16 January 2010

Thoughts on Food, Inc.

I've recently seen a few blog mentions about Food, Inc.  Tonight I finally broke down, got the hubs to rent it on iTunes, and we watched it together. I expected it to be very one-sided and it definitely was, however I feel  like I have quite a bit to think about now. Here are just a few thoughts I had after watching...

-At one point they mention meat filler washed in ammonia to help kill the E. coli that lives in the meat because of the way in which they are raised. Yes, AMMONIA! I've been eating ammonia...yikes! Obviously it hasn't killed me, but I'm not thrilled with ammonia entering my body without my knowledge. Probably won't truly enjoy another cheeseburger until I've found a local, grass-fed source for beef. Of course this should be in our family before too much longer since my FIL will be getting a cow to raise this spring for this purpose. Yay!

-They talked a lot about corn and how it's taking over everything in our country. You should have seen the list of corn derivative products - CRAZY. I'm allergic to corn, so I was rooting for them during this segment. I'd love to see us depend on corn less. A lot less, thank you very much!

-They bashed Smithfield Pork quite a bit. I wasn't thrilled with this segment, probably because it hits really close to home. Smithfield is a NC company (where I live) and one of their "big wigs" in an NCSU alum (so are the hubs & I).

-This lady's story broke our hearts. Her 2.5 year old son died from an E. coli outbreak in 2001. The company knew about the E. coli for almost a month before they issued a recall on the meat. She's working very hard on Capitol Hill to have legislation passed to prevent this.

-He runs a grass-fed farm and he raises cows, pigs, and chickens. They clean their chickens in an open-air structure, yet their meat had FAR less contaminants than ones raised in factories. He was very exuberant & cracked me up. He also had some crazy eyes!

-I was very disturbed to see what this company is doing to small, local farmers. I vehemently disagree with the fact that you can patent a genetic strand (what they've done with seeds). Of course it's not their fault that they've been allowed to do this. Our government really needs to take a stand and not allow LIFE to be patented!

-They had some surprisingly positive things to say about your consumer dollar & Wal-Mart at the end of the movie. I was very happy to hear that since I do a lot of our grocery shopping there. I buy all of Little Man's YoBaby Yogurt their because it's cheapest ($3.12/6-pack).

-I was exceptionally annoyed when the showed a clip with the image above. Is it disturbing? Yes. However they took this COMPLETELY out of context. There are pigs on top of a hog house. How do hogs get on top of their house? What is that surrounding them? Well, while they were busy misleading their viewers, they didn't take the time to explain that this occurred when Hurricane Floyd came through and dumped enough rain to flood the entire eastern part of our state. The reason the hogs are on top of that hog house (and their subsequent waste that  is going everywhere) cannot be blamed on anyone. Ugh...I was really irritated by this.

If you decide to watch this movie, keep an open mind. Remember this is only one side of the story. The creators of this movie are trying just as hard to persuade you to their side as the food processors & meat packers are trying to hide their practices. It's never as cut & dry as it may seem. It did give me quite a bit to think about and how I can spend my consumer dollars as my voice. However small those consumer dollars may be...

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