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Movie review: Food, Inc. August 18, 2009

Posted by Angelique in Movie reviews.
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Robert Kenner’s Food, Inc. could have been the Omnivore’s Dilemma of film – the authority on the reality of our modern food production system. Instead, Kenner engineered an endictment of Big Ag, Big Government, and Corporate America that alternately illuminates and excoriates the food industry. The overzealous bits unfortunately make FI the sort of movie that exactly those people most in need of illumination will refuse to see – and the sort of movie that detractors will find easy to attack.

The merit of FI is that it manages to get movie cameras and interviewers inside some of the parts of our food chain that we never glimpse: the harsh Confined Animal Feeding Operations, the nighttime police round-ups of immigrants working in slaughterhouses, and the halls of justice where lobbyists fight laws preventing food contamination. But then come vignettes that verge on the maudlin, like the extended home movie footage of a young boy who died from E. coli poisoning, and overzealous witch hunts like the one villanizing Monsanto (to which the company released a fair response).

Overall, FI is an informative introduction to our food system if you can get past the ham-fistedness. A better option: invest the time to read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and get a more thoughtful and even-handed point of view.

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