Food, Inc. lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing how our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that incessantly put profit ahead of consumer health, the
livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. Food, Inc. reveals surprising and incessantly shocking truths about what we eat, how it’s produced and who we have turn out to be as a nation.
For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental affect. Director Robert Kenner explores the subject from all angles, talking to authors, advocates, farmers, and CEOs, like co-producer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma), Gary Hirschberg (Stonyfield Farms), and Barbara Kowalcyk, who’s been lobbying for more rigorous standards since E. coli claimed the life of her two-year-old son. The filmmaker takes his camera into slaughterhouses and factory farms where chickens grow too fast to walk properly, cows eat feed pumped with toxic chemicals, and illegal immigrants risk life and limb to bring these products to market at an affordable cost. If eco-docs has a tendency to preach to the converted, Kenner presents his findings in such an engaging fashion that Food, Inc. may well reach the very viewers who could take pleasure in it the most: harried workers who would not have the time or income to read every book and eat non-genetically modified produce on a daily basis. Though he covers probably the most same ground as Super-Size Me and King Corn, Food Inc. presents a broader picture of the problem, and if Kenner takes an understandably tough stance on particular politicians and corporations, he is just as quick to praise those people who are trying to be responsible–even Wal-Mart, which now carries organic products. That development may have more to do with economics than empathy, but the consumer still benefits, and every little bit counts. –Kathleen C. Fennessy