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Food, Inc. A Movie About How Our Food is Made

Updated on January 18, 2010

Have you ever wondered how the food you eat is grown, raised, processed and gets to your table? Well, it isn't pretty and I agree with the subtitle of Food, Inc. - You'll Never Look at Dinner the Same Way Again. Food, Inc is a fascinating documentary about what has happened to our food in the past century. Produced by Magnolia Home Entertainment it is only 91 minutes long and could literally change your life. I hope in the process it changes the food industry too.

The nation's food industry is just that - an industry. The products might have quaint pictures of farms and farmers on it, but much of the food we eat does not actually come from farms. What used to be farms is being replaced with factories or factory-like operations. There is a deliberate curtain between us and where our food comes from.

Food, Inc "lifts the veil on the nation's food industry, exposing how 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." There are over 47,000 products in the average grocery store, but they are virtually all produced by a small handful of corporations.  They have created an illusion of diversity with different brand names, but many brands are all under one company.

Much of Food, Inc. talks about how meat is raised and processed to eventually make its way to the supermarket shelves. I found it scary the way the animals are treated, how they are processed and how they are cleaned. Cattle and hogs are raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) standing ankle deep in their own manure eating food that they are not meant to eat. If they want to lie down, they lie down in their own manure too. Animals develop all sorts of illnesses because of these conditions, requiring a constant stream of antibiotics. When it comes time to slaughter the animals (including the ones that are too sick to get up) they are cleaned with ammonia (sometimes even the meat that has already been processed is cleaned with ammonia before packaging). Ammonia is a very harsh chemical that is harmful if ingested, but yet they are treating our food with it.

These CAFOs are not only bad for the animals that are housed in them, but they are bad for the environment, the ground, the rivers and streams and other foods. E Coli for instance used to only be found in beef, but now it is found in all sorts of other food items due to runoff from the CAFOs. There have been recalls of apple juice, spinach, and peanut products in recent years due to E Coli contamination.

There is much more to our damaged food supply system than just meat though. All those fancy boxes on store shelves are filled with numerous fake ingredients. Yes even the ones that say they are all natural contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and other fake preservatives. These things (I hesitate to call them food) technically come from corn and soy, but they have been changed so much by scientists that they are absolutely horrible for you by the time they get in your foods.

As Food, Inc. clearly points out, these food companies do not have our best interests in mind. They are in the market to make money. They want to create products as cheaply as possible (therefore shortchanging our farmers) and sell them for as much money as possible. As a nation we are becoming unhealthy and obese because we eat these things that are not really food. Frequently that is all people eat because they can't afford the fresh fruits and vegetables that our bodies really need.

A century ago we ate the food we grew or bought from farmers down the road. I know that we can't completely go back to that system, but we can try. We need to start supporting local farmers and send a message to these huge companies that we don't want their fake food. That we want real food that has been grown, raised and processed humanely and safely. If you care at all about what you eat and whether it is good for you or not, I highly recommend watching the movie Food, Inc. It is very eye opening and will hopefully change the way our food system operates.  To watch a trailer for the movie, click here.


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    • jseven profile image

      jseven 6 years ago from Michigan

      I support my local farmers and organic food suppliers because of this travesty! I like fresh foods and hate how greedy the big dogs have become. Great hub.

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

      GojiJuiceGoodness 7 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      I had never heard of this before! Thanks.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      I definitely recommend people watch this movie! It is an eye opener! Great article!

    • greysquirrel profile image

      greysquirrel 7 years ago from here and there

      You are absolutely right and there is a lot to put right.

    • profile image

      John 7 years ago

      My wife and I watched it last week. What a wake up call. Corporations run this country. If you haven't seen it yet, do it NOW!

    • profile image

      GreenRanchingMom 7 years ago

      Wonderful POST!!! Thank you for posting about your point of view. I think it was wonderful that you pointed out that not all Agriculture is BigAg. We are a Family Ranch and we raise beef the old fashioned way, on grass. We have improved our land, and the quality of our beef! Because we don't have too many animals in one area, our manure is a wonderful fertilizer.

      With more small family farmers and ranchers producing meat and vegetables, we CAN improve the environment and feed our country. Buy Small, Buy Local.

      Thanks Shanen!

      btw, we do ship our beef all over the country to families wanting sustainable beef.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for that eye opener but what can be done? Wher can we go to buy food and I means. I always organic whereever I can but then somebody told me, and she was working in a packingstation, when they don't have organic they use other products. So how can we win?

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 7 years ago from Aurora

      Alarming, but in defense of independant *farmers*, not all of them use tons of antibiotics and growth hormones. Or do this high density raising of animals.

      It would truly be useful to know in the supermarket which ones came from "industrial farms" as opposed to *still independant* farmers who also grow all the feed for the livestock. The price paid per lb does not vary, I think, so independants still have to be *competitive*.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Very interesting hub and very important information. I wish I could just live off the land, I really do.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I'm not sure we'll ever truly root out the meat industry's woes in particular, it's a gruesome fact of life that in order to eat meat animals must die. I do think we can be more humane in their treatment up until the point of their inevitable slaughter, and I would hope that would be the direction. It takes people to do this however. Not activits, but humans in the capacity of slaughterer, and humans in the capacity of farmer to be compassionate and caring. Cows and chickens are not machines. They are living creatures we happen to consume. They need to be treated as living creatures until the moment comes that they must be killed.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Very timely hub about a very timely topic. Our food supply actually kills people every year. The claim is 5,000 but we are not including all the chronic ailments and slow death - and I think it is much, much higher. We need to call it what it is "non-food" - this stuff we eat is not real food but we've allowed it to be called food.

      Thanks for this hub - we have to keep the information out there!