Eye For Film >> Movies >> Food, Inc. (2008) Film Review
Reviewed by: The Exile
"Feed me!" pleads the alien plant in Little Shop Of Horrors, its insatiable thirst for human blood nowhere near as shocking as Americans’ collective hunger for fast food. In Food, Inc., director Robert Kenner, ably assisted by authors Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), dismantles our food chain to reveal government-backed greed, disease, subterfuge and cruelty. Suddenly that concession-stand popcorn doesn’t look quite so appetizing.
The subject is much too large and diverse to cram into 94 minutes, but Kenner spends his time wisely, ramming home bullet points with irrefutable evidence and impressive research. With more than 47,000 products in the average American supermarket (most containing some form of diabetes-triggering corn syrup), Kenner sets out to discover how that happened and its effect on our bodies and our farmland. (How did a hamburger become cheaper than a carrot?) From the soil-depleting, government-subsidized cornfields of Iowa to the force-fed, stressed-out fowl crammed into Southern chicken sheds, all roads lead back to the giants of agribusiness—Monsanto, Smithfield, Tyson, Perdue—whose control over farming methods, and the public’s right to know about them, is absolute. Who else do you know who can silence Oprah?
This terrifying efficiency may have slashed our food bills in half over the last 50 years but it has more than tripled our health costs. The link between obesity and low income is well established, but Kenner also points to increased outbreaks of E. coli (that meat in your hamburger could be the remains of several hundred cows) and the shocking news that one-third of Americans born after the year 2000 will suffer from early-onset diabetes. And as the camera ranges over gargantuan feedlots where animals wallow in their own excrement, the movie’s random points of light—like Wal-Mart’s surprising introduction of organics—seem much too little and way too late.Reviewed on: 03 Jul 2009