Food, Inc.: You Should Watch This

Yesterday, Traci lent me a Food, Inc. DVD and asked me to watch it. To summarize, I’ve included this blurb from the website:

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

There was a lot to digest in the film, no pun intended. i’d like to watch it again and take some notes to share, but for now, here are some of the facts from the film that really stuck out to me:

In 1998, the USDA implemented microbial testing for salmonella and E. coli 0157h7 so that if a plant repeatedly failed these tests, the USDA could shut down the plant. After being taken to court by the meat and poultry associations, the USDA no longer has that power.

In 1972, the FDA conducted 50,000 food safety inspections. In 2006, the FDA conducted only 9,164.

In 1996 when it introduced Round-Up Ready Soybeans, Monsanto controlled only 2% of the U.S. soybean market. Now, over 90% of soybeans in the U.S. contain Monsanto’s patented gene.

The average chicken farmer invests over $500,000 and makes only $18,000 a year.

The modern supermarket now has, on average, 47,000 products, the majority of which is being produced by only a handful of food companies.

1 in 3 Americans born after 2000 will contract early onset diabetes; Among minorities, the rate will be 1 in 2.

More to come on this one!

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