August 3, 2009

Food, Inc.: My thoughts

Hey guys,

So, I went to the local independent film movie theatre, grabbed a water bottle and cinnamon dusted pecans (a Texan delicacy) and got comfortable for a very uncomfortable movie: Food, Inc.

Now, I'm not gonna go on and on about the synopsis, for that you can check out the trailer here and the website here.

This movie made me think in a way that I never have before. First off, let me start by saying that I was very weary about seeing the film. First off I'm weary of movies/docs that have a very blatant agenda, because, to be honest, I'm the type of person who will subscribe to things very easily without hearing both sides of the story. But I went anyway...and I loved it. I've been thinking about it every since I saw it last night. The tagline of the movie is "You'll never look at dinner the same again," which is just so true!

I've had some time to gather my thoughts and think about the ways the film and new information will be affecting me.

Here are some astonishing things I've learned:

-In 1972 there were 50,000 inspenctions made by the FDA on meatpacking factories, and in 2006 there were about 9,000.

-Cows eat grass evolutionarily, but they are fed corn by little farmers owned by big meat companies so they get fatter faster. Their stomachs are not used to digesting corn so their meat is suseptible to E.Coli.

-When cows are not allowed to roam, and are stuck in there tiny pens until slaughter, they are ankle deep in there own feces and the dried feces from their hides actually get in the meat.

-To kill E.Coli in some cow meat, farmers do not feed their cows grass, but instead "clean" the meat with Ammonia.

-The farmers depend on these HUGE companies (there are four of them, among them Tyson and Smithfield) for their lively hood. They have to do whatever they say, whenever they say it or they lose their contract and with it all their money.

-Chickens have naturally narrow breasts, but since the white meat in the chicken breasts are so popular with consumers, they have genetically engineered the chickens to have very large breasts. This makes their bodies so disproportionate that they cannot stand on their feet without plopping down for more than a few seconds...

That's just a little taste, this movie was full of so much information that spread across political sectors (both major political parties are guilty of neglecting the issue of food safety).

There's a lot of cool, interesting stuff that I did not mention here. There are a few slaughter scene, during which I visibly cringed, so if you're squeamish, just close your eyes.

I have decided to try vegetarianism out because I cannot trust the meat. As an ammendment to that, I would like to add that I will eat meat if I know excatly what farm it came from and how the animals were raised and slaughtered. For example, there is a burger place near me that sells 100% organic beef from grass-fed cows.

Also, I'm trying to stay away from high fructose syrup as much as possible and checking the labels of my produce to make sure that it all stays pretty local.

This movie was remarkable and I think you should all see it, even if it doesn't change your thoughts on the subject.


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