Saturday, June 27, 2009

Not just another scare tactic

I just got back from an excellent documentary.  Food, Inc.  I've been waiting for this movie ever since reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma.  If you've ever wondered about how your food gets to the store so you can buy it (and you should be wondering this) then you should go see this flick.  

I took along the hubby.  Ok, maybe dragged, coerced and gave him the big sad puppy eyes to get him to go along with me.  You see he grew up on a farm.  His family still farms.  He doesn't want to hear anyone putting down the farmers.  I told him if he'd go with me to this movie, I'd go see The Hangover with him.  (He thinks it's a fair trade, but after Betina's review of that movie, I'm eager to see it.)

Anyway, this is not one of those shove-it-in-your-face documentaries.  It's very fair.  It states the facts eloquently.  It doesn't use a lot of scare tactics.  (But heck, the truth is scary enough.)  You would expect to see slaughterhouse scenes, but these are all bloodless and the least frightening parts of the movie.  What is most scary to me are those consumers who blissfully consume and do not ever consider what they are consuming and how it effects their lives.  

The movie didn't go deep enough, though, I felt.  What about the cancer risks caused by consuming meat and grains and genetically modified foods?  They didn't touch on that at all.  But there was no room for it.  They did do a nice job of presenting food, from seed to table, and how it affects the farmers, the workers, and the consumers.  

If you're not up for the movie, Pollan's book covers about the same ground, and is very thoughtfully written.  I recommend them both.  And while the hubby will probably never admit it out loud, he would recommend it too.  He found it very fair to the farmers and said, "That's how it is for them.  They're trapped in a vicious circle."



Betina Krahn said...

Michele, I haven't seen this out down here at all! And I'm fascinated by this subject, have done research for a couple of books (still in the works) involving biotech tampering with seed grain.

I really do want to see this-- I'll keep an eye out for it-- especially now, with your recommendation!

Rock on!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm going to read Pollen's IN DEFENSE OF FOOD asap. I've seen a couple of interviews with him, and the part that really fascinates me is the history. I've long thought somebody should be studying this subject with regard to American Indians. We changed their diet radically (by force) quite recently, and their health is in crisis--more than any group in the U.S.

Pollen says that the human body is set up for a hunter/gatherer diet and that the introduction of agriculture was the first attack on our digestive system--took THOUSANDS of years to adjust. He says the genetic engineering of food is (if I'm remembering this right) the second big attack. I believe this.

I don't think vegetarian or vegan diet is the answer for us. Pollen says we should be eating grass-fed mean--including (Lois?) chicken. I thought it was interesting when we googled wild turkeys and found that they eat mostly grass. Why didn't I know this? I imagined some sort of grain. And worms. Ooey gooey worms. Yum.

Michele Hauf said...

Kathy, I'm not much for meat, but I don't believe it should be completely wiped out of our diets. It's the cows that are fed corn (they are herbivores, so don't normally eat corn) especially genetically modified corn, just to fatten them up, and make more profits, that I try to avoid. I try to find meat nowadays that's been farm-raised without antibiotics and all the rest of that stuff, but it's very difficult.

I buy organic when I can, but you know, some of the organic stuff is a joke. Just got back from the grocery store. I picked up the organic peaches. Two of them in a plastic container. The plastic is #7 Other, one of the most toxic plastics out there. So how does that work with something that should be organic? Let alone, the extra packaging. The non-organic peaches are just sitting out in the open, no plastic. I bought the lesser of two evils: the non-organic peaches. Sigh...

What I'd really like to see is a documentary on plastics and how they invade every part of our lives and how there is absolutely nothing good about them whatsoever.

Michele Hauf said...

Hey, Betina, I had to drive to the Lagoon to see this movie. I hate it when important films like this just don't get good distribution. It should be easier to find.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I rarely eat meat, but even grains and fruits and veggies have their problems - geez...I'm almost afraid to read/watch this . . . but, I'm curious enough that I probably will....