So I'm definitely behind the in-crowd in finally watching Food Inc but everyone has to jump on the wagon at their own pace, right? Right. (see here? I'm at least a year behind the time.)
Since I finally watched this movie, thanks to Zip.ca, I have to say that it was a good watch. It was also a good source of conversation between my wife and I. We discussed the various subjects as they came up, and it was a good conversation. It was definitely interesting seeing how each of our own biases showed up in our opinions. My wife being a meat-loving meatatarian (as she calls herself) who avoids veggies and anything that tastes healthy (also her words), and me being a vegetarian who loves health foods and whole wheat and trying new things. It was definitely interesting.
Most of the things I saw on there, information-wise, were pretty old news. Especially since I read all the other health blogs, and Dr. Mercola's site. But it put pictures to the words, which really resonated with me and made me feel a little bit better about trying to eat real foods. It even struck a chord with my wife when she saw what went into meat fillers (i.e.: ammonia).
Despite the fact that the information for this movie came entirely from the United States, it was well rounded and gave a good insight into their food system. I'm not sure how much different Canada's food policy is, and I have yet to hear of a documentary that looks into it, but I'm sure it can't be that far off. I have to say that our meat in the grocery stores here in Ottawa definitely looks healthier and fresher than the meat they showed in the movie. I hope that means something.
It certainly is amazing to hear about all the different uses for corn, and just reinforces my feelings about eating real foods. Knowing that processed foods are full of corn and soy is really disenheartening. I felt myself feeling really bad and empathizing for the latino(looking) family who couldn't afford the real healthy food and went for the junk food instead because of the price. Buying junk because it's all you can afford is really a catch-22, because you pay for it later in life with your health.
You can tell from how the farmer's are talking about the situation that they are unimpressed. The meat farmers are getting screwed because they're subsidized by the big companies and can easily get their contracts cancelled for any little thing. The female chicken farmer that they featured had her contract cancelled because she believed in having an open chicken house that had windows so that her chickens could see the sun and the outside. She refused to switch to the dark, closed, ventilated chicken house, so she lost the contract with the meat company.
The seed cleaner's story was equally sad, if not worse, because he had been in the same business for years (probably more than fifteen) and he got sued. He tried to fight it, but he ran out of money to pay his legal bills so he was forced to settle with Monsanto. This segment of the movie made me really glad that I consciously avoid soy products, and now I will be even more observant and open to looking where hidden soy and corn might hide.
Paying higher prices to get good, healthy, real food is worth it. It's worth it in the medium term because you'll feel better and you'll have more energy. It's worth it especially in the long term because your body will be healthier and less prone to chronic diseases, not to mention that your immune system will be stronger from you putting real food that provides real energy.
In summary, it was a really good movie and puts everything in perspective. It brushes over a huge range of topics and gives you a taste of each one. The movie features Michael Pollan who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma (which I look forward to reading soon) as well as the mother of the boy who sparked Kevin's Law Barbara Kowalcyk. Even if you've read The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Fast Food Nation, I recommend watching this movie. Because, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So a movie must be a few million at least. Rent it, share it, borrow it, or buy it, it is a good watch and a sobering look at the food industry and how it has evolved.
Peace and serenity,
Please note that some of the links are to the Amazon.com site where you can purchase the titles. If you do, a small commission goes to helping to support Simply Green. I recommend that before buying, you check out your local library, or used book store. Keep the world a little greener and share the love. Thank you.