Food Inc

Directed by Robert Kenner (2008)

Film Review

Food Inc is a 2008 classic only recently available for free on-line screening. Featuring investigative journalist Eric Schlosser and food activist Michael Pollan, it’s the first and (in my view) the best expose of factory farming.

This film mainly focuses on the deplorable disease-inducing conditions of battery chicken houses and industrial feedlots and slaughterhouses. However it also draws attention to the current epidemic of food borne illness, diabetes and heart disease; the corporate capture of regulatory agencies meant to protect us; the federal subsidies that make junk food cheaper than fresh fruits and vegetables; Monsanto’s vicious treatment of farmers who choose not to grow GMO crops and the food disparagement and anti-labeling laws meant to keep consumer sin the dark about where their food comes from.

Most importantly this documentary questions whether the “cheap” food produced by industrial farming is really so cheap when you add in the health costs (especially of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease)

The cinematography captures horrific scenes of factory chicken houses where chickens live on top of each other in total darkness and feed lots in which cows spend their whole life knee-deep in manure. The latter cakes their hides and inevitably contaminates carcasses at the slaughterhouse.

The films draws interesting parallels between the abysmal treatment of animals and workers in the industrial food chain. Food executives argue that animal suffering is inconsequential because they’ll all be dead soon. They also regard immigrant workers as expendable because there are so many of them.

The filmmakers catch meat processors deliberately recruiting illegal laborers in Mexican villages devastated by the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA). Employers are never prosecuted for these activities. Only immigrant workers are targeted.

Comments
  1. sojourner says:

    Another one to watch!

  2. sojourner says:

    Reblogged this on An Outsider's Sojourn II.

  3. Some might say, Look to the atrocities we commit to our own species, is it then any wonder we’re brutal to animals. But I say, our atrocities have their very roots in the way we treat the most vulnerable and innocent of species, so is it any wonder our brutality is limitless, as it has been throughout the whole of patriarchal history. I take no pleasure – no that’s not true, I do take some satisfaction in saying that humans in all their arrogance and delusions of intelligence, superiority and entitlement, their heavy handed treatment and absolute disregard for the right of every sentient species on earth to live their life on their own terms have only begun to reap what they deserve in their own life; sickness and disease, war and strife, social unrest and injustice, hunger and malnutrition, greed and selfishness. And don’t look for any of it to get any better. It can’t, there are simply too many who deny the connection between the denial of animal rights and their own. By hell, most consider animal rights laughable.

    Thank you, Dr. Bramhall.

    Peter

    • I’m sad to confess that I myself use to dismiss animal rights activists as irrelevant – it seemed to me they should be doing something about the horrible way human beings were treated.

      I have changed my tune, obviously. The exploitation and destruction of human beings, animals and the environment is all part and parcel of the same mentality in which a privileged elite gives themselves the right to make their interests superior to the rest of all creation.

  4. […] Source: Food Inc | The Most Revolutionary Act […]

  5. sojourner says:

    I have had former friends tell me, “Why do you allow being aware of these issues to affect you so much?”

    I wrote former friends, because these particular people have gone elsewhere for friendship; where friends read articles and watch documentaries in order to have opinions and to discuss them while sipping coffee, but without ever really becoming involved in any meaningful way. These are the talk, talk, talk but never stick your neck out kind, the majority.

    And now I see that it is not only the chickens suffering but many of the farmers as well. The one farmer called it “being enslaved to the company,” and that’s what it is!

    I will never buy chicken from a major chain again!

    • Buying chicken from a major chain gives you a really good chance of developing a campylobacter infection (due to fecal contamination). They tell you this fairy tale that you can avoid it by cooking it thoroughly, but New Zealand doctors will tell you this is nonsense.

  6. sojourner says:

    I am disabled and on a fixed income, and I keep telling my friends, In order for me to have food for the entire month, I must buy the food that is the least healthy for me. I would live on healthy food, if I could afford it. I would buy into a local cooperative, if I could afford it.

    As this Hispanic woman points out, it’s less expensive to buy the unhealthy food for her children than buy fruits and vegetables. I have no idea how people with two or more children are surviving today,

    I have a food allotment of $191,00 a month, and it is gone by the third week of the month. I spend thirty to forty dollars out of pocket every month on food. And food continues to increase in cost, especially healthy food.

    Why is this? We know why, don’t we! It’s the systematic poisoning of those whom the powers that be have deemed not fit to live. It’s Agenda 21, it’s the Georgia Guidestones, it’s systematic depopulation, it’s systematic genocide. If they won’t weed us out with vaccines and meds, then they will poison us with the air, water and food.

    I have made the decision that I must go to a completely non-meat diet. I haven’t eaten beef or pork regularly for the last thirty years. But I believe now, I need to find another way of eating, and not just for health reasons.

    • A staple diet of rice and beans is far cheaper than meat. You can buy a 6 mos supply of rice and black beans for $120.

      • sojourner says:

        Yep, it looks like that’s what has to be. I haven’t been enjoying food for a while now anyway, so it won’t be as hard for me as it would have been even five years ago. I pretty much eat to live these days, and along with some fruit and greens, rice and beans will suffice.

  7. sojourner says:

    Oh, and by the way, thanks once again, for posting this film!

  8. sojourner says:

    The Monsanto Gestapo! Fascism! Tyranny!

    All three branches of the government are controlled completely by the corporate oligarchy, there is no doubt about this. The people are not represented in any way, and in all probability, have never been represented by this government.

    The government either was this way from its inception, which is what I sense to be true, or it has been taken control of over the last two-hundred years. Either way, it is more than evident that this government cannot be fixed in order to force it to start serving we the individuals. If this government was good in the beginning, then it has been corrupted so completely that it is beyond repair, beyond hope.

    So what is the answer? From where I sit, the answer certainly does not lie in working within this system of politics, which is also owned and operated by the same oligarchy. So that leaves we the individuals with a hard decision: either continue to pretend everything is okay and actively take part in the political system/government and support this treachery, or we can withdraw from it as completely as possibly and deny the government’s authority over us; withdraw our “consent to be governed,” as many communities are doing right now

    Personally, I see no other choice but the latter!

    • The US government has been controlled by the financial oligarchy from its inception. This is why only property owning males were allowed to vote and the Constitution mandates that the president be chosen by the electoral college rather than popular vote (the senate was chosen by the electoral college prior to the 17th amendment in 1913.

      The government can’t be reformed from within the system – we need to withdraw our consent to be governed as you suggest.

      • sojourner says:

        “The US government has been controlled by the financial oligarchy from its inception.”

        Exactly, But I put it in this questioning manner because most Americans will not listen to or believe this historical fact.

        The constitution, which was created to replace The Articles of Confederation” (states and individual rights), was secretly ratified with almost no state representatives being present. And the reps that found out and showed up to vote were either arrested or beaten half to death. The constitution was a “con” from the start. This government was founded and funded by the European royalty (English in particular) and the Rothschild banking cartel.

        If it hadn’t been for T. Jefferson and Patrick Henry, the bill of rights would have not been added afterwards. And even then, the bill of rights was just a bone tossed to the people. It had, nor has, no true power to protect the individual and his/her universal rights.

        http://www.taroscopes.com/miscellanous-pages/weapons-additional.html

  9. […] The main shortcoming of this documentary is its failure to examine why potentially deadly pathogens are increasing in factory farmed chicken: namely the process in which battery chicken are raised in a cesspool of feces in tightly packed cages and continually fed antibiotics (the main source of increasing antibiotic resistance). See Food Inc. […]

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