14 August 2009

Regarding Food Inc.

There's been a lot of buzz on the documentary and independent movie scene about a film that is taking on our food industry. It's called Food Inc. and I had the pleasure of being able to see it a few days ago. If you haven't heard of it, check out the trailer here. (Does that first line sound familiar?)

The first thing that struck me about the film regards an issue I discuss pretty regularly which is the corn phenomenon. Americans eat literally tons and tons of corn each year without even realizing it. It is used to make high fructose corn syrup, pectin, maltodextrin, and a host of other harmful and unnatural ingredients created in a science lab. The same can be said about soybeans. It is found in all sorts of technological products such as soybean oil, lecithin, and many others. You still think fat is making you fat? Our processed foods contain incredibly unhealthy amounts of these chemicals and products that you are consuming. Add to that, the majority of these food products contain wheat flours and sugar and you begin to see just why we are an obese nation.

The upsetting part to me is that this is what you are being told to eat. The USDA's food pyramid is a prime example of the propaganda put out by the corn and soybean industry. Another way you are being told (that you may not realize) is by the prices in the supermarket. Processed food products that contain these government subsidized ingredients (wheat, corn, soy, etc.) cost much less than a healthy cut of beef or a bell pepper. Not to mention, the density of calories per gram in this cheaper unhealthy food is much greater making it a clear choice in the eyes of someone who only has a few bills to keep their stomach full this week. The poor in this nation are struggling over whether to spend money on healthy food or medicine to continue to live (that they might not have needed in the first place had healthy food been available to them). The 99 cent double cheeseburger at McDonald's or the $1.50 organic apple at the farmer's market?

Though my interests lie mainly in what you eat, there is something to be said for where it comes from as well. The movie goes on to show how a corn and soybean based diet is making our cattle and livestock just as sick as we are and the pathetic conditions they are raised in.

Food Inc. is a disturbing look at the food industry and how it is controlled by a handful of large corporations that you must see. If you haven't yet, please look for it in a theater close to home.

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