John and I finally watched Food Inc. this weekend.
If you haven’t seen this challenging documentary on how the American food supply works, now is a good time to put it in your Netflix queue — Earth Day is Thursday and if you have any doubts now that what you put on your plate affects the environment, you won’t after watching.
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that’s been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli — the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
In conjunction with the showing of Robert Kenner’s Oscar-nominated film Food, Inc. (trailer) that day, POV is helping to organize potlucks in people’s homes all across the country. The idea is to get groups to share a healthy, sustainably sourced meal, watch the film, and discuss – thus helping to spread the gospel of real food.
For the convenience of those with scheduling troubles, these potlucks don’t even need to be that evening when the movie will be on PBS stations nationwide. For one week afterward, it will be available free, streaming on their website. The site points out that “Some of the scenes in Food, Inc. may be, shall we say, unappetizing to you and your guests,” so you should eat first, then watch.
Next time someone asks me why I’m vegetarian, or why I’m willing to spend more money at farmers markets and why I won’t patronize Yum Brands restaurants including Taco Bell and KFC, I might just start with a link to Food Inc.
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