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Food, Inc.
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Reviewed on 2009-07-10
RatedPG
Received[3.5]  out of 4 stars
GenreDocumentary
Websitehttp://www.foodincmovie.com/
Food is a basic necessity of life. Director Robert Kenner ("The American Experience" on PBS) in his big screen debut denotes in the title of this important, fascinating and informative documentary that our food supply is controlled by a handful of corporations. These companies put profit ahead of consumer health, worker safety, environmental concerns and the ability of the small family farmer to eke out a living.

This intelligently presented film covers a lot of ground in 93 minutes. It reveals a myriad of shocking problems, but quickly flashes through solutions at the end of the film. The movie is entertaining and moves at a rapid clip that sustains your interest. The investigative reporting style consists of interviews with experts, hidden camera footage, factual graphics and aerial photographs.

The opening salvo is directed at big fast food chains that have revolutionized the food industry. Everything is now mass produced like an assembly line in a factory. Chickens have larger breasts, but never see the light of day. Instead of grass, cows are eating cheap corn, which makes them fatter quickly. Corn is a starch that is full of sugar and is the prevalent ingredient in almost everything we eat.

Joel Salatin, owner of Polyface Farms, makes the most insightful comments about modern industrialized agriculture: "Grow it faster, fatter, bigger and cheaper. We are out-sourcing autonomous farmer decision-making to corporate board rooms that don't live with the consequences."

No wonder Type 2 diabetes is affecting children in epidemic proportions and income level is the biggest predictor of obesity. Heavily subsidized cheaper snack foods are skewed to the bad calories and more affordable than healthy fresh produce. Our taste buds are satisfied with a combination of salt, fat and sugar.

Food recalls and E. coli outbreaks are a becoming a common occurrence. These maladies could be the result of the FDA and USDA regulatory agencies being controlled by the very companies that they are supposed to be scrutinizing and protecting us from.

This slickly packaged film is difficult to watch at times, much like a horror movie. The old adage "you are what you eat" is more true than you would have thought.

This is essential educational viewing that could influence what you decide to put in your mouth from now on. The filmmakers are hoping that a groundswell of public support can bring about much-needed changes similar to those made in the tobacco industry.

This is one of the best documentaries to come down the pike in 2009.

Now playing exclusively at the Tivoli and Leawood.

Review By:
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"

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