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Food, Inc. (2008)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 34,837 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 112 user | 119 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

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Title: Food, Inc. (2008)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - Author, 'Fast Food Nation'
Richard Lobb ...
Himself - National Chicken Council
Vince Edwards ...
Himself - Tyson Grower
Carole Morison ...
Herself - Perdue Grower
...
Himself - Author, 'The Omnivore's Dilemma'
Troy Roush ...
Himself - Vice President, American Corn Growers Association
Larry Johnson ...
Himself - Center for Crops Utilization Research, Iowa State University
Allen Trenkle ...
Himself - Ruminant Nutrition Expert, Iowa State University
Barbara Kowalcyk ...
Herself - Food Safety Advocate
Patricia Buck ...
Herself - Food Safety Advocate, Barbara's Mom
Diana DeGette ...
Herself - Representative, Colorado
Phil English ...
Himself - Representative - Pennsylvania, Co-Sponsor of Kevin's Law
Eldon Roth ...
Himself - Founder of BPI
Maria Andrea Gonzalez ...
Herself - Mother
Rosa Soto ...
Herself - California Center for Public Health Advocacy
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Storyline

The current method of raw food production is largely a response to the growth of the fast food industry since the 1950s. The production of food overall has more drastically changed since that time than the several thousand years prior. Controlled primarily by a handful of multinational corporations, the global food production business - with an emphasis on the business - has as its unwritten goals production of large quantities of food at low direct inputs (most often subsidized) resulting in enormous profits, which in turn results in greater control of the global supply of food sources within these few companies. Health and safety (of the food itself, of the animals produced themselves, of the workers on the assembly lines, and of the consumers actually eating the food) are often overlooked by the companies, and are often overlooked by government in an effort to provide cheap food regardless of these negative consequences. Many of the changes are based on advancements in science and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll never look at dinner the same way again See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic material and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

P.O.V. Food, Inc. episode #23.1  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$60,513 (USA) (12 June 2009)

Gross:

$4,417,124 (USA) (20 November 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Neither Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan nor director Robert Kenner are vegetarians, despite the film's spotlight on meat cultivation and processing in the United States. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.19 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunny L.A.
Written by Nancy Peterson
Performed by Great American Swing Band
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User Reviews

 
After the first death, there is no other
12 July 2009 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. If you are the mother of two-year-old Kevin Kowalcyk who died in 2001 after eating a hamburger contaminated with E. Coli, however, statistics do not tell the story of crushing personal loss. The tragedy of Kevin's premature death spurred legislation (known as Kevin's Law) introduced by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, that would give the U.S. Department of Agriculture the power to close down plants that produce contaminated meat but it has failed repeatedly to pass the U.S. Congress because of opposition from the meat industry.

E-Coli outbreaks and other food-safety related issues are discussed in the outstanding documentary Food, Inc., directed by Robert Kenner, a film, graphic in part, that may leave you with a severe case of indigestion. Kenner is an unabashed advocate for greater food safety and the film with commentary by Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma).attempts to convince the public of the shortsightedness of the mega-corporations that dominate the food industry and their "faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper," method of increasing profits often at the expense of public safety. Representatives from food-producing giants such as Monsanto, Smithfield, Tyson and Perdue that control our food supply were invited to be interviewed for the film but declined or did not respond to Kenner's request. According to Schlosser, "The industry doesn't want you to know the truth about what you're eating - because if you knew, you might not want to eat it."

Interviewing farmers and ranchers, Kenner learned that they are mostly at the mercy of mega-corporations like Monsanto which have increased their share of the soybean market from 2% to 90% in the last decade. Monsanto developed their own custom gene for soybeans and now threaten their customers with lawsuits for patent infringement if they save their own seeds to use the next year. The film observes that part of the reason why the food industry is so hard to regulate is that many of the government officials currently assigned to watchdog roles were once employed by the companies they now monitor and notes that FDA food inspections have plummeted from 50,000 in 1972 to 9,200 in 2006.

Other subjects covered are the treatment of cows that are forced to eat corn instead of grass (which then goes into Coke, high fructose corn syrup, diapers, decongestants, and batteries) and the dreadful conditions of chickens that are herded into darkened cages before they are slaughtered. On that subject, Kenner interviews Carole Morrison who was unwilling to jam her chickens into cages without sunlight and, as a result, had her contract canceled by a giant chicken conglomerate who refused to have any further business dealings with her. Also discussed are the growing rates of diabetes in young people, the soaring incidence of obesity, and the use of low paying illegal immigrants to work in the food processing industry.

In spite of the horror stories, however, Food, Inc. is not depressing and Kenner seems more interested in educating the public than frightening them. He shows that people can make a difference by citing the tobacco industry as well as the efforts of an entrepreneur from Stonyfield Farms who sold his line of organic products to Wal-Mart and a Virginia farmer who insists on raising animals with dignity and respect. To the strain of Bruce Springsteen singing Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land", advice on how individuals can make a difference include – buy locally, shop in farmer's markets where possible, seek out quality and organic products even if they cost a bit more, and be sure to read the labeling to learn where a product comes from and the ingredients it contains.

Food, Inc. by itself may not be the catalyst that will preserve our health and well being and make food taste the way it did fifty years ago, but it is an important start and should be seen by anyone who eats, that means all of us. As the director puts it, "I think we're beginning to see the dangers of this inexpensive food that these big agribusinesses are producing. And the more we can see the cracks in this system, the faster it's going to fall apart. I'm hoping that this film can help people to start to think about it…People are becoming much more conscious of their food, and the more we think about it, the more good food we're going to get." I'll vote for that.


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