Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Food, Inc.

I've wanted to watch the documentary "Food, Inc." for quite some time now. It had been on our Netflix queue for MONTHS, if not over a year. Actually as soon as a friend of mine saw it in the theater and posted about it on Facebook, I added it to our queue, so whenever that was. A long time ago. Last night after the kids were in bed we didn't have anything to watch or do, so I suggested watching it. Don't you love streaming Netflix?! Best use of the Xbox and Wii EVER!

I knew the premise of the movie, and I knew a lot of it was pretty shocking. I've read two of Michael Pollan's books, and I knew he was involved with this, so I figured I knew what to expect. Even with that knowledge I was still shocked. Shocked is even a bit of an understatement. My friend Jen had watched it with her husband recently, so when she called this morning we talked about how disgusting it all was and how detrimental the way our society eats is to our health.

The movie is downright shocking. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. If you haven't, YOU NEED TO. It's mind boggling how little control we--and farmers--have over the food we eat. I don't even know where to begin with my thoughts on the movie. It was eye opening, maddening, and heartbreaking all at the same time.

I've always been an advocate of healthy eating (okay, maybe not always, but at least since my early 20s), but I've realized I need to take it to a whole other level. I've done my best to cut out items from my kitchen with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, red dye #40, partially hydrogenated anything...basically if it has ingredients I can't pronounce, I try to not buy it. But it angers me to no end that no matter how hard I try to stick with all that, we basically have a tainted meat supply that we're feeding ourselves--and our kids--from each time we eat conventional beef, pork, or chicken. They're given food they weren't ever intended to eat, they're covered in other animals poop, they're given genetically altered food to make them grow faster and bigger than nature intended . Heck, even farm-raised fish are fed corn. I'm by no means a botanist, but I'm fairly certain corn doesn't grow underwater and was, therefore, inaccessible to fish, which in my mind means they shouldn't be eating it. If God wanted fish to eat corn, it would be growing in the ocean.

It angers me to no end that this is what we're stuck with. I'm pleased and excited that there are people out there trying to change this and have their voices heard in saying that this is not acceptable. It angers me that people are dying from eating meat that doesn't have to be contaminated. Jen and I have talked before (and I've had the same conversation with the husband) about whether there is a genuine concern about where our food comes from or if we're just more in-tune with it because we've educated ourselves about it. I'm still not sure what my answer is to that. I'd like to think that everyone would be as riled up as I feel after seeing this movie and want to change the system somehow, but maybe people are indifferent or just don't care. I don't know. I do know that if the little people don't stand up for themselves to be heard against these giant corporations that change will never happen. I'm going to start researching what I can do, and I urge you to do the same. I'm also completely changing the way I grocery shop. We're switching to organic as much as possible. I'm curious to do an entirely organic grocery shop and see what the price difference is. I figure regardless, I'll find a way to make it work. I want my family to be healthy, and if we have to give up certain things to make that happen, then so be it. In the long run I'd rather spend more now on eating well than spend it later on healthcare costs.

If you haven't seen the movie, go watch it now! Go! Do it!

Here's the website for the movie if you want more information on it or other resources: Food, Inc. Movie Website

(Stepping down off my soap box now...sorry if any of this is rambling and disjointed...I didn't really know where I was going with it, I'm just enraged and needed to vent about this issue...)

ETA: I was doing some Googling of Kevin's Law (a law that would give the USDA power to shut down meatpacking plants that have repeated contamination problems) and came across another blog entry about "Food, Inc." It was really good so I thought I'd share:


Jen B. said...

Amen! Greg and I loved the quote at the end of the movie from the farmer named Roush. He said, "You have to understand that we farmers, we're gonna deliver to the marketplace what the marketplace demands. If you want
to buy $2 milk, you're gonna get a feedlot in the backyard. It's that simple. People have got
to start demanding good, wholesome
food of us. And we'll deliver.
I promise you. We're very ingenious people. We'll deliver."

That sentiment really resonated with us! As Michael Pollan says "we vote with our forks" (i.e the food dollars we spend). That is so true, and it is the biggest thing that we can do as individuals to commit to change.

The Mulligan Family said...

It is truly a shocking and eye opening documentary. I've become much more aware of what I buy at the grocery store - and try to buy organic when at all possible. It's frightening to me that our food supply is so controlled - and not in a good way. It seems every month some item is being recalled - or illness has been reported. Frightening - and sad.