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Food Inc. Review
Food Inc. is a shock and awe report on our food system. First, I watched the documentary and was so fascinated by all the information that I read the book soon after. The film and book both do a wonderful job of exposing its audience to the issues brought on by the industrialization of our food. It explains how this system has far reaching effects on our health, environment, economy and workers rights. Food Inc. is a great place to begin your research into the food industry. I say start because although it does a fantastic job in teaching you about the food we eat and its effect on our world, it covers so many topics that I found myself wanting to learn more about individual areas such as grain and soy production.
A scary recurring theme throughout the different food categories is the few companies who control each area. 4 companies have almost complete control of the meat we eat. Monsanto practically owns all the soybeans and corn we use in the majority of our food. These few companies continue to take over a larger percentage of the market. It is not because they are offering the best service but they have the most money to squeeze the little guy and influence political policies. We see huge varieties of brands in our supermarkets, but in reality they are a few companies using lots of different labels.
To see the farmers trapped by this system is discouraging. Farmers are forced to buy equipment they can’t afford, because if they don’t they lose their contracts with these large companies and they won’t be able to put food on their own tables. The workers in the processing plants are not treated any better. They are worked ragged and not paid enough to get ahead. It is a vicious cycle. You see the horrors undocumented workers face. Companies will use them not only because they can pay them less, but also because they are “illegal” and these workers feel they have no rights so don’t complain. Despite all the uproar about illegal immigrants working in the United States, the meat industry actively recruits in Mexico.
There is so much information packed into this documentary and yet they do a wonderful job of making it clear and easy to understand. Although you are looking at a huge industry with many different divisions they make it flow together smoothly in a way that shows how it is all interconnected. The best thing is that despite all these overwhelming problems being addressed it also gives you a sense of hope. There are clear steps we can take as consumers to make a change and have our voices heard.