Food Inc. shows various scenes from across the food supply chain, demonstrating the need for corporations to reform. The movie concludes that consumer choices at the end of the supply chain are the only factor that will compel any positive changes.
Food Inc. opened my eyes to how much food production has changed in the past few decades. Not only have farm animals gone from growing in green pastures to filthy, packed stalls, but their lives have been shortened, and their handlers’ jobs have become increasingly dangerous. Additionally, grains like corn and soy are now genetically modified to grow more quickly, and are subsidized so that they can feed animals, humans and supply raw materials for oil refining and other industries.
The movie documents how fast food and chain restaurants became increasingly popular since the late 1950’s, which resulted in quickly escalating demand for uniform cuts of meat that would taste and look the same to consumers nationwide, even if they weren’t. It has been the primary motivator for me to avoid fast food because, in turn, this led to the industrialization of farming animals.
Animal farming industrialization includes scientific advances to stimulate growth hormones to assembly lines for processing. As a result, animal and worker health and safety are compromised, and mega-sized processing facilities also boost the likelihood of cross-contamination, which means that our health and safety is secondary as well.
The second and third parts of the movie are slightly less jaw dropping, but also affect us greatly. They reveal the monopoly that a single grain manufacturer has on seed distribution, and alleged intimidation tactics by food producers to enact legislation that benefits them. Food Inc. led me to investigate grains, especially corn, and also made me conscious of where the produce I buy is sourced from.
Food Inc. finalized my resolution to avidly avoid fast food restaurants – for my personal health and so that I don’t support the system that led to these food manufacturing behemoths. I also have a better understanding of why local farmers cannot compete against such corporations based on price, and why their products are probably worth paying more for – especially for meat and dairy products. It made me question food labels, like organic, and also led me to increasingly follow news about food safety recalls and regulations.