I saw Food Inc.:
and am now coming out with my own independently financed and released sequel called, “Whom Do I Trust With What Goes In My Mouth?!”
Top 5 Things I Learned that Piss Me Off
- I now even have to worry about the fruits and vegetables I buy. How will I know if my fruit is a GMO? Oh, I won’t! I guess if it looks like an apple on steroids that’s an indicator.
- My beloved soybeans are highly monopolized just like corn and are, therefore, the devil. Ok, not the “devil.” But I ain’t smilin’, let’s just say that. By the way, did you know corn is in everything from charcoal to diapers to the meds you take?
- The FDA is pretty laughable when it comes to actually effecting change and watching out for the consumer. Here’s a great idea, let’s have an organization for the people’s interest and then staff it with people who have a vested interest in companies whose main motives are to make money off the people! That sounds impartial!
- Government subsidies of corn have made it so junk food is more accessible to the poor than real fruit and vegetables. Didn’t you know the “American Dream” includes eating Jack in the Crack 3 times a day?!
- Big Corp is behind most of my favorite brands. Dear Kashi, I did not know you were part of Kellogg. That makes my soul die a little, but I still love your cereal, not gonna lie! xoxo
Let me follow this list with a concession — I suffer from H.E.S. (hyperbole and exaggeration syndrome), so I am being more dramatic than may be called for, but I am rather annoyed. It’s not like I know enough science to know whether GMOs are going to make me grow an extra eyeball in the next few years or even if organic foods are really the answer. What I do know is this — I value KNOWLEDGE above everything else. I want to be informed if my food has GMOs — even if the sticker informing me is bigger than the fruit itself and merely says that there are GMOs but until further research is done no one knows what that means. That way, I am given the choice to say “meh, whatevs!” or “hmm, think I’ll stick to this tiny ugly organic apple.” I’m just sayin’…
Throughout the film, I kept asking myself: why, why is fast food so prevalent…still? It’s not that “fast” food is inherently bad. We all have to eat on the run and bananas are certainly “fast” to eat – peel, go and yum! But a large portion of us are not eatin’ bananas from a drive thru. Nope, they’re getting shit crap for food and not just once a week, but with such an insane frequency it creates a problem.
A friend said to me, “no one is a villain here.” I am hesitant to agree. The reason people eat McDonalds, the reason it’s so in demand is not necessarily because out of a state of nature we as human beings said “I want to take these potatoes from the Earth and fry them to a crisp and eat them every day.” Fast Food became widely available, highly advertised, cheap due to subsidies and assembly line mechanics, addictive due to fat & sugar content and an ICON and societal NORM.
The thing that bothers me to the core is this line, “the biggest predictor of obesity is poverty level.” This absolutely bites at my core. I have seen grocery stores in impoverished areas – they do not carry the same variety of whole foods or organic foods as the SAME store in a more affluent area. Some poor people simply cannot afford to eat healthy. And even if you balk at that statement, I’m pretty sure you can’t argue that a lot of impoverished people do not KNOW how incredibly awful they are eating. And I’ll be the first to admit that food ignorance is not isolated to the impoverished…
I could go on and on, but as you can see — I’m just cranky and confused. So, what do we disillusioned little souls do?
10 Simple Tips (as listed on the site here)
- Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages. You can lose 25 lbs in a year by replacing one 20 oz soda a day with a no calorie beverage (preferably water).
- Eat at home instead of eating out. Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food prepared outside the home.
- Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards. Half of the leading chain restaurants provide no nutritional information to their customers.
- Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks. Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years.
- Meatless Mondays—Go without meat one day a week. An estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals.
- Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides. According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the U.S.
- Protect family farms; visit your local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets allow farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
- Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS. The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate.
- Tell Congress that food safety is important to you. Each year, contaminated food causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the U.S.
- Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections. Poverty among farm workers is more than twice that of all wage and salary employees.
If you want to know where I stand — like I said, I’m all about knowledge. That is what I fight for. I don’t believe in shoving vegetarianism down people’s throats or staunchly advocating the purchase of organic goods. But I believe people should know something as simple and important as what goes into their bodies as well as what options are available to them. The main message of the movie was that the consumer has the power to effect change. It’s true — we do vote with every purchase we make. But some people really don’t know they have choices and may, even if aware they are making choices they would rather not make, feel trapped and are economically cornered.
Books I’ve Read (or Plan on Reading) Related to This Topic
Trailer to the Movie
Now that I’ve blabbed on for way too long (congrats on reading this far, by the way — you earn an Extra Value Meal! j/k!), what do you think about these issues? Have you seen Food Inc.? Which of the 10 “tips” above do you already follow?