Last night I saw this film at the Magnolia. It was screening as part of the AFI Dallas Film Festival.
It’s an expose about the sad and dangerous way most American food is made. My takeaways:
- It’s pretty obvious from all the salmonella and e-coli outbreaks that our food is not safe. This movie shows why in disgusting detail — from cows who wade knee-deep in manure their entire miserable existence to a processing setup that allows beef from a thousand cows to end up in a single burger.
- Is chicken as appetizing when you know it’s been genetically engineered to have breasts so large it’s organs fail and it’s legs break when it tries to walk?
- The part I knew least about was how litigious and secretive food producers have become. Just a few companies process the vast majority of what we all eat, and they appear to have ruined many people’s lives in their efforts to silence critics and protect their business interests. It has a tobacco-like feel to it.
- The issue of cost came up a lot. Better food no doubt costs more. I like cheap food too. But something one farmer said struck me as true — if you don’t buy the cheapest car, why would you buy the cheapest beef? Why do you care if organic, free-roaming eggs are $3 a dozen if you are willing to buy a $3 latte?
It’s not surprising that this has a similar feel as Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth,” as the director said the same group of people produced it. I predict this movie, which opens in wide release in the summer, will be much bigger. Not everyone believes in global warming, but we (nearly) all eat the same burgers.