Tuesday, 18 May 2010
FILM REVIEW: FOOD, INC.
Having trouble sticking to your diet? See Food, Inc. and you may never eat again. You’ll certainly think twice about what you put in your mouth, especially when it comes to a burger.
Much like Al Gore gave us a chilling wake-up call in the 2006 Oscar-winning doco, An Inconvenient Truth, about the very real threat of climate change, director Robert Kenner aims to inform us (re: scare the shit out of us) about just what goes into – literally and philosophically, for capitalism is listed as a major offender – producing the food we eat. Did you know, for instance, that some variant on corn appears in just about everything, including cola drinks and batteries? And it ain’t the corn your grandparents grew!
Thankfully Food, Inc. is devoid of gratuitous footage from abattoirs, though not entirely free of scenes of animals abused and tortured in the name of food production. It’s one thing not to know what goes into what you eat, it’s another thing not to be concerned about the treatment of the animal that “makes” the ultimate sacrifice. And I’m no vegan/vegetarian militant; I enjoy meat as much as the next carnivore.
But when you hear the story of the two-year-old boy who, after consuming a burger, developed hemorrhagic E.coli and died 12 days later, you are saddened. To hear that his mother and grandmother have been lobbying since his death for the US Congress to pass a bill to name, shame and shut down repeat offenders of health code violations in food production to no avail (because these food companies fill the coffers of the so-called people’s representatives) should make you angry.
Kenner’s film avoids being preachy, adopting a lighter tone without sacrificing his intent; it’s not quite Michael Moore bombast and theatrics but it’s highly entertaining, informative and, yes, chilling. What’s for dinner? Who the hell really knows?!
Watch the first 3½ minutes of Food, Inc. at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqQVll-MP3I (Thanks to Ebert for the link heads-up)