food-incFOOD INC.

Up For: Best Documentary, Features

Here is what Food Inc. did for me: it disgusted me, it ripped my heart out, it suggested that I live the wrong way but cannot do anything about it because of my social status, and left me feeling helpless.

A documentary like this needs to be careful. The entire film is broken into sections and each section is a different area of food production (sometimes…) involving cows, chickens, pigs, etc. You meet farmers who work from small organic farms, to mass producing farms.

Warning however, the images you can see are very graphic, but they let you know this within the first segment little chicks are being conveyor-belted through machines…

The reason this film made me feel helpless was saying that the world had come to this point because of money. It is easier to pay a dollar for a McDonalds chicken sandwich than to produce a healthier (for you and the environment) option for yourself for nothing near a dollar. They ended up saying it was this way because of social status and how much money is being made in any given household.

It was hard to get any “action” from this documentary. Facts are shoved at you throughout the entire film of the bad things, but hardly ever fixes to these problems. One of the nine or so segments was about buying organic yogurt that is carried in Wal-Mart and the end had written word of “generic” things you could do, but in the end it was simply a ploy to get you to visit their website.

Overall, I feel that The Cove was a better mix of a documentary, causing a full range of emotion. But I have a feeling this is what Food Inc. was going for. They wanted to freak you out so that you would want to do something. What they don’t realize is most people with eating problems already eat more when they are depressed.

Going off on a side tangent a little bit, but you have to wonder. If our culture could actually afford to organically grow and produce all our foods if that could actually work for as many people there are in the world. Even the organic farmer was not sure that if a large majority of the population started buying from him, and people like him, if they could sustain and meet the needs….

In the end, you just end up mad at corporations again. I really want to know what kind of people make up a corporation. Because they all seem skewed. The Cove had that feeling from it as well. There is just a skewed sense of reality in corporations (that the rules do not apply to them) that affects the whole world. The seed part of the film was the most obvious of this as they were putting small, old man farmers out of business for not using the genetically engineered seeds in planting. And in some scheme, “seed cleaning” (still not sure what this was… never really explained, just assumed I knew or I was a farmer…) was banned and the men doing it ended up looking like Soviet supporters during the Red Scare.

Ultimately, I really do not see Food Inc. winning. It got a lot of hype, but I guess I just do not want to see it win because it really wasn’t that great. The Cove was by far better produced and relied less on fact-basing and more on getting the viewer engaged, something that Food Inc. was lacking. So if you want to be grossed out and have hundreds of facts thrown at you, go for it. Worth a viewing just to see a part of society you normally do not see, but otherwise, not Oscar-worthy.



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