Thursday, October 15, 2009

[review] Food, Inc.

If you have never slaughtered your own food, you should be required to see this.

"bigger, faster, fatter, cheaper" : a farmer's description about how MegaCorp demands your food be produced. I would put a name in, but I don't recall which one it was. There are, after all, only 5 or 6 companies in the entire United States of America which produced your dinner last night.

Yes, there are some disturbing scenes in the movie. Was it the outdoor one-at-a-time chicken slaughtering? No, it was the mechanized efforts to get sick and lame cattle into the chute for slaughter.

And, yes, as with any documentary film, there is the issue of:
>> selective editing of film
>> getting highly articulate people who really don't represent the norm to talk favorably about your point of view

As Mr. Gopher observed, it provided a refreshingly unusual view of the "good guys" not being angels. The Nice Farmer was still filmed slaughtering his chickens and beef. It's not like the director only showed the Bad Corporate Farmers being gross. And, it was a very sympathetic view of the poor guys stuck in the middle. They've got a farm, they need to use it, but they really can't do it without bankrupting their soul as well as their pocket book.

Farm for MegaCorp? It makes you a feudal serf. It's no different than 100 years ago living in a Company Town. Want seed? Buy from MegaCorp. Want to be paid? Do it Our Way.

One of the most pleasant few minutes of the movie was the section about Stoneyfield. The organic yogurt people. That would be the big corporate organic people. The CEO was interviewed about Wal-Mart becoming their new client. The other organic people despise him for 'selling out'. He thinks it's wonderful that The Enemy wants to sell organic. Why do they? As the Wal-Mart manager said, "because our customers want it".

The film crew accompanied some Wal-Mart sales-employees to a small family dairy farm in New England. The wife of the couple shakes hands and laughs as she says, "You know, I've never actually been in a Wal-Mart. We won't buy your stuff, we sort of boycot it." You know the WalMart guys must hear this a lot, because they managed to keep a straight face.

Yup ... pretty damn depressing. While underscoring the mantra: It's not inherently bad, it's the way they go about it that is evil. Well, keeping animals in feed lots was pretty much condemned outright.

Mr. Gopher & I went to see this after having dinner at Zeno's. No, neither Greek philosophy nor Greek food. Sort of the haute couture, "Look, ma, I'm spending a lot of money on dinner!" Well, in this case the $30 dinner for 2 which included a bottle of wine and movie tickets for 2 was a pretty good deal. We realized we don't normally consume a whole bottle of wine as we floated around the corner to the theater. Pleasantly it's near one of my favorite theaters (the Lagoon).

Gopher Recommendation:
2 - Definitely go see it on the big screen (at matinee prices). Like good special effects, it is more powerful on the big screen.

and ...
The $30 Cheap Date Night Special @ Zeno's is worthwhile. Yes, that's what it's called.


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