Movie “Food, Inc.” Opens in Theaters

Food, Inc. a documentary about the food industry in the U.S.
Food, Inc. is available on DVD.

This Robert Kenner documentary, entitled: “Food, Inc.” is an unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry. The Magnolia Pictures film makes its debut at San Francisco, CA: Embarcadero Center Cinema 5, West Los Angeles, CA: Nuart Theatre, and the New York, NY: Film Forum on July 12 before moving through the rest of the country, starting June 19th.

Food Inc:

Visit the “Food Inc.” website to view Food Inc. showtime schedule to find dates and times in your area.

“Food, Inc.” introduces viewers to brave people who refuse to stand by and do nothing. Some, like Stonyfield Farm’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farm’s Joel Salatin, are finding ways to work around the system and improve the quality of America’s food.

Food, Inc. a documentary about the food industry in the U.S.
Food, Inc. is now available on DVD.

Others are brave farmers, producers, and officials who have chosen to speak out, such as chicken farmer Carole Morison, seed cleaner Moe Parr and food safety advocate Barbara Kowalcyk. Their stories are heroic and moving, serving to demonstrate the level of humanity and commitment it takes to fight the corporations controling our food industry.

Eric Schlosser claims: “The enormous buying power of the fast food industry helped to transform the entire food production system of the United States. So even when you purchase food at the supermarket, you’re likely to be getting products that came from factories, feedlots and suppliers that emerged to serve the fast food chains.”

  • In the 1970s, the top five beef packers controlled about 25% of the market. Today, the top four control more than 80% of the market.
  • In the 1970s, there were thousands of slaughterhouses producing the majority of beef sold. Today, we have only 13.
  • In 1998, the USDA implemented microbial testing for salmonella and E.coli 0157h7 so that if a plant repeatedly failed these tests, the USDA could shut down the plant. After being taken to court by the meat and poultry associations, the USDA no longer has that power.
  • In 1972, the FDA conducted 50,000 food safety inspections. In 2006, the FDA conducted only 9,164.
  • During the Bush administration, the head of the FDA was the former executive VP of the National Food Processors Association.
  • During the Bush administration, the chief of staff at the USDA was the former chief lobbyist for the beef industry in Washington.
  • Prior to renaming itself an agrobusiness company, Monsanto was a chemical company that produced, among other things, DDT and Agent Orange.
  • In 1996 when it introduced Round-Up Ready Soybeans, Monsanto controlled only 2% of the U.S. soybean market. Now, over 90% of soybeans in the U.S. contain Monsanto’s patented gene.
  • Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas was an attorney at Monsanto from 1976 to 1979. After his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion in a case that helped Monsanto enforce its seed patents.
  • The average chicken farmer invests over $500,000 and makes only $18,000 a year.
  • 32,000 hogs a day are killed in Smithfield Hog Processing Plant in Tar Heel, N.C, which is the largest slaughterhouse in the world.
  • The average American eats over 200 lbs. of meat a year.
  • 30% of the land in the U.S. is used for planting corn.
  • 70% of processed foods have some genetically modified ingredient.
  • SB63 Consumer Right to Know measure requiring all food derived from cloned animals to be labeled as such passed the California state legislature before being vetoed in 2007 by Governor Schwarzenegger, who said that he couldn’t sign a bill that pre-empted federal law.
  • E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks have become more frequent in America, whether it be from spinach or jalapeños. In 2007, there were 73,000 people sickened from the E. coli virus.
  • Corn products include: ketchup, cheese, Twinkies, batteries, peanut butter, Cheez-Its, salad dressings, Coke, jelly, Sweet & Low, syrup, juice, Kool-Aid, charcoal, diapers, Motrin, meat and fast food.Corn, which is the main ingredient in animal feed, is also used as a food additive. Those products commonly include: Cellulose, Xylitol, Maltodextrin, Ethylene, Gluten, Fibersol-2, Citrus Cloud Emulsion, Inosital, Fructose, Calcium Stearate, Saccharin, Sucrose, Sorbital, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Di-glycerides, Semolina, Sorbic Acid, Alpha Tocopherol, Ethyl Lactate, Polydextrose, Xantham Gum, White Vinegar, Ethel Acetate, Fumaric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Baking Powder, Zein, Vanilla Extract, Margarine, and Starch.
  • 1 in 3 Americans born after 2000 will contract early onset diabetes; Among minorities, the rate will be 1 in 2.

It is no wonder that organic products are the fastest growing food segment, increasing 20% annually.

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5 Comments on Movie “Food, Inc.” Opens in Theaters

  1. Caryn,

    Your are so right on! The sad thing about this is that there is so much more scary stuff in food than this movie can even begin to document. Here are some things you should investigate for your readers.

    Ben and Jerry’s and Breyers ice cream owned by major food and personal care products multinational Unilever contains genetically mutated fish proteins.

    All that Horizon organic milk comes from a huge factory farm in Colorado where thousands of cows suffer in confinement. They are knee deep in their own waste and all of that gets on the udder where their milk comes out.

    The dairy farms use hormones to synchronize the menstreul cycles of the cows so they can get them all pregnant at once. Then they have their babies and all the boy babies are taken away and killed. The girls are pulled away and raised for the same miserable life as their mothers. Visit a big dairy farm, you’ll see it.

    Fruits contain terminator technology. Seedless watermelon and grapes are rendered sterile through genetic manipulation. Farmers have to go back to the big corporations to get new seeds each year.

    Its the same thing with corn. It’s all hybrids. You can save the seeds for the next year, but they dont’ grow very well and you have to go back and buy more.

    All bananas come from genetic clones!

    Maybe you are a foodie and like fine wine . . . the grape vines are fused to roots from completely different species–talk about frankenfood! This is so un-natural.

    Even organic food often comes from crops that have been genetically modified by gamma radiation. It’s called mutagenesis. They just keep making random mutations until they get something that seems new and different that they like and go with it. People shopping at Whole Foods are putting this stuff in their bodies and don’t even know it!

    Vegetable crops are fertilized with fecal matter. Think about that next time you eat a salad.

    Almost none of the produce in the grocery story, even if it is supposedly organic, can be found in nature. Think about that. Even all those fresh fruits and veggies have been tampered with. Nothing we eat is the way nature made it unless we go and get it and grow it ourselves.

    Caryn, please shed some light on what we can eat and feed our families that does not come from a cruel, unsanitary or genetically mutated source.

  2. The ignorance of people never ceases to amaze me. Your precious “organic farming”, if implemented right now would leave over 2 billion people starving (there’s simply not enough land). A one sided approach to representing the agriculture industry with a broad stroke of the brush is simple-minded and clearly agenda-driven. As someone who works in agriculture and has a degree in Animal Science (as opposed to English and Special Education), let me clear the air.

    Feeding a growing population of 6 billion people is a complex and undeniably honorable undertaking. American agriculture continually provides the world the safest, most nutritious food supply the world has every seen. The level of efficiency and logistical planning required to feed the world population requires integration that your local mom and pop farm simply can’t provide.

    Unfortunate? Maybe, but absolutely unavoidable. Perhaps if the geniuses that made this movie can come up with a practical way to increase by 1/3 the natural resources needed to supply food, we would have an argument. I’ll end by debunking several comments made by our friend Alana, the food expert.

    “..the grape vines are fused to roots from completely different species–talk about frankenfood! This is so un-natural.”

    So what? Horticulturists have been doing this for years in all kinds of plants. Are you concerned about plant insest?

    “Vegetable crops are fertilized with fecal matter. Think about that next time you eat a salad.”

    Is this a surprise to anyone? People have been fertilizing plants with manure since the beginning of time. It is a perfectly natural source of plant nutrients that mother nature has provided to us. Alana doesn’t want it on our plants, so let’s just dump it in a river instead. What do you think “organic” farming is all about?

    “Its the same thing with corn. It’s all hybrids. You can save the seeds for the next year, but they dont’ grow very well and you have to go back and buy more.”

    These hybrid seeds are designed to maximize yield, not seed production. The seed companies grow smaller crops of plants selected to produce the right kind of seeds and sell them to farmers to help maximize their yield on their crops.

    “The dairy farms use hormones to synchronize the menstrual cycles of the cows so they can get them all pregnant at once.”

    Hormones are bad! Every animal has hormones. The addition of hormones to the diet are sometimes used to improve efficiency of a production system. Any woman who is on the birth control pill does the same thing. The birth control pill contains the hormones progesterone and estrogen to trick the body into thinking it’s pregnant, thereby preventing pregnancy. There is no evidence that following veterinary guidelines in using approved hormones has any negative effect on meat, milk or eggs. Quit drinking the koolaide and spend a little time thinking for yourself.

  3. Sam,
    I appreciate your wisdom in agricultural science. I understand the need for corporate farming to feed the billions of people on this Earth as well. I do have a friend who is a plant molecular scientist and have learned much information about the big picture from him. I do not argue that the system needs to be halted full stop and organic needs to be implemented at a cost of starving the world population.

    My degree has little to do with my stance on the issue. I am a mother of a sick kid who had many neurological and digestive/immunological problems. He was ‘cured’ and has been maintained by simply avoiding the chemicals in our foods and by eating mostly organic. This experience has colored my view of the corporate farming industry and I will not budge in my stance as a result.

    As more people come to realize that we are what we eat then corporate conglomerates will soon be faced with the notion that they will have to either change the way they grow food or lose precious profits. Supply and demand. That is what it is all about.

    Corn is not a nutritive food source, but unfortunately the corn refiner’s association has made it ‘what’s for dinner’… and breakfast, and lunch, and every snack in between, and drink product, and plastics product, etc….. to the point where we are consuming it in 80% of all our foods.

    Science has proven that it makes cows fat. It also makes their fart stink. It also causes them ulcers and other health issues due to the mold and bacteria that it harbors as it sits in piles waiting to be fed to sickly animals. Not to worry, though. That is what the antibiotics are for, right?

    Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the views of the corporate farming world. And I am cheering for the organic grass feeding farmer too. As a matter of fact, that is who I buy my meat from now.

    • Caryn,

      Is there a difference btwn “grain fed” and “grass fed” animals in the labeling of animal products? If so, how does this affect someone who is corn-sensitive and gluten-sensitive??? Any info would be great!

      Thanks so much for this awesome website and the incredible amounts of info you have here. I was just told that I do not have celiac disease, but am very sensitive (intolerant) of gluten and corn. I have a history of intestinal surgery, and the thought of AGAIN changing up my meal plans and having more restrictions on my diet is just a TAD overwhelming.

      With the info I have read here and elsewhere, my family is going to go this route with me! I’m not going to be making all different meals for everyone, and their health and well-being is worth it, whether they agree or not. Having access to “kid-approved” recipes is such a blessing!!

      One last comment… Our skin is our largest organ. I first became aware of how animals are handled and “parts” are used when I was introduced to a new skin care line. I believe that for optimal health and well-being, we should be looking at not just what goes into our body via our mouths, but also via our skin. There are a lot of nasty things in some products out there. Buyer beware!!!!

      Thanks again!!

      • Brenda,
        It was our experience in the beginning that grass fed was better for the corn allergies. I was given that advice by many corn allergic people. Not all people with corn allergies have said that corn fed meat is problematic. I watched a documentary called “King Corn” about a year ago and in it they talked about corn carbon levels in the hair of those who eat grain fed and consume the typical American diet. The two show narrators had high levels of corn carbons and later tried a corn free diet to see what that would entail and whether their carbon levels would reduce. The movie also brought the viewer right into the feed lot to see what it really looks like.

        The reason to eat grass fed goes beyond just avoiding corn for corn allergy sake. We buy our meat from in Iowa. It is a really nice family run business and Nick drives out to different locations once a month with previously made orders on his truck. The grass fed costs more but is much healthier. Here’s a quote from his site:

        The nation’s switch to grain had a strong rationale. Grain-fed techniques have neutralized many of the unpredictable variables associated with raising cattle (favorable weather, green grass, and steady pricing in the market) and significantly streamlined the nation’s beef supply chain. However, several nutritional experts now believe that this migration to grain-fed beef was not in the best interest of our nation’s long-term health. For instance, rates of heart disease and obesity in the U.S. have increased significantly during the last four decades. Many researchers believe that the timing of these two events is more than just a mere coincidence.

        I agree that skin contact with chemicals is a problem. I wrote a post on personal products and cosmetics a while back. I hope to write another one on safe sunscreen and bug repellent options soon.

        Thanks for the encouragement. I do this because I was so amazed at how my son recovered from his illnesses by simply changing the way I feed him and what I put on his skin. I couldn’t believe how many road blocks I had encountered on my journey from medical experts. I was blessed to finally find good doctors who helped me see alternative methods and finally find success. We also do the diet for everyone over here. The kids have been doing it so long that it is second nature to them.

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