Do or Do Not.

100-Word Review: Food, Inc.

with 6 comments

Robert Kenner‘s documentary pulls back the ugly veil surrounding the industrialization of food in the United States — and man, “ugly” ain’t even the beginning of it. Kenner demonstrates that it’s not only ugly and disgusting the way animals are treated, but also the way workers, farmers and even consumers are treated. Kenner’s clearly not concerned with presenting both sides of the debate fairly, but since I was already heavily leaning toward the side he’s advocating, that didn’t bother me. Thought-provoking, stomach-churning, heartwrenching and ultimately life-changing — I think it’s finally time to kick off my long-considered conversion to vegetarianism. Grade: A-

Written by Allen

May 17th, 2010 at 10:00 am

Posted in 100-Word Reviews

6 Responses to '100-Word Review: Food, Inc.'

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  1. Although I've been mostly vegetarian (I eat fish and eggs) for most of my adult life and I'm quite happy with it and always happy to encourage others to eat less/no meat, I'm pretty sure that there are well-treated farm animals and compassionate people out there making a living raising them, selling direct to consumers, etc. I'm also pretty sure that the premium you have to pay to make that choice is quite steep and usually not available outside the home anyway. I like the idea of voting with my dollars, but I'm torn on this one: it would be great if consumers could make the food industry change for the better by making more ethical choices at the store, but few can afford to do so, and it won't do that much to reduce the environmental load anyway. I wish it was realistic to get even a decent fraction of carnivores to make a switch to vegetarianism instead, both to deprive Food, Inc. of their 'captive audience' at the top of the food chain and to substantially lighten the load on the planet.
    I always thought it strange that even though there is a 10:1 energy ratio and a similarly high water usage ratio for converting plants into meat (I'm sure it's even worse by the time it becomes a package of steaks in the display case), the cost/weight ratio in the store isn't even close to that, nor is the cost/calorie even close. So it seems logical to me that the true cost burden of raising farm animals for meat must be being subsidized by everyone one way or another.

    carl

    17 May 10 at 2:47 pm

  2. I haven't seen the movie, but I have spent a year working for the UFW and thus my introduction to food justice was workers rights first, before animal rights, which I still frankly, consider secondary. What astounds me about the issue is that all the “right” choices seem to be right for multiple groups, and yet still the “wrong” choices are made because they profit the industry. Reducing pesticide use would save countless farmworker lives, and make consumers of foods healthier, AND make the environment in farming communities healthier, and make the ecosystem stronger. But pesticides keep profits high. On the flip side, I can't imagine the profit-based motivation for denying farmwrokers water in the fields…

    desiringsubject

    17 May 10 at 3:02 pm

  3. Oh, yeah, there are most definitely farms from which I could get more
    ethically-raised meat… Food, Inc. even showed one of them and
    talked to the owner extensively. And I totally, 100% support farms like
    that as a way of getting meat.

    But it doesn't change the fact that becoming increasingly disgusted by even
    organically/ethically-grown meat. I think it's just not for me anymore. I
    haven't gotten any real enjoyment out of eating meat for the most part for
    quite some time, and this movie just reaffirmed that fact to me.

    The cost issue you mention there was also covered extensively in the movie
    – I think you should watch it. I suspect you might get a lot out of it.
    Though it'd be “preaching to the choir” in your case, I think a lot of it
    would resonate with you.

    Allen Holt

    17 May 10 at 6:01 pm

  4. I made Christopher see it before I would take him to buy meat. He came out ranting. He still eats meat, but asks me to take him to WSM to buy locally grown, grass-fed beef and free range chicken, now. If you can find it, I recommend Fresh. It is the positive side of the locavore movement.

    Kitty

    17 May 10 at 10:40 pm

  5. Hey dude, had no idea this was the impetus for your switch. It was for me as well – much like the straw that broke the camel's back. I started back in July of last year (first day) and it's been pretty easy. The food switch has definitely helped me feel better and less bloated during and after meals and forced me to eat a lot more vegetables (that I enjoy anyway).

    I'm still what I'd like to call a “selective omnivore” since I eat fish and naturally raised and humanely treated meat. But in all honesty, the last time I actually ate beef, chicken, lamb, or anything of that nature was late last year. The desire or cravings just aren't there anymore.

    Good luck, dude! It can be tough going but it's always admirable to give it a shot :)

    Eric Chon

    2 Jun 10 at 2:53 pm

  6. Thanks, Eric! So far, yeah, I'm feeling that “less bloated” feeling of which you speak, and that alone seems to be making me feel better overall. I'm on day seventeen now, and still enjoying it — I haven't felt like I'm depriving myself at all, which I think is the key to making the change stick.

    (I haven't yet read The Ominvore's Dilemma, but I'ma gonna. My wife has it and In Defense of Food, and I want to read them both.)

    Allen Holt

    2 Jun 10 at 6:49 pm

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