A couple of weeks ago, my foodie friend and I went to go see Food, Inc. at a local independent movie theater (ya I’m a little late posting about it ) All through the documentary, I kept saying “EWWW”, “OMG OMG”, squirming in my seat, or on the verge of tears. I was excited to see Michael Pollan and other authors in the film since they had introduced me to what this documentary had to say through their books. Pollans books are amazing, but sadly most people rather go see a film than having to sit through 200 + pages of a book. Here are some of the things that were shown in the film:
-What we put in our mouths are mostly composed of corn, petroleum and other synthesized products. Go grab a loaf of bread at the grocery store and see how many ingredients you can actually pronounce.
-The USDA and FDA are suppose to be protecting our nation by enforcing and coming up with suitable laws for the health of our nation, but they’re not. When Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle came out, it shed light to the food industry and how unsanitary our food was. The FDA and USDA soon emerged and laid the law down and we were back to good wholesome food. As the nation became complacent that we have the FDA and USDA to protect us, we were and are back to square one. Many top officials in the FDA and USDA held former positions in food companies such as Tyson and Monsanto.
-It usually takes 3 months for a chicken to fully develop into an adult bird. In 2009, it takes only 46 days. The chickens are fed growth hormones so they grow faster and bigger. Their body speeds up the growing process but the organs and muscles cant keep up. That is why these chickens walk a couple steps and fall down since their legs can’t keep them up for long. 😦
-These chickens are also kept in these coups with no sunlight whatsoever (they actually never see sunlight from the time they’re born to the time they are slaughtered) and room with so many chickens that there’s no space to really move around. They poop, eat, sleep in the same area and this naturally is a recipe for disease. To take care of that, these chickens are pumped with antibiotics. So now we have chickens who are fed growth hormones, antibiotics, and can barely stand on their own two feet.
-Cattle are pretty much the same way. They spend their days in severely close quarters of their other fellow cattle. They are also fed corn, not grass. Cows have E. coli in their stomach and eating grass produces Rumen which kills off the E. coli naturally. Now when they are only fed corn, this E. coli doesn’t die off. It stays in their body and passes through their feces. These guys also sleep poop eat in the same area and feces are all over them when they are being slaughtered. So we now have cattle smothered in feces containing E. coli. Now the feces are also used as fertilizers in other plants. Why do you think we keep on having so many E. coli outbreaks in our spinach and other produce?
-People do die from eating this E. coli ridden food. The documentary had a mother who was telling her story of when her family went on vacation and gotten burgers to eat from some restaurant/fast food. Her young son, I think 7 years old, was infected with E. coli due to the meat and died a week later.
-Farmers are being forced into perpetual debt and unfair laws. They either loose their livelihood by trying to produce wholesome food or keep being farmers living under the thumb of corporations by producing food that they aren’t proud of. Many of them have been sued because they want to use their own seeds instead of GMO (genetically modified organisms) seeds.
Those are just some of things talked about in the film. I’d definitely check it out if it’s playing in your area. People always ask me why I’m so interested in food. It’s because of many things. Food brings people together, builds culture, provides comfort, entertainment, and is a necessity. It’s also because I want to be knowledgeable in what I eat and don’t leave it up to corporate companies to decide what’s going into my body. What happened to eating real food? Where did we get lost in having home-cooked meals and ending upgoing through the drive-thru for dinner. When I eat, I want to gain nutrients and not pump myself with chemicals that might lead to cancer or other sickness.
I’m constantly trying to refine the way I eat so I stay away from boxed items. It’s definitely not an overnight transformation, habits are hard to break. The more you become aware of the consequences of what is nourishing your body, the more it will push and motivate you to find practical solutions and alternatives.