We saw Food, Inc. at the Mpls/St.Paul Film Fest a few weeks ago. Leah Engelhart told us about, so we all went together. It was a fascinating film full of things the commercial food industry doesn’t want us all to know. I frantically wrote a bunch of notes in the darkness of the theatre on the back of Leah’s digital converter box coupon! I thought I would share some of these random notes.
- Most of the meat we buy has imagery on the packaging that makes us think meat is from farms- and NOT factories. They use images of days gone by, so we think the meat is really pure, cultivated by farmers.
- The goal of Tyson, Cargill and Swift is uniformity, conformity and cheapness.
- America/the world has never had food companies this big
- Chickens are now re-designed to have bigger white breasts since Americans generally don’t like dark meat
- We buy into an illusion of diversity with our foods- but most of it is made out of clever re-arrangements of corn
- Ketchup, jelly, syrup, diapers, commercially harvested fish, salad dressing, sorbitol, xanthan gum are all made from corn…especially BEEF!
- Cheap corn has driven the price of meat down
- Our desire for cheaper calories has heavily subsidized wheat, corn and soy
- Obesity is highly linked with income level
- We complain about organic eggs but will easily pay .75 for a can of pop
- Thousands of different cattle make up the a single burger at most fast food places (because of how the beef is processed)
What I took from the film is that if you can afford organic food you should buy it and not feel like you are spending your money unwisely. It will drive down the prices for those who want it but can’t afford it. Supporting free-range, cage free, grass fed farmers like the one above in the photo, is saying that you care about the “why’s” and not just the “how’s” of how food gets to your table.