Friday, July 31, 2009

Food, Inc.

I've been recommending this film simply on principle, after all any media that exposes the realities of Industrial Agriculture is must-see viewing (or reading) as far as I'm concerned.  Now that I've actually seen the film myself, I can only recommend it more highly.  

I consider myself pretty well educated on the reasons for buying organic and buying local, but this movie gave even me pause for thought.  Michael Pollan asserts the statistic at one point that at the turn of the last century the average farmer could feed 6-8 people.  Now the average is over 120 people which sounds like it should be a good thing- more people getting fed, right?  But as Pollan asks, at what price?  In what seems to be an all too familiar script, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer until they're booted out of the country for working illegally that is.

While the imagery was painful (cows falling over in their own manure on their way to slaughter for example) and the stories heartwrenching (a mother losing her 2 1/2 year old to ecoli in ground beef), I found myself tearing up at the story of a gentleman beaten down by Monsanto over his seed cleaning machine.  Why would a conglomerate like Monsanto care about one man and his machine (of which, apparently, there are only six in the country)?  Because "keeping seed" is illegal when it comes to Monsanto GMO crops.  Can you imagine- you grow the darn food, soybeans or corn or what have you, and it's illegal for you to harvest and clean the seed so you can plant again the following year.

Joel Salatin hits the nail on the head when he remarks how good we've become at hitting the bullseye on the wrong target.  We've certainly learned to make cheap food, but the cheap food is killing us nutritionally, destroying the land it's grown on and wreaking social and economic havoc on the lives of the people who grow it.

Post a comment- I'd love to know what you think...

1 comment:

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