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Food, Inc. - An inspiring documentary about the food processing and meat industry
In the documentary Food, inc. Robert Kenner sets out to explore the US food industry. He wants to know how products he buys in the supermarket every day are produced. He sets out to visit meat factories, slaughter houses and several farmers. What he finds is beyond his expectations. The image of cute farms and happy cows that gets projected on product packaging is so far from the truth it is inconceivable. Meat eaters beware, you might just turn vegetarian after watching the Food, inc. documentary.
We follow Kenner as he visits several farms. He visits two chicken farms. One of them follows the rules the big chicken processing companies sets for him. His chickens are overfed and too heavy to stand on their feet. They grow from chick to full-grown chicken in 47 days instead of the normal 60+, and they live in overcrowded sheds where no daylight comes in. In their lifetimes, these chickens have never seen the sun. He wants to show Kenner around on the farm, but backs out of this promise when his buyer tells him not to. The second farmer doesn’t always comply and she speaks out against these practices. When Tyson, a chicken processing company, tells her to get the dark sheds she refuses, and they terminate her contract.
He also visits an organic chicken farm, which the authorities tried to shut down because they said it was unhygienic. After some testing and comparing with factory chickens, the organic ones were much much healthier.
A supervisor in a meat processing plant explains what is going on there and how they work. Most animals get fed lots of antibiotics and growth hormones in their food. Because of this certain bacteria develop resistance against the antibiotics and get stronger and are now present in our meat. The supervisor explains they now wash all the meat with ammonia to get these bacteria out, like the E. coli bacteria.
Then Kenner interviews a mother who lost her young son to an E. coli infection after eating a contaminated burger. She is now actively fighting the food industry to make sure no one else has to suffer like her family had. She wants legislation and health regulations for meat processing plants, but this is not as easily implemented as big companies successfully halt and delay these laws.
Then Kenner visits some corn farmers and explains about how one big company (Monsanto) has the patent on some very powerful genetically manipulated corn seeds. With buying these seeds come a lot of rules and Monsanto has their farmers under tight control. Those who do not comply or do not buy with them, are constantly harassed by the company with inspections and lawsuits the farmers cannot afford.
I strongly recommend you watch this documentary, as it is very confronting to see where our food actually comes from. Most of us have no idea of how just a few companies influence most of what we eat, or how our food is grown and processed. In the end of Food, Inc. Kenner gives some good examples of what we can do to influence the system, and how to eat better. Buy more organic products for example. I think this was one of the most refreshing and life-changing documentaries I have seen in a while!
Robert Kenner has a website on which he discusses more things you can do to help and to change the world step by step, bit by bit. He has a blog, promotes healthier food at schools, and gives small and easy to implement tips about what you can do. Kenner also wrote a book on the subject with a lot more information.