Wednesday, June 24, 2009

REVIEW: Food, Inc.

In another film review this week, I present "Food, Inc." A trailer is posted below.

This documentary has received more press and interest than my last review "The End of the Line" but both films are equally important and required films, I believe, for the public and politicians at large.

"Food, Inc." deals with the industrialization, ownership, and safety of our food -- your food, your family's food, your health, and your future.

Most people who are not following environmental and organic-themed articles on a regular basis would find this documentary revealing and shocking. And guess what? They might actually change their food buying behaviors after seeing this film. Kudos!

One of the issues in the film that I feel is one of the greatest threats to our food supply is the monopolistic ownership of our food by corporations. Monsanto was a focus of a good portion of the film, since the company has moved into farming by genetically altering seeds and patenting them. The company and its vast money and legal resources has been able to find insane but legal reasons to stop local farmers from saving their own seeds and planting any crops that are not grown from Monsanto's seeds. Not only this, but even with scientific evidence pointing to many health and environmental dangers with genetically altered seeds and animals, large companies like Monsanto have been able to infiltrate the government with powerful relationships and lobbying tactics that have prevented the general public from knowing which foods are altered or not. This has forced many farmers into bankruptcy and puts our food safety and security into question. This issue also threatens the future of organic foods.

The thought I had was, in the end, Monsanto is actually decreasing its sustainability. In a world without crop diversity and heritage seeds, it is conceivable that one error in Monsanto's seed experiments could wipe out an entire crop ... forever. All for greed. May you shudder every time you hear Monsanto's name as a sponsor on NPR (more about this here).

Says The Center for Food Safety in its "Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers Report":

As growing numbers of farmers become subject to harassment,investigation, and prosecution by Monsanto over supposed infringement of its seed patents and technology agreements, there will have to be increased pressure to reverse the governmental policies that are allowing this persecution. Various policy options include passing local and state-wide bans or moratoriums on plantings of genetically engineered crops; amending the Patent Act so that genetically engineered plants will no longer be patentable subject matter and so that seed saving is not considered patent infringement; and legislating to prevent farmers from being liable for patent infringement through biological pollution. Implementation of these, and a variety of other options discussed in more detail in the report, is critical. Nothing less than the future of America’s farmers and farming communities is at stake.

Here's how you can choose better food and protect the future sustainability of our food:

  • Speak up: Write your government officials and let them know you support The Center for Food Safety's recommendations above, bolded in red. Also, ACT BY JUNE 29 to write in your support of more oversight on genetically modified crops by going to this link at
  • Make everyday changes: Food, Inc.'s website has a list of everyday things you can do to help change our food system, including eating as much organic food as possible, frequenting farmer's markets, opting into a CSA, and reducing the amount of meat you eat.

No comments: