|'Food, Inc.': Wake-Up Call in the Form of a Movie|
|Friday, 09 September 2011 00:00 | Written by TC Brown | Blog Entry|
Hello. My name is TC and I’m a foodoholic. For years I’ve been on the "see-food" diet: I see food and I eat it. And I’m not real particular about its history, either, especially if it has visual and aromatic appeal.
My daughters best summed up my progress down that road at a recent family wedding in Louisville with the question, “How’s that vegan diet thing going, Dad?” as they stared humorously at the mound of bacon on my plate.
OK, so I’m staring up at the vegan wagon from a prone position on the ground. But a wake-up call in the form of a movie I saw may help me climb back aboard—Food Inc.
I had hesitated to see it because of some of its reviews. Rolling Stone called it “scarier than anything in the last five Saw horror shows.” And that was one of the milder ones.
So I took a friend for moral support and boy were our eyes opened. We had no idea the entire food system was controlled by so few multinational companies who are quick to flex powerful corporate muscle on any perceived threat.
There’s a heart-rending tale about Barbara Kowalcyk, who became a food-safety advocate after her two-year-old son, Kevin, died from E. coli poisoning from a hamburger. A bill, Kevin’s Law, to allow the federal government to close plants that produce contaminated meat, has languished in Washington for years. Meanwhile, thousands die annually from food-related illness.
The factory-farm and slaughterhouse scenes were stomach churning and reminded me of my tour of a mega chicken farm in Ohio several years ago. Groups of a half dozen or more birds were stuffed together in small cages they never leave, stacked six-feet high in giant warehouses for as far as the eye could see. The horror was straight out of a Stephen King novel and I had nightmares for weeks.
But Food Inc. doesn’t abandon hope. It reminds us to check labels, and buy local and in season. My friend is now primed to start a garden and acquire backyard poultry.
We, the consumers, have the groundswell of power should we choose to use it. Much as demand changed Big Tobacco’s irresponsible behavior, we all need to push strongly for good, wholesome food.
As Food Inc. points out, each of us can vote three times a day for a changed system. Take everyone you know to see it.
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