast Food– it’s the chemical engineering of our food to make it cheaper. Also consider that you can buy 2 McDonalds cheeseburgers for the price of one stalk of broccoli. Faced with limited funds, which are you going to buy? Obesity is now almost entirely dictated by economic status.

Only 1 percent of corn grown in the US is sweet corn– the kind that we eat off of a cob or from a can. The rest is broken down and used to chemically engineer over 90% of the foods we eat. All the foods made with this stuff (soda, chips, peanut butter, ketchup, even charcoal and diapers) are cheaper because they support this industry. Foods that can’t be chemically engineered? Expensive.

Many of the Supreme Court judges making crucial decisions in issues of meat contamination and slaughterhouse regulations used to be VPs and Presidents for the very companies they are supposed to regulate (and don’t worry, the movie didn’t generalize. There were specific names and photos, I just can’t remember them).

It is also against the law to speak out against these companies or even publish personal photos taken at any of these plants. Oprah was sued for millions because she said on tv that the Mad Cow disease made her never want to eat another hamburger. One of the moms whose 2 year old son died of E-coli would not tell the interviewers how his death has changed their family’s eating habits– she said she didn’t have the money to fight the food industry in court.

I think the grossest part was when they showed the chicken houses, where the chickens have been so chemically engineered (so as to produce larger breasts since Americans buy more white meat) that they grow faster than their bodies are capable of keeping up with. Most of the chickens are only capable of taking 1-2 steps a day– many just lay down and die. Sometimes their bodies are disposed of, sometimes they are packaged with the rest of the animals for processing at the factory.

Kinda sick. Jesse and I are both pretty depressed.

As grotesque as the movie is, with 2 hours of facts and interviews, they leave hope at the end. They showed Walmart reps coming out to make deals with local organic farmers, people who had been boycotting Walmart for years. The Walmart reps confessed that it is pure economics– an increasing number of people want organic food, so they are going to carry it. The radical organic farmers are making peace with a multi-billion dollar chain carrying their products, because they know that it will put an end to the unsafe practices of the US food industry. Money talks, and if people stop buying their products, major companies will change their ways. They used the tobacco industry as an example– it took years, but Americans broke the control they had, one dollar at a time.

So, I’m considering shopping solely at Dallas’ Farmers Market (open 7 days a week, 8-6) and buying anything else organic at Walmart, where it will only cost a few dollars more. If you know how much I like to save money buying food, this is huge. But I’m there, people. It’s that or never eat meat again, in my book.

Here’s the website, if you want to be entirely undone.


2 thoughts on “Food Inc.

  1. yeah, its an interesting movie. btw, you didn’t link it, but it is on google video (maybe youtube) full length for free…at least it was when i watched it. I am thankful that we eat hardly any processed food because it is just insane all the things they put in it. There is an organic/kosher butcher down the street from us that we keep meaning to go to–just seems worth it. Man, I can’t wait until I can get our own plot of land to raise everything…

    its just crazy that between the plastic chemicals in everything from shampoo to make up and baby bottles to hormones and chemicals like fluoride in the water to antibiotic and engineered meats that we are still around as a society. While you are Courtney are exemptions, there is also a HUGE way all of this has been affecting births and gender. Look up articles on male birthrates in the US…its staggering how male fertility has been significantly decreasing and more and more females are born than males, which is unnatural and more than likely due to all the chemicals we use.

    Stuff like this makes me just want to pick up and move to the middle of nowhere and be amish or something….

  2. Buying high quality food often just isn’t possible without a radical restructuring of the budget. Not that we’ve stopped buying health insurance, we can actually afford food that doesn’t make us sick AND save up for medical emergencies.

    Now we’re off to Schulenberg to buy some luscious golden-yellow jersey milk from the nice Christian farmer with the sleek happy grass-fed cows.

    Expensive? Yes. But WAY cheaper than being sick all the time.

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