After dinner I was working on a photo project for my mom and I was watching Food, Inc, a documentary directed by Robert Kenner is about one of my favorite subjects: food. This movie explores a shift in American food production from agricultural to industrial. According to the film, this industrialization and mechanization of the food industry evolved out of the fast food industry. Fast food restaurants applied an assembly line to burger and fries and that model was then transferred to packing meat and growing grains. It is strange to think that the manufacturing system for cars is now used to make sausages; truly bizarre.
The film also highlights the oligopoly of the food industry. We now live in a world where a few major companies dominate a large part of the food industry. These companies have a lot of clout and are meddling in politics, ethics are being breached. The beef industry: 5 companies controlling 80% of the market. That’s just not something I’m comfortable with. Options are great, but as the film points out, it is the illusion of choice that we have when it comes to food. When most of our food is genetically modified or contains corn or soy ingredients, how much choice do we have? Everything from tainted beef to vegetables being more expensive that a fast food meal suggests the US really has lost perspective. The costs of the food industry are great, they are negatively acting on the environment, society and national health.
The film ends on the note that “you can change the world with every bite” a notion that excites me. Eating is like voting: I really like doing both.
Check out Food, Inc.