Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food, Inc.

Yesterday, Smart Guy and I watched our latest Netflix movie, Food, Inc. I missed this when it came to our local art venue, so I put it on the queue and when it came, rather than watch the one I had received earlier, we both settled down to watch this one.

This was an eye opener, even for those of us who consider ourselves well informed about our food choices. I had read Michael Pollan's books (all three of the latest ones) and had already been introduced to Joel Salatin at Polyface Farms, and it was great to actually meet him and see his farm as it functions in the world.

In the past few years, I have eaten chicken a few times, very few, and turkey only at Thanksgiving. I've never felt too bad about poultry, but after seeing what happens to them in a "normal" packing environment, I was shocked. One statement that stood out to me is that if we treat our food animals like this, it's only a short step to treating other human beings like things rather than people. From the website linked above:
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.
 If you rent the movie, you will learn a lot about our food industry. I suggest you do it after dinner, or at least a distance away from a meal. It turned my stomach. But there ARE things each of us can do, and the link above (just in case you don't visit it), gives us five things we can do right now:
  1. Visit the official Food, Inc. website (here).
  2. Support healthy school lunches and sign the Child Nutrition
    Act Reauthorization petition.
  3. Learn 10 simple things you can do to change our food system.
  4. Read the Food, Inc book.
  5. Read the Hungry For Change blog.
It was well worth watching and learning how to make a difference in your food choices. Every small thing we do for the planet also we do for ourselves and our neighbors.


  1. Many years ago I watched chickens going through a processing plant. To this day I'd rather eat cardboard than chicken. I suspect beef and pork processing plants are equally gruesome.

    For a while I read a blog where the woman was retired from whatever the big chicking processing plant is in Arkansas. She was still having nightmares from working there.

    So glad to hear you're enjoying the new machine.

  2. Watched this last week. It's hard to watch. Thanks for putting this out there.

  3. I don't know if I dare watch it!

  4. Really, I have seen how industry treats our animals and kills them. I think people should be forced to learn how to kill the meat they are going to eat and put the butchers out of business.

    There are places where what we call Aliens, put human beings on display in cages like our zoos, and, they can be ordered like the puppies are ordered in Korea and butchered and eaten at meals. I wish more people knew about Aliens and their eating habits.

    On I will soon post about Aliens and how they look and where they live and what they do for entertainment.

    I could end up taking an unexpected trip in a small plane out over the Atlantic. People disappear like that when they talk too much.

    You may be surprised. Maybe not.

  5. We have a long way to go on this issue! Great post.

  6. I've heard wonderful things about this film...I think I must get a copy! I am NOT surprised that YOU, dear DJ, have addressed it here! You are always on top of the most pertinent and valuable information! Thank you!!! Love you! Janine XO

  7. Thanks DJ for the information, I'll try to visit the links you have posted. I remember when I was a kid, I always watch how Grandmother butcher her chicken... and until now I can still picture it. I guess it is the old fashioned way, and I don't have any idea how manufacturers do it now. But what's the difference?


  8. I saw this not long ago, it is quite disturbing isn't it. Unfortunately the only way to make any real change is to stop buying the product and the average person won't do that. It's all about supply and demand.

  9. That's why I started keeping my own chickens in 1990. I kept them for ten years and learnt a lot about them. Mainly I learned that they all have personalities, just like us. They are loyal (believe it or not) and very productive. I haven't written about my chickens yet, but I will. My current rant is about factory farming for cows and I am very pleased to say that my last protest, along with a few hundred more, resulted in the planning permission request being turned down. I am delighted. I only heard about this a week or so ago.
    I have no problem with eating animals but I do have a problem with the way they are reared and killed.
    Blessings Star

  10. I knew there was a reason that I liked you and your blog so much. Thank you for posting this...

  11. I've made small changes in my diet and each year I try to adopt a new green habit. This year I'm saving all my funny pages for wrapping paper and will no longer buy it. My motto is one step at a time. Other wise, it's overwhelming.

  12. We have brought this on ourselves back in the sixties and seventies with the demise of the family farm. I used to help butcher our meat..and could still do it today ..with help of course. How I was raised it was just a normal part of life.
    Corporate farms are the real buggers:(

  13. Somethings are so depressing, when you stop to really comprehend our changing times.

  14. Okay, this could take some time exploring. I started clicking on the links and could spend awhile learning new things. Fascinating. Not to mention a bit disturbing. I guess I'll have to check out the movie.

  15. Thank you, DJan. I will steel myself to visit the site and watch the movie. We must be informed to make wise choices. Factory farming is a blight.

  16. I have not seen this movie yet, but it is on my list. My mother used to buy chicken in the market from local farmers and they tasted quite different from those sold in this country. There must be some local farmers here like that. Last week at our friends in Tennessee we ate vegetarian meals. She cooked tofu and it had a great taste. I bought a tofu cook book and will try some of the recipes. We rarely eat meat anyway, maybe once a month, and usually lamb. I checked the links on your site – very informative, thanks.

  17. We have just stocked up our freezer with a side of beef. This cow was treated well through life, grazing every day. It was taken to a local butcher, not a meat-packing plant.

    Of course, our dirty, nasty chickens (LOL) are treated like queens! We don't shoot them up with hormones and anti-biotics.

    Big business is into too much of our food supply. Have you heard about our beef that was turned away from Mexico? It wasn't up to their standards... but it sold here!

    It's important for people to be educated about our food market. It can be changed!


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