Home > Documentary, Food, Movie > Food, Inc. (2008) – Eric Schlosser

Food, Inc. (2008) – Eric Schlosser

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I recently saw the movie, Food, Inc. I’m fairly certain it’s the first time I’ve seen it, but maybe not. Like most food documentaries, there are many recurrent facts about food and how it’s derived. I usually try to avoid watching these movies – the first one I saw in 7th grade put me off all pig products for most of my life: I don’t want to know the disgusting truth, and how base we humans really are—well, ok but I do want the facts…don’t I?

Amazingly, there are still so many things that I don’t know about food and how our lives correspond with it. Here are the top 6 that really got to me:

1) Did you know that there are on average 47,000 items in a supermarket? No wonder I feel overwhelmed when I walk into one, and that explains why, once I’m familiar with a supermarket, I tend to return to it over and over – who wants to re-learn where 1000’s of products are stocked and whether your particular items are stocked at that particular supermarket.

2) The reason tomatoes taste so crappy in the U.S. is because they are grown in other countries, picked green and ripened with ethylene gas. Hello? Does ripening anything with gas sound like a good idea? Check out Wikipedia’s description of ethylene if you want to learn more about what other scary things it is used for.

3) McDonald’s is one of the largest purchasers of potatoes, pork, chicken, tomatoes and lettuce – duh, it controls the market for these products, basically. This isn’t new information – just a reminder of how bad McDonald’s really is.

4) The following products are made from corn, a product that because of ginormous subsidies means that even though it costs more to produce than farmer’s would earn, it continues to cover 30% of the land-base in the U.S. Corn is actually sold for less than it costs to produce. Um, U.S. government, how can you be so stupid to continue to subsidize this product?

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Di-glycerides
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Xanthum gum
  • Calcium stearate (that’s in gum)
  • Caltodextrin
  • Citrus cloud emulsion
  • Sucrose
  • Fructose
  • Saccharin
  • Sorbital
  • Baking powder
  • Starch
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sorbic acid
  • Cellulose
  • Xylitol
  • Alpha tocopherol
  • Ethyl lactate
  • Polydextrose
  • White vinegar
  • Ethel acetate
  • Semolina

If you really want to scare yourself – check out each of these corn derived products and how we use them.

5) When you slaughter 400 cows an hour, that have been standing in ankle-deep manure with their hides caked in manure, you’d have to be an utter moron to think that e.coli doesn’t mix in with the meat. (NB: Feeding cattle grass (instead of corn) for 5 days will cause them to shed 80% of e.coli in their gut).

6) Why is it, that in 1972, the FDA conducted 50,000 safety inspections and in 2006, they conducted 9,164? Could it have something to do with the fact that lobbyists began filling government positions, so that now the people who are supposed to be protecting our food supply are actually the people who worked for the companies they’re supposedly regulating…no surprises there. And, doesn’t this pose a conflict of interest? Why do we never hear about that?

So what’s my big message here? Keep yourself informed. Try to do the best you can with the information you have—it’s easily accessible if you can get over the disgust factor.

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Categories: Documentary, Food, Movie
  1. jyoti
    October 16, 2011 at 17:50

    Such interesting information, quite sobering. How can anyone continue to eat animals?
    We need to transform the whole area of eating and food production. Will that happen
    in any of our lifetimes? I sincerely hope so.
    Thank you for writing this. I enjoyed reading it. Mum

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