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Highlights of Food Inc. Documentary Analysis of the Food Inc.


- Michael Pollan

American thought-provoking documentary film produced by the Participation Media and directed by the award winning director Eric Schlosser and Robert Kenner Nominated for Best Documentary (Teays, 2012) The documentary film examines the unethical, inhumane and unhealthy production processes of these commodities and its possible impact on the consumers, environment and well as those who are involved in the production process

1. Most people do not have an idea where the food we eat comes from 2. The reality is that those who produce the food we eat are more concerned about doing everything faster, bigger and cheaper without due regard to the safety of the consumers. 3. Because of the demand for food, growers add chemicals to fruits and vegetables so they will ripen much faster 4. Planters and growers are adding chemicals to the fruits and vegetables we eat so they last longer. 5. Aside from the fertilizers fed to the grains and vegetables, they are also sprayed with pesticide to ensure that they are aesthetically appealing to the consumers.

6. With the help of growth hormones, chickens are being raised in half the time they were compared to several decades ago where they are raised for 3 months. 7. Farm owners treat the livestock and poultry in their farms in a horrifying and sickening manner; 8. Chicken farmers are saying that chickens are being kept in dark chicken houses where there are no windows and no direct sunlight; 9. Farm workers are also being abused by the farm owners and made to work in farms where the minimum standards of safety are not being met; 10. Farm owners fail to properly maintain their farms

11. Poultry and livestock being sold in the market such as the chicken, pork others are being fed artificial food so that they grow faster and become bigger, and fatter in lesser period of time; 12. The houses where the livestock are kept are not properly maintained such that these farm animals stand on their manure all day allowing the spread of diseases such as E. Coli faster. 13. There is a new strain of E. coli which causes illness to 73,000 Americans and death to thousands more; 14. E. Coli can be found in the food we eat such as the spinach and apple juice if these fruits and vegetables are grown on farms that are near poultry and livestock 15. Food contaminated with E. Coli can kill

16. More Americans now have diabetes and heart ailments early in their life and this can be attributed to the food we eat 17. The government is powerless to address this problem because the regulatory agencies themselves are controlled by these companies running the poultry and livestock business. 18. During the Bush administration, the head of the FDA was the former executive vice president of the National Food Processors Association and the chief of staff of the Department of Agriculture was the former chief lobbyist for the beef industry 19. The federal government should also be blamed because they subsidize corporations which grow grains and soybeans resulting in the abundance of corn and soybeans which are cheap feed for livestock. 20. The government is also spending billions to subsidize local farms compared to the $15 million allocation for organic and local food.

Of Food Inc. Documentary

The documentarys contention is that corporations in the United States are more focused on producing cheap and abundant food to gain more profits for these corporations even if they are unhealthy and bad for the environment (Gottlieb & Joshi, 2010). As seen in the documentary film, the industrial production of meat (chicken, beef and pork) and as well as grains and vegetables are done in inhumane and unhealthy manner. By sacrificing health standards, the agribusiness companies ensure their profit by having low-cost produce

The documentary criticizes the government for its participation in the entire food system in making cheap but unhealthy food accessible and for its failure help organic and healthy food more available for public consumption

The documentary film raised a good argument which may possibly put consumers in a dilemma of whether choosing what is cheap and convenient or healthy and environment-friendly. A large portion of the US population prefers tasty, fast and low-cost foods, in other words, economical and convenient. However, as shown in the documentary film, these products which are often considered as convenient and economical are actually those which are also unfit for human consumption and at the same time, not environment-friendly.

I also came to realization that I have a choice. Consumers have a choice. Consumers can choose not to eat processed food. They can choose not to eat food that come from the farms shown in the documentary. They can choose not to eat fast food. We can choose to eat healthy. We can choose to live a healthy life style.

Gottlieb, R. & Joshi, A. (2010). Food Justice. Cambridge: MIT Press. Teays, W. (2012). Seeing the Light: Exploring Ethics Through Movies. Massachusetts: WileyBlackwell.