Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Food, Inc.

No time to cook anything for the blog tonight, but I wanted to talk a little bit about one of my favorite movies, Food, Inc., as well as the related book of essays also called Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. is an Oscar-nominated documentary about the modern food industry, and I highly recommend it.  Please don't get the impression that this movie sets out to make us all vegans, or to make us sick with depictions of animal cruelty.  The contributors to this film aren't vegans or even vegetarians as far as I know.  Animal cruelty is shown, but not with PETA-like motives, and without beating the point into the ground.  Food manufacturers would have us believe that the meat and eggs we get at the grocery store come from farms full of happy animals.  Many even depict barns and farm scenes in their logos.  Most of us (including myself, until fairly recently) take their word for it and put the products in our shopping carts.  Food, Inc. simply depicts the food industry as it really is, and, most importantly, offers viable real-world alternatives that do not involve giving up eating meat.  Remember, I'm a pragmatist...I know there is no chance of a mass movement to vegetarianism!  Besides, bacon (in moderation) is yummy!

The idea is that we should all know where our food comes from, what's in it, and the politically motivated (but non-partisan...both sides are similar on this issue) reasons behind the ingredients that go into our food.  We should all know how the foods at the grocery store are made, and know what our options are to avoid undesireable ingredients and practices. 

Some of my food heroes appear in this movie, including Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, and a farmer named Joel Salatin, who is just incredible.

I've seen this movie probably three times now, and I get re-inspired each time.  Despite the difficult topic, Food, Inc. is absolutely uplifting and inspiring!

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