Film Review: About Food, Inc. Documentary Film

Pages: 3 (941 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Food, Inc.

As its title suggests, the film Food, Inc. is an expose of American, commercialized agriculture. Instead of a family farm producing and raising meat, milk, vegetables, and grains, our food system is based on mass production. Food is no longer simply 'food' but rather is a part of a massive industrialized system of corporate control embodied in the personas of Monsanto, Smithfield, Perdue, Tyson, and McDonald's. No aspect of the food system is free of such controls. The film is thus very much informed by the work of cultural critics such as Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivore's Dilemma and Erich Schlosser, author of Fast Food nation, both of whom make appearances in the film.

What is particularly surprising about the film is the extent to which the American food system has changed so fast. During the 1930s and 1940s, independent farms were still a reality in many sections of the country. However mass production and fast food changed the way that food was produced and sourced. Fast food companies and conventional food retailers make up so much of the demand for food, they can dictate the terms of how it is produced, giving emphasis to speed and cheapness rather than health and ethics. Large meat retailers dictate to farmers how food will be grown and produced: what type of animals they will raise and how, and what type of crops they will raise (corn and soy vs. healthy fruits and vegetables, and genetically modified and commercially-produced Monsanto seeds vs. heritage and organic varieties).

This focus on standardization and mechanization is obviously disastrous for the health of the animals caught in the wheel of industrialized agriculture. One does not need to be a vegetarian to shudder at the unhealthy ways animals are processed to become food. For example, most beef cattle raised in the U.S. are 'finished' on corn. Because they are fed this unnatural diet far too young before they can digest such foods (to hasten the time to slaughter), they must be fed antibiotics. Antibiotics also enhances the growth of cattle but has led to a myriad of biological problems, including the explosion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Animals in factory farms are closely confined, subjected to constant stress as the result of their conditions and are fed an unnatural diet. This is in direct context to the natural methods of farming adopted by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm. Salatin's farm is entirely self-sustaining. His cattle graze as they are rotated through paddocks; chicken peck for food in cow dung and create fertilizer. Salatin is the hero of a film that otherwise shows human being's complete depersonalization of the food system.

What is particularly tragic about the human-animal relationship portrayed in Food Inc. is the lack of choice humans have in terms of their food. Big… [END OF PREVIEW]

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About Food, Inc. Documentary Film.  (2013, May 7).  Retrieved May 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/food-inc-documentary-film/4066340

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"About Food, Inc. Documentary Film."  Essaytown.com.  May 7, 2013.  Accessed May 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/food-inc-documentary-film/4066340.