Movie Review: Movie Food, Inc

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Food Inc.

Agrobusiness is dirty, not just because farming involves long hours cleaning up animal waste and piling manure but because the food industry has been operating with questionable ethics for decades. The government is also to blame, as Michael Pollan points out in his 2009 documentary Food, Inc. The documentary provides stunning insight into how agrobusiness started, how it operates, and its effects on American consumer rights, eating habits, and health.

Nothing in the film seriously startled me because I had already known about issues like the inhumanity of meat farming; the proliferation of genetically-modified crops; and the pushing of mono-crops like corn and soil. I know about the dangers of processed foods and the insidious collusion between corporate food and government. Still, Pollan's perspective is refreshing because the filmmaker has the potential to reach a wide audience and therefore raise awareness about these issues in ways that might stimulate change.

One of the issues that kept coming up for me as I watched the film was the intended audience. How many Americans that watch Food, Inc. already know the information and are just reinforcing their belief -- based on fact -- that agrobusiness is dirty? Preaching to the choir is one of the risks of films like Food, Inc. In the same way that a Michael Moore movie might not actually change that many minds. I can't help but feel that the people who truly need to know about the dark side of food in America are the ones who will not know about the film or not want to watch it. Many Americans are content to shop at their local grocery store blinded to the truth about what is behind the stuff they put in their cart.

Many consumers do not care, for whatever reason. Others simply do not believe that the American government -- or the business owners -- could be so evil as to perpetuate unhealthy food production. Yet others do not recognize that an ethical issue exists at all. It is this latter perspective that I usually find bewildering: that some Americans do not see agrobusiness as a problem at all.

Watching Food, Inc. I also wish that Pollan proposed concrete ideas for the future of farming and food production. The problems with the current system are painfully clear. The food we eat is literarily or figuratively tainted. However, Pollan does not necessarily suggest what should be done about it. Other than suggest that consumers simply be more aware of what goes into food production in America, the filmmaker does not indicate any concrete policy or legislative change that might transform the ways businesses and consumers approach the food issue. One important issue that I would like to see addressed in any potential sequel to the film would also be the strong link between income and eating habits. Wealthier… [END OF PREVIEW]

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