“Are you nervous?” the woman at the ticket counter asked. Her eyes lit up when I asked for two tickets to see the movie, Food Inc.
I replied kind of nervously, trying to be funny (emphasis on try) but failing, “Why? Since you’ve seen it, do you still eat food?”
Not surprisingly (we were at a theater that shows all the trendy, independent movies), she said she was a long-time vegetarian, but after her friends saw the film, “they were done” eating meat.
My wife didn’t want to hear that. Bless her heart she was brave to come along with me despite her worries. “Promise me you won’t become a vegan after this,” she asked with a nervous laugh as the movie started.
Naturally the film has been criticized by the food industry. No matter, the lack of public knowledge and what is really going on before your burger gets to you at the drive through is astounding. The director argued that “…the whole system is made possible by government subsidies to a few huge crops like corn. It’s a form of socialism that’s making us sick.” Yep, socialism. This point makes me sick. Many of the government workers appointed to jobs like the head of the FDA were formerly big players in the food industry. Of course, the movie criticized the Bush administration for this, although right after it slams the democrats as well. The Clintons were no better.
You cannot even publicly criticize beef. “Veggie libel laws” in 13 states make it much easier for food companies to sue you, no matter any first amendment rights. In a normal libel case, it must be proven that the defendant is deliberately and knowingly spreading false information about whatever it is they are criticizing. In the case of food, it only has to be proven that what you say is not scientifically accurate. Gosh, how many times have you or I said something that wasn’t scientifically accurate? Um, every day? We just get into debates, but don’t get sued for it! Basically, when it comes to food you are not allowed to say anything disparaging in public. Really. So let it be known, I have said nothing disparaging or scientifically inaccurate about any kind of food in this post. 😉
Some other fun facts:
- Cows are given corn to eat (instead of grass) which make them really fat, but their bodies are not designed to digest, and it gives them all kinds of E. coli viruses.
- The director tried to make a balanced film from both points of view, but the food industries uniformly declined to be interviewed.
- Even scarier, they would not allow their processes to be filmed.
- Wal-Mart is now a huge seller of organic food products, and does not use growth hormone in their milk cows.
- We vote for what we want every time we shop at the grocery store. The food industry will change to meet the demand, as Wal-Mart has shown.
So did I become a vegetarian?
No, but I’m not going to eat fast-food meat anymore, and am looking into where the meat at the store comes from. Local farmer’s markets are in, as is eating in season, hunting, and gardening.