Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some Helpful Hints from Food Inc.

Any thoughts here? 10 Things You Can Do To Change Our Food System.

Also, some further edification vis-a-vis the Food Inc. trailer.

19 comments:

Ashley Klein said...

It never ceases to amaze me how many people, especially Americans, fail to realize where their food comes from. There is a long process that items in the grocery store go through till they find their temporary home on our local grocery store shelf. Most meat products, are first bred, born, and grown as live, breathing, eating animals. Once they reach market weight they are shipped to processing, sacrificed, diced, and go into whatever value added product or sold as meat in the butcher section of the grocery store. If this offends you, if you don't like the practices that many industries perform, or the corners that they cut in doing so; don't buy or consume their products. If you don't like the idea that your nectarine that you buy from your local grocery store in February may be from South America where labor is cheaper and their agricultural management practices are subject to less regulations; buy from a local farmer in season! And if this doesn't bother you, keep doing what you're doing, but realize that the money you spend on most store bought items aren't locally or even nationally produced, and they also most likely are the product of cheap labor.

Jenny Gough said...

I saw this film about a year ago and it haunts me to this day. Truthfully, I do not remember a lot of it, except for more of the startling images and facts. Whenever I eat food, a corner of my mind will drift to wondering where the food came from and I quickly lose my appetite. It's amazing what people will eat when they are ignorant of its origins. And for the skeptics out there, reality check—this is the US food industry at its finest.

The problem with the food system is difficult to change and brings in a lot of other issues: population, consumer service, and american consumer culture.

Megan Williams said...

I think the old saying "ignorance is bliss" describes our outlook towards where our food comes from. People are much happier eating their big mac, convincing themselves that it came from a happy cow someone in a green pasture, and not an over processed factory farm. If people actually took the time to find out where their food comes from, it would change their dietary lifestyle dramatically. The ten things we can do to change our food system are not only beneficial to the system, but they are beneficial to us. Drinking water instead of soda is simple, and will also help us fulfill our daily requirement. Also, if we start buy local organic problems, it stimulates the economy and will create jobs- a win-win.

Katie Zimmer said...

I agree that Americans can be ignorant to notice where their food comes from and how it is made. I have yet to see the movie Food Inc. but it seems like a worth-while movie to watch. However, I do not think Americans are going to change. After reading 10 Things You Can Do To Change Our Food, I noticed a couple things that we can do everyday to MAYBE help.. but a couple people cutting back on soda is not going to help in the long run. I do not think enough people are going to go to Congress to make a difference because I believe as a whole, people enjoy fast food whether they admit it or not. If you don't like fast food and inorganic food, then don't eat it. It might not even be that people like fast food, but that it is cheap and easy to get. For example, I know as a college student, I cannot afford organic food even if I wanted it. So instead, yes, I do eat Chik-Fil-A and McDonalds because it is cheap.

Kendra Staub said...

I loved this video. Most people (including me), do not want to know where the meat they are eating comes from or how it was produced. I like this preview, and I want to see more but at the same time I am scared because I do not really want to see where the food I am eating comes from. I really enjoy going to the farmers market because you get to talk to the local people who have produced and cultivated the food. Unfortunately, I do not always have the time. Also I enjoy shopping at whole foods, because all the meat is natural and no preservatives are put into it. I also like getting organic milk and or rice milk, because there are not preservatives put into them like every other milk. Little things like that make a difference. Also I like the part where they say "you have the power" because when you "run an item pass the super market scanner you are voting for local or non" because this is so true. Next time I am at the grocery store I am going to be even more conscious and cautious of the food I am paying for and supporting.

Kiatra Frink said...

I have never seen this film before, but judging by the preview, it had some pretty interesting and valuable information. It is unfortunate that most people are ignorant to where the foods that they consume come from. As the video showed, most of this ignorance is not by choice. The FDA does not require food companies to reveal the origins of their food products. I tried searching up more information on food companies and their food process, but the majority of the information is hard to discover. I would personally call this "hidden information", but food companies would simplify and justify this by simply calling it "unreleased information". Their argument being that: just because they are not releasing the information (because they are not required to) does not mean that they are hiding the food information. It's a shame how much the food industry has gotten away with, and I could see this from just the small video clip. Salmonella in our peanut butter?? Really??..I can't imagine how much else they have gotten away with past what I saw on the 2 minute and 16 second video clip. The good thing is, we have the power to change this as the film pointed out. The unfortunate thing is, our society may not take the proper action to do so due to factors such as a lack of awareness and the monetary benefit of the cheap "deals" that we get from these food companies to satisfy our hunger. I read the post "10 Things You Can Do To Change Our Food System" and it's simple little things like this that we can do to make a difference. The power lies within us. The food companies are fighting any laws or threats against them to keep engaging in their health-risk activities, so we should fight back just as hard by doing these simple little things. It is up to us.

Thomas N said...

It is simply astounding what our food industry does to our products. I wish i could see this movie to really understand even more what goes on behind the scenes. We make choices everyday to buy the foods that are readily accessable or the foods that we should be eating. The sad part is that most people choose ease over value. We have to stand up for what we need and not let this happen anymore. It is as simple as buying more organic foods and not wasting time and money and energy on the foods that are bad for us.

Heather said...

I agree with the above comments that many people myself included choose fast food over fresh, locally grown food, simply because it is less expensive and fairly quick. I personally have given up soda in favor of water and have been soda free for about six months now. I must say that I feel so much better since I have switched. I would love to be able to eat nothing but fresh, locally grown foods all the time. However, I do not have the financial means or time to do so.

Duncan Shorter said...

I remember watching this entire movie in my senior year in high school, and it was the first time any form of corporate mass-production was revealed to me (other than my mother's constant vilification of anything with the word "Bank" in it), and it showed me basically what I eat everyday before it dies. The whole "Agribusiness" concept is a debacle, one that attempts to illegally and immorally transcend the barrier of humans and animals, by distancing and desensitizing itself to the inhumane killings and treatment of the domesticated animals.
They would consider this the most "efficient way" to feed the United States Population, I consider it to be "efficient" too, but in a way of something that is void of any human conscience. And now, at this point, with the incessant amount of anti-biotics these animals are given throughout their lives, the super-viruses amalgamating from the resistant strains can survive different methods of production, as seen in the video's emphasis on the Salmonella outbreak in Peanut Butter.

Carly Earp said...

It is amazing how American citizens are so focused on bigger and better that they fail to realize where there food comes from and how it is made. The fact that people are trying to make it illegal to show photos of how our food is made makes me weary. If we do not know how our food is made how can we trust to eat it. It is up to us to take a stand and it is our right to know how our food is made.It has been shown in the past that we can make a change for our selves.

Annie Berrier said...

I find it kind of embarrassing that Americans seem to be the least educated as to where we get our food from. The food fairy does not just magically put food on the shelves of grocery stores around the country. I think that more people realize what goes into to having food to eat everyday than they want to admit. A lot of the time I do not like to think about how the yummy steak I am eating for dinner got put on my plate. I will admit that I would rather believe in the food fairy that really think about where my food came from. Also, trying to ban photos of food being processed just seems stupid to me. You need to know where you food came from, even if it makes you sick to see it. Plus, eating locally grown, fresh food is not only better for your health, but it is better for the environment and the economy.

Gwynhwyfyr said...

The 10 things that the Food Inc. website advises are each not big things, but they are significant. When food is cheaper to produce and cheaper to buy, in general the public has moved towards this option. By encouraging different behaviours, choosing to drink water instead of soda--or natural juices instead of soda if you don't like the taste of water, are not big things. For some people, the problem truly is in how much food costs, but for a majority, even on a low income, it is possible to buy organic and locally grown products. Most farms around this area and to the north offer CSA membership, which are where you buy a share in the farm for each growing season, so they can produce the veggies and fruits and meats, and you get a share in what they produce. People on food stamps will not have this option, since we are not telling the government that this is an important issue to us currently. But even on a low income, it's not actually that much more expensive to buy locally. The Volmer Farms CSA that I subscribe to for my family is pretty comparable in cost to what I spend at the supermarket on vegetables and fruit. No, you can't get tomatoes or oranges any time of the year, but if you want that kind of tropical fruit/ veggie versatility, then obviously the local grown movement isn't something that rates that important to you. NCSU has a mini farmers-market right in the brickyard every week, and the major farmers market is just down the road from campus. Buying food at Whole Foods is more expensive than buying from Harris Teeter or Foodlion. That's just a fact. But Whole Foods is another type of supermarket that marks up prices based on 'specialty' organic status, and it's another supermarket that doesn't focus on buying locally. I think the 10 things list is a really good idea, and if it doesn't seem like much--then great, it's not too much of a hassle for you. But if a handful of students on each college campus did that, say a group of students the size of an English class, on EVERY college campus, it would create a difference. Especially over time.

Ashley McDonald said...

I feel that I unlike most people have seen were are food comes from, what processes it goes through and how it gets to market because I have studied and seen this first hand. I know what goes into producing our meat and poultry products and what problems and changes farmers face. But most people fail to realize that this is there job and what we demand of them. We are an economy who wants meat and other products made a certain way and want them to look a certain way but we fail to realize what must happen to reach that goal from a farmers view and just how much it costs them to produce this for us. I've been to a Butterball, a turkey processing plant, and I have seen what happens to the birds from when they arrive on the truck to being packaged and stored to be shipped out. So much goes into making the products to a customers demand. People believe that processor justs kill the animals inhumanly but they try to make it as easy as possible. Animals are stunned before they are killed so they don't know whats going on or feel the process happening. Processors don't have to do that but it makes us, the consumers, feel better about ourselves. The farmers feed their animals certain diets and feeds, that may or may not be expensive for them, to have the meat look a certain way so we will buy it. I believe we honestly ask to much of our farmers and expect so much from them that we are driving them into the ground from our greediness and demands. I think if everyone learned about the processes, visited some facilities, talked to farmers and visited farms and saw how much time, money, and care goes into producing for us then they might have a different view. Farmers can not treat there animals horribly because for every pound of product they are paid but they also have to make sure its in as perfect condition as possible or they face deductions in their pay, which pays for the animals. Same goes for dairy producers, if one cow has a problem (infection, etc) and they don't realize that and treat it, it could ruin their whole milk tank and they have to pay for it. Many people I believe are to "high and mighty" to see things from an agricultural perspective. They believe that by helping the animals their helping themselves and the economy but that not the case. By putting more and more laws and regulations or boycotting certain foods or processors your hurting families who depend on that and your hurting the economy and the consumers.

William Swanek said...

I feel like people need to be better educated on where their food comes from. I also think that it is terrible that a business would want to stop the public from seeing images that might make them want to stop eating their food. I understand that they are a business and are there to make a profit, but that is totally inexcusable. Hopefully someday soon more people will take steps to realize where all their food comes from and where they can get healthier alternatives.

Reese Ward said...

Most people in the United States live their lives without asking or wondering about things like where their food came from because they have never had to worry about it not being there. The simple fact is that people will not question something if it continues to appear, it's only when it doesn't continue to fall into their lap when they start to wonder where it comes from and why is there no longer a good supply of it.

Cooper Hatch said...

I have not seen Food Inc but after watching the trailer for it I am really interested in watching it. I like how in the trailer they compare the food industry to the tobacco industry. That really shows how if people realize where their food comes from and what it really takes for them to get the largest quantity for the cheapest price then society can make these companies change. However, getting people to realize this change is needed is going to be the hardest part. When looking at the list 10 Things You Can Do To Change Our Food System, all of those ideas would help change the food industry, but when just a couple people follow them it is not going to change anything. I think for things like this to be effective the government needs to get involved, but not just making laws. I believe that the government should make these kinds of changed to the school system. If schools stop selling soda and junk food, stop serving meat for one day a week, and buy their food from local farmers, then this will drastically change the food industry for the better. Also that will help students learn to make similar choices in their everyday lives.

Jonathan Ingram said...

After watching this video I found that it was a very interesting yet it made me seriously reconsider what I eat. Even though I don’t eat any meat other than chicken fish and turkey I still don’t always know where my food is coming from and if it is fresh or not. With that said I really wish there was a way that locally grown food and food that is fresh daily was more affordable and easily accessible but it’s not. Therefore I have to settle for the next best thing. It does bother me that the food I have to feed my body is not of the best quality but when you are in certain circumstances you have to settle for what you can get. Overall this video is a great video to raise awareness and I feel if more publicized it could help make food choices better for everyone and make this world a healthier happier place.

Gokul Shankar said...

Food companies seem to be entities that will never be satisfied with the amount of power and control they have in the industry, and to gain this power they fight to spread ignorance throughout the general population. A lack of concern for health or quality is a large concern in the movie, and rightly so. Someone in the preview says, "everything we've done in modern agriculture is to grow it faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper." When it is so easy to disregard health and obtain easy money as a result, human greed completely takes over. It is sickening to think of all the illnesses and diseases related to poorly processed foods, so it is absolutely horrifying to think of these companies trying give us even less information on their products (laws against pictures and labels on meats for example) as this would just leave consumers who are already scared in the darker light. The end of the preview brings up some hopeful ideas for a healthier life (like buying local/organic foods, changing national policies to promote healthy foods, and standing up to power hungry companies) that I believe should really be taken to heart by everyone.

eliane said...

The price of healthy food is what makes people develop a poor diet.Fast food is cheap and fast.People can eat healthy but the price of eating healthy is too high.The cost is hugh and takes more time to cook fresh food.The way people eat is related to their routine and income. However is possible to healthy but people do not worry about eating healthy until they almost destroy thier bodies.Why do we have to destroy everything(our health, our environment) before we start to take care?