Food, Inc.

Robert Kenner

BY Mike SauvePublished Jun 18, 2009

It's a pretty terrible world and every couple years another piece of activist filmmaking reminds us of this. An Inconvenient Truth drilled home the imminent doom of global warming. Sicko skewered the murderous greed of healthcare insurers.

Food, Inc. is more immediate, since food is a necessity of life, basic human right and emotional comfort. Yet corporate power packages market cost-effective goop as Double Crunch Chalupas like we should desire these genetic modifications, clouding the grim truth that anything from a dollar menu is obscenely unhealthy and the proliferation of high-fructose corn syrup has led to an epidemic of diabetes.

But those demographics shoving down one-dollar double cheeseburgers would rather laugh through the escapist fun of The Hangover than endure this lecture, and the organic elite that'll make up the core audience know most of these horrifying facts already.

Where Food, Inc. shines is in the personal stories of farmers forced out of business by corporate soybean patents, immigrants brought to America by big meat-packing only to be cast aside during the recent wave of anti-immigrant hostility and most heart-wrenchingly, the little boy who died from E.Coli and his mother who can't even get an apology from the multinational giant that feeds you and I everyday.

Watch the aforementioned films along with Food, Inc. in one night; you'll feel the world has been irreparably damaged by greed. The worst part is you'll no longer be able to enjoy a bag of microwaved popcorn to make this bleak medicine go down.

Like those films, Food, Inc. ends with an inspirational call to action, accompanied nicely by Bruce Springsteen's light rendering of "This Land is Our Land." I ate Arby's shortly after the screening. I didn't go to the farmer's market because I had to work and I couldn't be bothered.

The Arby's made me feel like absolute shit, so this afternoon I'm thinking maybe New York Fries, at least I won't have the film's images of the brutally slaughtered cows or chickens cycling through my guilt-racked mind.

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