INsite Magazine

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Food, Inc." Review: A Beef With The Food Industry

*Win free tix! See below.*

Private investigators, hired by huge multi-national corporations, prowl the perimeter of each plot of land. Dark windowless sheds dot a once pastoral landscape. And from inside the feces-encrusted walls of those sheds comes much of the nation’s food. Sound like a horror movie? According to the documentary film Food, Inc., this is merely the state of food production today.

Food, Inc. confronts the cherished delusion that the family farm is at the heart of Americana. Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner exposes the reality that our food is actually coming from factory-like farms owned by a handful of corporate giants, to the detriment of all Americans. Featuring the commentary of best-selling authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma), this film reveals how a few large food corporations lobby for lower health standards and less oversight while continuing to make the process of food production more dangerous and more unhealthy.

Like many calls to activism, Food, Inc. may initially come across as radical or liberal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Food, Inc. is an appeal to all Americans, regardless of political party or beliefs. For instance, in the film, a Democratic Congresswoman unites with a Republican mother who lost her son to an E. coli infection. A local farmer against big business is as prominently featured as the founder of the Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurts, the third largest yogurt producer in the US. The documentary Food, Inc. attempts to be nothing if not balanced in its search for a solution to our looming food crisis.

Food, Inc. documents every stage food passes through, from its agricultural origins to the mouths of consumers. As the movie shows, many of today’s hot-button issues are affected by food politics, from illegal immigration to obesity and healthcare. The film’s implications are horrifying, but Food, Inc., for all its shock value, refuses to accept the status-quo. Instead, it appeals to America’s deep democratic ideals, calling for consumers to “vote” for healthy products with each purchase. As such, Food, Inc. frames the battle for higher food standards as the battle for the American spirit. The reality of the food industry may be less than appetizing, but Food, Inc. should leave all Americans hungry for change.

--Allison Griner

Food, Inc. premieres tonight at the Hippodrome at 6 and 8:30 p.m. It runs tonight, Saturday (9/26), Sunday (9/27), Wednesday(9/30) and Thursday (10/1) at 6 and 8:30.

**We’re giving away a set of tickets to Food, Inc. today!.
Follow us on Twitter to find out how to win!

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