Monday, November 02, 2009

Best of Black Sheep: FOOD INC

Written and Directed by Robert Kenner

“It looks like a tomato but it’s more of a notional tomato, the idea of a tomato.”

Editor's Note:
FOOD INC, one of the most compelling and essential documentaries of the year is now available on DVD courtesy of Alliance Films. The DVD release itself contains the following extras:

- Deleted Scenes
- Celebrity Public Service Announcements
- Resources
- ABC News Nightline "You Are What You Eat": Food With Integrity
- "The Amazing Food Detective" and "Snacktown Smackdown": Stay Active and Eat Healthy

Please take the time to check out this fantastic film. I know that knowing what you're really eating is frightening but it is also vital to your health. In the meantime, here is my review of the film from its theatrical release ...

If we are what we eat, then none of us are going to make it. FOOD INC is one of the scariest movies of the year and also one that will sadly not be seen by as many as it should. Our parents watch over us when we’re young and stop us if we are going to put something in our mouths that we shouldn’t, like gum we find on the floor or something equally bacteria ridden. And yes, these same parents would put the best possible food they could on the tables but no one wants to ask any questions about how this food actually got from the farm to the table. Whenever I have recommended to anyone that they see FOOD INC, the first thing they ask is if this is the kind of movie that shows us what we’re really eating. When I tell them it is, they want nothing to do with it. Apparently, when it comes to food, ignorance is bliss … with a big fat side of fries.

First time feature filmmaker, Robert Kenner has put together an important film that is actually a lot easier to chew and digest than you would expect. Watching FOOD INC is not going to make you lose your lunch. It will however open your eyes to what you really were packing for lunch. At first, Kenner had been working with author, Eric Schlosser, to make a documentary of Schlosser’s fascinating expose, FAST FOOD NATION. That was unfortunately made into a lackluster fictional work instead but now FOOD INC is the movie I always wanted FAST FOOD NATION to be. Schlosser is still on hand as an expert (whose favorite meal, ironically, is burgers and fries) but this film does not focus solely on the role fast food has played in the decline of our food production. Instead, it starts there and looks at the cleanliness of slaughterhouses, the conglomerate control of farming and the government bias that ensures that manufacturers are better protected than the consumers.

FOOD INC is not some prejudicial disparagement of the American food industry. In fact, it is almost forgiving of the corporate driven field as it states a number of times that the situation we find ourselves in today was likely unintended at the onset. Like other documentaries that cry out for change that will benefit humanity though, it offers little advice to go forward with. There are a number of suggestions at the close of the film of how we the little people can make a difference for our selves and for others but after seeing just how much excess fat we are already drowning in, it is hard to think that these suggestion truly will better future generations. Still, we must start somewhere and we should all start by seeing FOOD INC.

For a list of things you can do right now to improve how you eat, visit the film’s website.

No comments: