Food, Inc.

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Aahzz, Apr 29, 2010.

    Apr 29, 2010
  1. Aahzz Habanero Evangelist

    So this movie's been mentioned in a couple threads lately. I think it's worthy of its own thread, particularly given our tendencies toward food in this forum.

    Have you seen it? If so, has it caused you to make any changes in your food buying habits? Would you recommend that others watch it?

    Now that the questions are out, I'll give my take.

    First, I hate being propagandized, even if I agree with the message. The movie did have that kind of manipulative, propaganda feel in parts, and I had to get past my own knee-jerk reaction to immediately be oppositional to mainpulative tactics. In this case, I am already somewhat familiar with the works of Michael Pollan (mainly through Mrs Aahzz), and I knew I was in agreement with the message, so I was able to filter the movie and pull out the parts that I feel are relevant and true.

    First, I really was horrified by the treatment of the chickens in particular. Absolutely inhumane. I can understand why most of the chicken growers were unwilling to allow the cameras into their henhouses.

    I was also appalled by the feedlots with the cows, and founf the info on corn feeding highly useful. I was distinctly disturbed by the Holy Cow they used to show the digestive process of the cows....

    Where Smithfield and pork were concerned, I found it interesting that they showed the slaughterhouse, but not really the pork raising techniques. I was wondering, are the pigs treated better, so they didn't bother showing the farms? Or, was it a case of time, and they felt the slaughterhouse was more effective? Either way, the pork section had the least impact on me. I don't really think any slaughterhouse is going to be a happy smiling place.

    Lastly, Monsanto and GMO crops. I've been avoiding them for years anyway, but I did find their tactics against the farmers to be despicable. I know I'm only hearing one side of the story, and would certainly be open to hearing from Monsanto, but I've heard reports of their behavior before, and they do have a lot of evidence to overcome to convince me that they're not assholes.

    OK, that being said, what has changed? In Mrs Aahzz's and my case, they were largely preaching to the choir, so we were headed in this direction anyway, but...we're buying as much meat as we can at farmer's markets, where we can get good, grrass fed beef, pastured chicken, and quality pork. We've been buying non-gmo produce, and now that it's seasonal, we're getting as much of that from farmer's markets as well. We're considerinbg buying a 1/4 cow to keep in the freezer, to get a stockpile of quality meat. We're eating out less and less.

    How about you? If you haven't seen it, it's available for streaming from netflix...
  2. Apr 29, 2010
  3. fanuvbrak Guest

    I used to like Monsanto's Adventure Through Innerspace at Disneyland. It turned you into a molecule.

    I haven't seen the movie. I'm half afraid to. Ignorance is bliss.
  4. Apr 29, 2010
  5. Help!I'maRock! Chud Staff

    you guys talking about it got me to stream it. we had basically stopped eating fast food, and do our best to read labels in the grocery store. the issue for me is meat and dairy. "organic" is a catchphrase today, just like "all natural" was. so my job now is to go look at the dairy labels and figure out who's selling organic and who's selling "organic". meat is actually a bit more difficult around here. i've seen the local butcher shop get their delivery. unsanitary doesn't begin to describe the delivery trucks. and i've seen the slaughterhouse they get the meat from. it's in Jamaica, sandwiched (no pun intended) between the chop shops and LIRR. i'm kinda at an impass, because i don't know if it's any worse than buying from the meat section of the grocery store.
  6. Apr 29, 2010
  7. I haven't seen the movie, but yeah, I've been buying as much as I can at farmer's markets, etc., for at least a couple of years now.

    If I have to choose between one or the other (I'd prefer to have both) I'll usually opt for local over organic/free-range, simply because it leaves a smaller carbon footprint... but there isn't a whole lot of stuff where I have to make that decision.

    As for eating out, I'm pretty lucky to live in a city that abounds with health food and vegetarian restaurants, etc., so that's not something I've had to worry about.
  8. Apr 29, 2010
  9. Sad Navigator Banned

    If you think Food, Inc. was too propaganda-esque, I suggest you not take a look-see at the P.E.T.A. info table at the next Morrissey or Cure show you go to. Yikes.

    Anyway, Food, Inc. didn't tell me anything I didn't already know from reading Fast Food Nation or watching Super Size Me or perusing various vegetarian/vegan essays/rants in zines or reading up on issues about global poverty/starvation. Like I mentioned in the burger thread, I've been a vegetarian before. I try to eat meat that is humanely raised or hunted by folks I know, etc. But it's a slippery slope when you drive to work (I was a train rider for 8+ before moving) and it becomes easy to roll through the drive-up when you're in a big ass hurry (increasingly frequent now that I'm working full-time and going to school).

    Anyway, I'm really too lazy and sort of culturally accustomed (I grew up in the fucking suburbs) to eating animals mindlessly to make a deliberate choice to eat critters in x circumstances. Food, Inc. was simply a reminder that I'd been letting sloth and greed tempt me into less-than-good choices. Plus Uma Floresta's McNugget slurry picture has kind of ruined fast food for me. Decades of happy deep-fried memories squashed. That guy is an enormous fuckwad!
  10. Apr 29, 2010
  11. Aahzz Habanero Evangelist

    I haven't seen the McNugget slurry picture...I probably don't want to, but if anyone has it, go ahead and post it :)
  12. Apr 29, 2010
  13. Aahzz Habanero Evangelist

    Oh, and...i thought Food Inc bordered on being too propagand-esque, but still had lots of value. PETA crossed the line a long long time ago.
  14. Apr 29, 2010
  15. Those "look at how much X sucks" documentaries have really become popular in recent years.

    Michael Moore, Super Size Me, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices, Religulous, etc. I find them hard to watch.

    Everyone should be more like Errol Morris and Werner Herzog.
  16. Apr 29, 2010
  17. Denverdave Resident Ragamuffin

    PETA is an organization whose methodologies of choice sabotage any respect from the public they are seeking to inform. A classic example of a group stuck on themselves.

    I have not seem Food Inc, and I probably won't.
  18. Apr 29, 2010
  19. Aahzz Habanero Evangelist

    In general, I tend to agree with you, and most of them I do find distasteful. It's the propaganda border I mentioned - there's definitely a line that gets crossed frequently. I could see where many people would think Food Inc crosses the line - I may be somewhat blinded by the fact that I am already in agrement with it.
  20. Apr 29, 2010
  21. baimun funk shui

    My wife and I tend to buy amish range chicken as much as possible... the primary reason is they're fed corn instead of steroids so there's less chance of the meat being tainted with some kind of chemical.

    years ago, my sister had a chicken coop that she raised chickens for the 4H fair.... and let me tell you I don't shed a single tear over chickens being killed and chopped up for their meat. They are evil, hateful little monsters. Once they grow from the yellow fuzzy chick, they become walking/eating/pooping machines. They have the same soul-less eyes of a shark... if any of them get cut or scrached, the other chickens will smell the blood and peck the wounded bird to death and eat them. Yes... those beasts are canibals.

    I'm not condoning that people should be needlessly cruel to them... but IMO they are walking, breathing, meat plants. You're nice to your plants... you talk to them, water them, then take the resources from them, pull the weeds, and start over with a new crop. That is all chickens are. Even cows garner way more sympathy and respect from me as a sentient creature than Chickens.
  22. Apr 29, 2010
  23. Sad Navigator Banned

    These sorts of things are appeals to neo-Kennedy liberalism. "Ooogie boogie -- THEY are screwing over the little guy. But a better THEY and the RIGHT KIND OF SCIENCE AND PROGRESS will fix it." Whether it's food or Who Killed the Electric Car? I suppose a cynical person (not moi) might write this sort of thing off as co-opting political/social motivations and reconfiguring them into a consumption-type outlet. I mean, watching a movie and then making choices about what you buy is hardly real political/revolutionary action in the big scheme of a consumer-based economy that doesn't care what you buy as long as you keep buying stuff.

    At best, these sorts of things serve as easy introductions to larger on-going debates or reminders to people (like me) who care about these sort of issues but get sidetracked by other things. At their heart, these things are shockumentaries and gonzo journalism. They can be fun because they do a lot of flame-throwing, but they're pretty superficial.
  24. Apr 29, 2010
  25. Aahzz Habanero Evangelist

    I agree completely. I'll happily continue to eat the little bastards, I just want them cleanly raised and killed, and there's no need for cruelty.
  26. Apr 29, 2010
  27. Help!I'maRock! Chud Staff

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2013
  28. Apr 29, 2010
  29. Jeremy Also no borders.

    It's been on my netflix queue for a long time, but I've yet to make the time to watch it. I'm pretty conscious about what I buy for my family to eat in the first place, and I'm not sure I want to see a bunch of animals in horrible conditions. I'll probably watch it sometime, though.
  30. Apr 29, 2010
  31. yabba n00b

    Michael Pollan is great, but that movie was crap. it added nothing new to the discussion. I suppose it seems like it's exposing the discussion to people who it might be new to, but other than that...
  32. Apr 29, 2010
  33. Sad Navigator Banned

    Yeah. It's a primer for people who don't read.
  34. Apr 29, 2010
  35. Aahzz Habanero Evangelist

    I don't entirely agree. The movie's not aimed at those already aware of, and involved in, the movement towards real food. It's an entry point. I think it's important to expose the discussion to those who have been unaware, and movies do tend to reach more people. Howeveer, it's still not a bad reminder to those who have already read Pollan's work - sometimes a visual can serve to drive the point home a bit more, make it more real.
  36. Apr 29, 2010
  37. Phlat Phive First Position Strummer

    [​IMG]


    Here to help.

    I have not seen this documentary. It might not have made its way over here, or has had far less publicity. I tend to eat as much "organic" meat as possible, don't eat meat everyday, and have been getting into hippy veggie alternatives, so is there any reason I should see it, aside from morbid fascination?
  38. Apr 29, 2010
  39. Aahzz Habanero Evangelist

    Yum, all white-meat.....

    Is there ever a better reason than morbid fascination?

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