8 November 2010
As one of the leading countries of processed foods, America struggles to provide the public with healthy whole foods due to the constant growth of population. Stated in the film Food Inc., “There are no seasons” in America because scientists have discovered ways to manipulate sources in order for citizens to have harvested foods all year round. The concerns of these methods include proper raising of the foods, price inflation and deflation, and health issues. American citizens have trusted certain regulators such as the FDA (Food Drug Administration) to regulate large suppliers which was explained in the film that their control and authority is limited due to most suppliers having so much power. The conflict for farmers to grow whole and natural food (for the pubic) is the time that is needed. Another concern was is the food safe enough to sell to the public and should Americans have to pay more for healthier and safer food.
The food industry does not take the public’s health as a primary concern because they make millions by producing more quickly. Due to fillers and chemicals used to process meats, one specific death of a young toddler created a proposal of Kevin’s law. This law would give the FDA more authority to shut down suppliers that sold contaminated goods. As companies gain more power the more control they have over our diets. In the film, one immigrated family was interviewed explaining their non healthy eating habits due to affordability. Not only not being able to afford to eat properly, fast food meals are prepared and quick. Although families are struggling the workers also have a difficult challenge. Many workers are immigrants and work in harsh conditions, leading the companies into secrecy.
I watched Food, Inc. for the first time this weekend. The movie makes lots of points – some valid and others very misleading.
The movie stresses the importance of safe, healthy food. This is something everyone can agree with. However, Food, Inc. makes it seem like conventionally produced foods are not safe. The fact is there is no food safety benefit to the organic options the movie promotes over conventionally produced food.
Food, Inc. is critical of cheap fast food and advocates for local and organic foods.I agree that Americans need to eat better. Eating a balanced variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy products is something most people could do a better job of. The movie blames obesity on the fact fast food, candy and soda are so cheap and cites income level is the biggest indicator of obesity. This is a real problem. However, organic food is not the solution.
Don’t get me wrong, farmers and ranchers will happily provide the food that people demand. If you prefer to buy organic, and can afford to pay the premium, I support that decision. However, recognize that conventionally-produced food is also a safe, healthy choice. Additionally, this is a much more affordable choice, making it a more realistic option for those who struggle to make ends meet. Conventional food production is also very efficient, which is an important consideration with a growing global population and less resources available to feed people with.
A final point that really bothered me was the movie’s theme that the agriculture industry is trying to hide how food is produced. I personally know many farmers and ranchers who spend their free time trying to reach out and connect with consumers. Check out the Ranch Family Blog or Advocates for Ag to get the food production story from those who know best, actual farmers and ranchers.