Preface: I am about to rant. It will probably be longwinded, and may even sound naive. However, I have literally just returned from watching Food Inc., and I am deeply inspired and genuinely interested in spreading ‘the gospel’.
Anyone who eats needs to see Food, Inc. I don’t care what your views are on a meat-rich or meat-free diet, what you think about livestock or immigrant workers or politics. If you care about food, and your health you need to see this film.
As consumers we all have the right to know what we are eating. We have the right to fight to maintain the health of our bodies, and to not have astronomical medical bills. We should not be bullied by powerful companies that buy up everything in sight – from land to seeds to small companies and other big companies. We should not be afraid to ask simple questions. And we should be provided with answers.
Do you ever stop and wonder why the ingredients on labels are things you’ve never even heard of, and can’t pronounce? Do you wonder why so many people are not only overweight but suffering from PREVENTABLE diseases that were not as common merely decades ago?
I for one, will not be blindly led by any industry. A lot of things are inescapable in this life, in this society, but the more you educate yourself, the better equipped you will be when you are faced with all of the tempting and clever marketing thrust forth by money hungry fatcats, who just want to fill your tummy with corn derivatives and genetically-modified lab creations.
Everyone has the power to incite change with every choice they make daily. You really are not limited to a fast food menu. Nobody is forcing you to drink soda. Everything you buy and consume is like a vote for the continued creation and manufacturing of that product, and the culling of the resources used in making it.
If we as a society keep ignorantly accepting whatever is handed to us, without questioning it, we won’t just end up in early graves, but we may be steering our planet down a path of no return. There may never be a patch of land untouched by weed killer, that will be able to yield anything truly organic.
And while I’m mentioning the O word, I need to defend it for a minute. Sure it’s a catch phrase these days, a code word for liberals, according to many conservatives or those looking for any excuse to defend the corporations that own everything. But organic isn’t a dirty word. It shouldn’t be uttered with disdain by a middle-aged woman – a wife and a mother of two – who argues over buying organic versus ‘normal’ with her ‘green’ husband. The husband is not trying to be a pain in the ass. He tries to use real plates and cutlery over plastic when company comes over to eat in the backyard. He doesn’t want to buy one time use paper plates, that which, while a bargain, are probably made from virgin trees. He is not trying to impede your family or guests from having fun. Really, you should appreciate him, and his efforts, and the abuse he probably takes as one of these brave people forging a new path, because he will have been one of the founders of this movement to save the world. And might I add, reusing real plates, even if they need to be washed, is far more economical than buying wasteful products.
I hate it when relatives of mine will chide me for preferring organic items. Just because I am young, and am trying to live a better lifestyle, does not give anyone the right to talk about me as if I am silly. More often than not, the people treating the entire concept of organic as if it were silly, or a flash in the pan, are afraid to face the facts. While the plight of our wasteful society is downright terrifying, I can face it. Not only that but I can dedicate myself to slowing it down, if not stopping it. When all is said and done I won’t look silly.
I’m hungry for change. There is just so much in this film that I am eager to share that all I can really do is encourage everyone to see it. And READ READ READ books written about these issues from the likes of Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan.
(And for all of you meat lovers – you need to see Food Inc. just for the scenes about e. coli fighting ‘cakes’ that are produced and mixed into your burgers.
And did you know? There could be meat from at least 13 different cows in just one burger!
Not to mention potentially lethal e.coli since most livestock in factory farms stand around in POO most of their lives.)