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Food Inc, A Controversial PBS Documentary

Food Inc. is a PBS documentary released in 2008 that exposes the US food industry’s disgusting practices involving mass produced and cheap food products.  The surprising thing is the minimal amount of attention the documentary received, despite being one of the most important topics surrounding the human race today. 

Despite being released in 2008, I only just heard about and saw the documentary in April of 2010.  I’ve been a proponent of switching certain foods in my diet to organically produced versions, but this film really makes you think about everything else you buy that’s produced in the same horrific fashion as seen in this documentary.  A lot of people might think this is some “hippy” attempt to turn people into vegetarians, but that’s not the point at all.  It’s not the fact that the animals are being killed for food, it’s about the entire system. The documentary details where and how they are raised, the conditions they live in, the food they are fed and the less than sanitary way that they are slaughtered. It’s partly because of this atrocious process that food-producing companies have fought tooth and nail against different labeling of meat product laws.

There are some shocking legal and political issues involved as well, such as the soybean farmers of the US basically being forced to buy their seeds to plant their harvest from one giant corporation.  That corporation is Monsanto. I’ve recently seen all kinds of PR ads on television depicting them as some kind of friendly giant.  This couldn’t be much further from the truth, as you see the struggles faced by farmers who refused to convert to buying from Monsanto. This documentary shows Monsanto essentially ruining the lives of many farmers, bankrupting them, blacklisting them, and assuming guilt-by association of those on their “blacklist”. Monsanto’s bullying and mafia-esque scare tactics have lead to their industry dominance. Though I haven’t looked into the numbers, the statistic in the film that over 90% of farmers have switched to using Monsanto seeds seems to scream monopoly to me – yet a lot of the decision makers in office directly influencing the policies surrounding the food industry are ex-Monsanto executives.

I’m sure some of the other movies/documentaries produced recently about the food industry have talked about similar things, but I haven’t seen those so I cannot comment.  I just wanted to share my view on this particular documentary I have seen.  If you haven’t seen it, you should find out when it airs next or pick up a copy on DVD or Blu-ray. Visit our video page to view the Food Inc. Trailer.