It's Eco Month on YumSugar and with the recent spotlight on "pink slime" and this past week's new case of mad cow disease in America, I've been giving a lot of thought to the way America's food systems operate. After rewatching the Oscar-nominated documentary Food, Inc., which brought to light even more harsh realities about our country's food production and consumption, I thought I'd put together a quiz on some of the statistics I learned while viewing the film. What do you know about commercial food production and consumption in America today? Get started below to find out.Take the Quiz
Chipotle doesn't just want to feed its customers — it wants to educate them, too. The fast-casual food chain has teamed up with Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media, and River Road Entertainment to promote Food, Inc., a documentary that exposes issues with the food industry in America. Beginning today, Chipotle Mexican Grill will host free screenings of the film. In addition, the eatery will advertise Food, Inc. with printed material in its 800-plus stores and prepare a bonus feature about sustainable agriculture to be included in the DVD when it is released later this year.
"Chipotle is a great example of a company that's on the right track to improving our food system," director Robert Kenner said. "Chipotle's philosophy shares many of the same values expressed in Food, Inc., and we are very pleased with their support of our film." The Mexican food chain claims to use more naturally raised poultry and pork than any other restaurant worldwide. It also sources ingredients locally whenever possible and buys 35 percent of its beans from organic producers. This promotion is a smart strategy: if Chipotle's devotees weren't aware of the company's sustainable practices yet, they will be now.
Did you know Chipotle was so dedicated to sustainability? Will you attend a free Food, Inc. screening?
Photo by flickr user Photo2217
With the amount of food recalls seeming to grown annually, it is easy to feel that our food system in the US is broken, and after watching the 94 minute documentary Food, Inc., you learn that it truly is.
From the opening shots of the supermarket, we begin to learn how corn and the fast food industry have changed the way Americans both grow and eat food. While the movie repeats many of the facts from Michael Pollan's informative book, In Defense of Food, the facts are just as interesting the second time around. Food, Inc. also delves deeper into the chemical giant Monsanto and its role in destroying the family farm from the seeds on up. Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation shares the narrator role with Pollan, and these two tear down the food industrial food system starting with corn and moving quickly to the meat industry. The film is peppered with interviews with farmers — chicken, corn, and soy — whose lives have been dramatically altered by multinational corporations' interest in commanding the food chain. The film is disturbing to say the least, but it ends with tales from Polyface farm, a family operation that makes food seem wholesome again. I left the theater charged up to make changes not only in my daily diet, but to petition the government to give power back to their regulatory arms, the USDA and FDA, to help keep our food supply safe. The Food, Inc. website has a petition to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act. After watching this documentary, you may never look at food the same way again.
Check out the trailer after the break.
In addition to being captured in photos by National Geographic, the sustainable food crisis is also the focus of a new documentary. Magnolia Pictures' Food, Inc. is a call to action to change the way America eats. It discusses food consumption today, its heavy dependence on corn, its ties to national policy, and its inevitable impact on our nation's health.
Based on the book Food, Inc. (and similar to The Omnivore's Dilemma), the premise of this film appears to be similar: the country's food system, with its focus on making food bigger, cheaper, and faster, is making America sick. The movie also addresses the contamination issues plaguing the nation and the enormous power wielded by US food corporations, with sustainable food poster boys Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser making appearances in the documentary.
If you haven't seen it yet, below is the trailer for the film, which debuts in select cities June 12. Do you think this documentary will prove to be as influential as proponents are hoping it to be? Will you go see it?