Food, Inc. (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/02/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 94 mins

Informative, rage-inducing documentary that hits a variety of targets but a lot of the content has been covered better elsewhere and its appeal is limited by focussing exclusively on the U.S.

What's it all about?
Directed by Robert Kenner, Food, Inc. details the harsh realities of large-scale agricultural food production in the U.S. The main thrust of the film is that most of the food sold in American supermarkets is produced by a small number of multinational corporations, who, far from the pastoral, healthy-looking farming fantasy plastered over their products' packaging, actually use intensive industrial methods that lead to worker exploitation, animal abuse, environmental damage, outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella and bullying on a horrific scale.

The film also features lengthy contributions from the likes of Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation) and various other experts, activists and people whose livelihood depends on the food industry, most notably chicken farmer Carole Morison, whose refusal to implement window-less chicken houses leads to punitive measures by the food companies and seed-cleaner Moe Parr, who's being taken to court by Monsanto for encouraging other farmers to use his seed-cleaning system, because otherwise farmers are forced to buy a patented, genetically-engineered, pesticide-resistant soybean seed from, yes, Monsanto.

The Good
A lot of the material in Food, Inc. has, unfortunately, been covered much better elsewhere, such as in Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price or even in Fast Food Nation. Consequently, the most shocking revelations in Food, Inc. concern information we haven't heard before, such as the fact that companies routinely do deals with immigration authorities where they betray a proportion of their own workforce in return for prosecutors turning a blind eye.

The Great
Similarly, sixty-something Moe Parr's story is a heartbreaking David vs. Goliath story where David basically gets stomped into the ground, but the point is clearly made that food companies are terrified of both criticism and dissent and will go to great lengths to stamp it out.

However, perhaps the most rage-inducing moment comes in the section on cronyism, in which a large number of people responsible for passing food laws are all revealed to have close ties to the food industry.

Worth seeing?
Food, Inc is a well researched, informative documentary that will give you a bad case of rage. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 11/12/2017 11:29

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