Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Watch This: Food Inc.

I just took the opportunity to watch Food Inc., a documentary by Eric Schlosser (who wrote Fast Food Nation) and Robert Kenner that looks at the food industry in the United States. It takes aim at the large corporate farms that produce almost all of the food that we consume. The large-scale industrial production is shown to be harmful to the environment and to the people eating it.

Beyond that, the film shows that it is cheaper to eat unhealthy food like fast food, soda and candy, than it is to eat fruits and vegetables, contributing to the obesity of our county, especially among the lower economic classes.

It was also interesting to see that many of the organic companies that we see at our grocery stores have been bought out by the larger agri-business companies. Did you know that Kellogg owns Kashi and Morningstar Farms? Or that Tom's of Maine (organic soap) is owned by Colgate-Palmolive and Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox? Odwalla is owned by Coca Cola. Even Ben and Jerry's is owned by Unilever. It makes sense that the giant corporations would want to buy out these products, which are seen to be the good ones. But it is important to know that's where they are coming from.

The film, although controversial, does raise a lot of questions about what we are eating. The answer seems to be a lot of corn. While I don't do a very good job about eating organic and eating local, this does make me want to make more of an effort. I have great resources around me, including a great Farmer's Market. While it may take a little more effort and a little more money, it seems to be a much bettter choice in the long run.

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