I’m not a big, see movies when they come out sort of person. One, I don’t have the time. Two, I sit a lot at work (um, writer) so sitting for 2 hours when I’m not working, well, it just isn’t all that fun for me.
That covered, hopefully it won’t shock you that I just saw Food, Inc. tonight, even though it’s been out since 2008 and I’ve wanted to see it for ages. I’m not sure what to say, other than, how flipping depressing…
I tend to take documentaries on my pet topics (environment, public schooling, health) WAY too seriously. In a way that’s good, because it helps to sharpen my views and keeps me thinking, but in another way it sucks, because now I’m sitting here royally depressed.
What got me the most was how shocked I was by this film. I felt like crying half the time it was running. It’s not like I don’t know this stuff. For example…
- I advocate – A LOT – for organics. In fact, we buy organics almost exclusively at my house. For many of the reasons discussed in Food, Inc.
- I get crazy mad when people put organics down.
- I rant over and over about unsafe school food.
- I try to stop people from being tricked (myself included) by greenwashing, lame food companies, and research companies in, what some might call, an OCD-like manner.
- I sign petitions, send letters, not to mention that I write endlessly about this stuff over and over.
- I even allow for some give, when it comes to lame food companies. Yes, I believe consumers should take freaking responsibility.
And so on and so on. This isn’t stuff that’s all new to me, and I’d say it’s fair to say that I’m a advocate for organics, healthy eating and food safety, at least in my little corner of the world. So, why the shock?
I guess it may have been partially because of the GMO issues. That’s something I think about, but to be honest, I don’t overly think it, because GMOs aren’t allowed in organics. I eat organic. My son does. So how much could it effect my family? GMOs are a lot more far reaching than just your family.
Also, Food, Inc., pointed out two main ideas that I’ve been on the fence about.
One, that organics can feed the world. This is a fairly large debate. Since I run a major organic site at About.com, and since I’ve been writing about organics for years, I run into this debate often. I always think, it’d be nice if organics COULD feed the world, but can they… really? Then in this film, one farmer pointed out that when you also factor in the problems, and the food minuses created by the big players in the conventional food industry, organics, or real food, starts looking better and better. That made a lot of sense to me.
Two, the fact that Wal-Mart pulled all non-rBGH milk based on consumer want. I didn’t know that. Not that I love, or will even shop at Wal-Mart now, but it did push home the fact that consumers have major power.
Additionally, the farmer’s stories revolving around Monsanto really got to me.
In a word – wow.
To sum up. This movie was utterly depressing – I’ve seen reviews that say it wasn’t, but trust me, depressing about sums it up. Also, in spite of all I feel that I do to support healthy food, this movie made me feel like I’m in no way doing enough. That was also depressing, because damn it, I’m smack out of time as it is.
Lastly, I think I’m going to have to go vegetarian again. I didn’t eat meat for years (like 10+ years) but for the last two my family has eaten poultry (no red meat or pork). However, this movie sort of made me very ill about ANY meat all over again. Not sure how the family is going to take this – I’ll update later.
Am I recommending Food, Inc.
YES. I don’t see how you couldn’t see this movie. Everyone in the country should see it. Well, everyone who eats food anyhow. If it got to me, it’ll probably get to you, in exactly the way that it should. Some parts were, in my opinion messy and a little round-a-bout, but overall, if you care at all about people, food or the environment, it’s well worth the 1.5 hours of your life. At the very least, you should see it because I was moved enough to write a review at 1:30 am.
Hmmm, I guess I wasn’t that speechless, as my title indicated.
In end summary: If you ever eat food, see Food, Inc..
Have you seen this film? What did you think?