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Food Inc. most important film I have seen in a while

  1. Jun 21, 2009 #1
    Definitely a must see. This movie was shocking. Some of the things food companies are getting away with and how they are able to write our laws is incredible. If you care about your health and what you eat, definitely see this film.
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  3. Jun 21, 2009 #2
  4. Jun 21, 2009 #3


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    As opposed to the steel companies, the defense companies, the auto companies, the investment companies, and so forth, which don't get away with anything and have little influence on our laws?
  5. Jun 21, 2009 #4
    Is the movie any different than Fast Food Nation?
  6. Jun 21, 2009 #5


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    I don't usually bother watching "shockumentaries" because they are generally entirely biased and mostly just anti-government and anti-big business, and frequently not based in any understanding of science, just fear-mongering.

    On more general issues of food and food safety, the FDA and USDA have for a long time been underfunded, and just don't have enough inspectors to go around, and this does contribute to some of the major problems we've seen of recalls due to unsanitary conditions in factories that go uncaught for too long.

    And, certainly, there are a lot of foods on the grocery store shelves that are barely food. But, one shouldn't need a degree in nutrition to suspect that macaroni with fluorescent orange powdered cheese might have a lot of additives that could be avoided and that don't provide any nutrition.
  7. Jun 21, 2009 #6
    Everyone does it, so it makes it OK I guess right?

    To the film's credit they gave every opportunity for the big businesses to respond against their critics. All of them refused.

    This movie wasn't a ridiculous Michael Moore type documentary that tries to get in your face. Much of the story was told by farmers, who above anyone else, I would trust telling the story of how our food is made.

    Some of the head honchos of the FDA and USDA were at one point either lobbyists or workers for huge food corporations. Clarence Thomas, who was one of the biggest supporters of allowing patents on genetically modified food was a lawyer for Monsanto.

    And it isn't "anti-big business" either. The film spends a good portion on the positive relationship between Stonyfield dairy products and Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart also does not carry milk that comes from growth hormone treated animals because that is what consumers have been demanding.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  8. Jun 21, 2009 #7
    I think there's a big difference because we don't EAT steel products, guns, or automobiles. If the industry crashes, it doesn't matter that much to the rest of the world. In contrast, if agriculture becomes unsustainable or infiltrated with toxins, that could kill millions of people. It does not sit well with me to learn that we are being fed food products that have potentially dangerous additives that haven't been tested by unbiased parties.
  9. Jun 21, 2009 #8
    ...and pharmaceutical companies, of course.

    Just follow the money. It moves from the companies, to the lobbyists, to campaign buckets. Nowadays they don't even TRY to keep it under the table. At least the lobbyists know enough to stay away from Ron Paul and a few others.
  10. Jun 21, 2009 #9
    No, given that steel is used to make critical structures (buildings, bridges etc.) I'd say the regulations should be just as strict. If the steel industry crashes, yes it does matter. Nothing gets built, no new buildings, no new ships, no new bridges, millions out of work etc.
    Guns, not exactly sure of your point here, they are DESIGNED TO KILL, personnally, I'll take my chances with eating luminous macoroni as opposed to using my lungs to stop a bullet.
    Automobiles, well that industry has crashed and it has had a major effect on the world. Thousands out of jobs.

    Poor examples there junglebeast. Whether or not we eat it makes no difference to how dangerous it is.
  11. Jun 21, 2009 #10
    If a building collapses with a lot of people inside it, that's a problem...but if you're worried about it, you can avoid living in a high rise.

    The manufacturing quality of a bullet is really of no consequence to you at all and has nothing to do with you being shot in the throat.

    The automobile industry crashing is not a big deal. So a few thousand people lose their jobs...ok, I don't care. They survived. And some stock holders lost some money, but nobody forced them to invest so it was their risk.

    With food, it is different. You can try to choose healthy foods, but when genetically mutated foods are not labeled, there's no way for the consumer to make that choice. If you develop cancer at the age of 35 because of the toxic foods you ate in your 20's, that you didn't even know you were eating, you're screwed. If you have a baby and it gets sick and dies due to the food you bought at the grocery store, that sucks.

    This point is kind of hit home in another movie, Bitter Harvest, which is based on a true story of a farmer who's cows start dying. The government does not investigate, but the farmer does, and ends up discovering that a toxic chemical was released into the feed supply. This chemical binds to fat meaning it gets transferred into the cows milk and any organism that consumes it. As a result the farmer's baby, who drinks the breast milk from his wife who drank the cows milk, starts developing rashes and getting sick. People start losing their hair. Scientists analyze it, and find that it causes enumerable serious issues like hair loss, cancer, stroke, death, etc. The government refuses to accept this, doesn't notify people that they are being poisoned, and the milk continues being sold. Eventually the farmer makes a martyr of himself by publicly slaughtering all of his cows and a year or so later, the government finally admits. By that time, it was estimated that 3.5 million people have been poisoned. This really happened.
  12. Jun 21, 2009 #11


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    I'm thinking that this thread probably exceeds forum guidelines.
  13. Jun 21, 2009 #12
    Of course it's a problem. People spent enough time debating whether the trade centres should still be standing. But what about working? And driving over/under bridges? Avoiding rail travel? Air travel? NOT REALISTIC. Our modern lives depend on them so to say you can imply avoid them is BS.

    Yeah it does, a badly made bullet could explode in the breach and cause a serious injury to the shooter (think cop/soldier not terrorist). A poorly made bullet may have a bad flight path and as such be subject to poor accuracy endangering others aside from who it was shot at. A badly mad bullet, to a serious enough degree could act as a hollow point. A simple shot to the leg to put someone down could end up as a major leg trauma (not that a bullet wound is minor in any case).

    Bet you wouldn't think like that if you were one of those people, if your family now didn't have an income. That is a poor attitude.

    Well in which case grow your own. No more problems.
  14. Jun 21, 2009 #13
    I what regards? Is this opinion or fact?

    I'm thinking one should probably see this film before actually posting in this thread to be objective as possible. That's my 2 cents.
  15. Jun 21, 2009 #14


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    No, it just makes it uninteresting.
    I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean - yah, of course they refused! Why wouldn't they? It's a trap!
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  16. Jun 21, 2009 #15
    Then don't see it if you automatically are assuming you won't find it interesting (I guarantee you will find some points interesting though).

    An unflattering portrait of a company? No response? You would have thought they would have at least tried somewhat to clean up their public image.
  17. Jun 22, 2009 #16
    If they responded to every claim made against them, they would have no time to do anything else. This isn't their 'public image' it is simply how a few people view them and felt the need to make a film about. Look at NASA and the moon hoax, they just gave up and decided not to refute the claims as they didn't want to waste the money doing it when they are so absurd and have been disproven before.
  18. Jun 22, 2009 #17
    If one wishes to promote discussion about a topic they might oblige themselves to make talking points rather than saying everyone should spend an hour and a half of their time watching a movie instead. Certainly recommend the movie but building your own arguement based on what you learned would be preferable.

    I watched half of that other movie The Future of Food and decided it was a waste of my time.

    My 2ยข.
  19. Jun 22, 2009 #18


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    Not on a forum controlled by the maker of the shockumentary. Since showing their response in an even-handed way would go against the purpose of the shockumentary, they can reasonably assume that they stand to gain nothing and stand to lose a lot by responding directly. That's how propaganda works!

    Note that some did respond with their own statements and websites. Forums/messages they control.
  20. Jun 22, 2009 #19


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    What is the point of this thread? You started it, saying the film is "important". I would think that the point should therefore be to tell us why it is important and why we should see it too.
  21. Jun 22, 2009 #20
    That's a cop out IMO. It's like all the corporations that refuse to comment on investigative stories on programs like 60 minutes. True, it makes much more sense for them to comment/reply via channels they control. The Monsanto response to Food, Inc. on their website is quite laughable. Their intimidation tactics have been well documented and have been reported by other media sources. CA legislature had to actually pass a bill in order to protect farmers from Monsanto harassment.

    Well, I was going to tell people why it was important, that is until the thread got completely bombarded by people who haven't even seen the movie and automatically assumed it would be a waste of their time. It's extremely hard to try to sell something to people who already have a preconceived notion that they will be disappointed.

    Why do I think it is important? Because it sheds light on the real costs of cheap food. People don't care where their food comes from, they just want food available at low cost. Do they care that 70% of all antibiotics used in the US are for cattle and years feeding antibiotics have led to problems with bacteria resistance? Do they care that the E. Coli strain that infects and kills thousands of people per year most likely evolved simply because of the way cows are fed? Cows evolved to eat grass, not corn (which most cows are fed today in large part because of government subsidies to vastly overproduce corn). Why does our nation have such a problem with obesity? I mean a steak from a corn fed cow contains roughly 9 grams of saturated fat. Compare that to a steak that comes from a grass fed cow which only contains 1.5 grams of saturated fat. Personal responsibility definitely plays a role in our obesity epidemic, but how much of a role does the quality of our food supply play? 80% of all beef comes from 4 producers and comes from massive feedlots of corn fed cattle. How many options does the consumer really have then if they want to eat healthily if pretty much most of the meat on the market comes from the same sources and is raised using conditions that will produce products with high saturated fat content? Is the way we make our food even sustainable? 1 cattle feedlot produces as much waste as a city of 1.4 million people. Is the federal government really doing enough to protect the consumer against food contamination when you have/had Justice Clarence Thomas, the head of the FDA, and the Chief of Staff of the USDA all former workers or lobbyists for huge food companies like Monsanto? People don't realize the power that these food companies have. Google food or veggie libel laws. It's ridiculous. Oprah spent millions of dollars and years of her time defending herself against lawsuits that used food libel laws. Should the consumer have the right to speak their voice negatively about an agricultural product? Industry doesn't think so. Clearly there is an attempt by industry to hide at least some facts from the consumer about how their food is made and where it comes from. A consumer SHOULD have the right to know if their food is genetically modified in any way. A consumer SHOULD have the right to know if the milk they are drinking comes from cows that are given growth hormone. Industry has fought hard and lobbied against being required by law for such labeling on food products. Why is this movie important? Because it is pro-consumer. It fights for the rights of consumers and the right to knowledge. An informed consumer is a powerful consumer.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  22. Jun 23, 2009 #21
    People selling their own perspective on an issue often have a tendancy to quote people out of context and edit their interviews to align as much as possible with their own agenda. You will likely find complaints of this sort of tactic being used in just about every documentary like this. Not giving someone who thinks you are a terrible person who is destroying the world the opportunity to make you look like a fool and an idiot is only common sense, its no cop out.

    The vast majority of movies like this are rather light on actual information and most of what is presented is out of context so that even if it is faithfully presented you may not understand quite what the information points to. These movies are targeted towards the common person who has little interest in real science, politics, or economics and has a short attention span. So they tend to be full of rhetoric and bias. Even the few documentaries like this that I have somewhat enjoyed I was still disappointed in and was left feeling like I didn't really know much more than I had before.

    These are the things that you ought have brought up in your first post. Perhaps a bit more organized though.

    Cows have a rather complex digestive system that allows them to eat and live off of all sorts of vegitation. I see no reason why corn should be a problem. Kobe apparently feed their cows beer even.

    I don't have much time right at this moment so I may come back to this later.
  23. Jun 23, 2009 #22
    I'm probaby sure this is the same thing the meat packers said about Upton Sinclair's work. Investigative journalism is important. It's up to the view/reader to decide if the work has value. IMO this film is important.

    You don't have to take my word for it, but I'm not the only one who liked it.


    96% on RT is pretty good................
  24. Jun 23, 2009 #23
    Investigative journalism is important. But, if someone sets out with a particular agenda (taking down food companies) then that will be their aim and they will have a bias towards it regardless of what facts they find. So they will also be prone to altering things and misquoting to suit their cause. Note, I AM NOT discrediting this movie as I haven't seen all of it (got bored half way in), I am just pointing out a fact about investigative journalism.

    Or it could just mean the only people who voted are those who liked it. And those who didn't couldn't be bothered to give the time. I rarely vote when disappointed.
  25. Jun 23, 2009 #24
    What investigative journalist doesn't have an agenda?

    That's not how RT works. It is a collection of movie reviews from critics from almost every source imaginable. It isn't like IMDB. Users can vote on it, but that isn't the main score that is shown. The main score comes from the critics.
  26. Jun 23, 2009 #25
    None, but some people are willing to go further than others, to much more extremes, to get their point across. Even if it means bedning facts to suit their cause.

    Again, what if the critics are for the cause or (seeing as all they do is 'judge' films, and 9/10 times I will disagree with their review) they are simply in the bunch that are easily swayed? It all comes down to bias. A review means nothing to me, from critic or simply viewer. Some movies are hyped up and all the critics claim it to be the best thing since sliced bread, yet I watch it and find it a complete disappointment. You have to make your own mind up.
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