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article imageMovie uncovers facts about the food we buy

By Bob Ewing     Jun 16, 2009 in Business
Robert Kenner's film Food Inc takes a close look at the United States food production and distribution system. The film offers several solutions on how to reduce corporate control of our food system and fighting obesity.
Food Inc, is co-produced and directed by Emmy Award winner Robert Kenner (PBS' "Two Days in October").
The journey through the U.S. food system begins with a stroll through the aisles of a grocery store and travels back to the slaughterhouses where much of what we eat regularly is produced.
"The industry doesn't want you to know the truth about what you're eating - because if you knew, you might not want to eat it." said Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal" and one of the film's two principal talking heads.
UC Berkeley School of Journalism Professor Michael Pollan is the other. Pollan is well known in foodie circles and is the author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" among other books.
Food poisoning, for example. E. coli and salmonella have made the news recently. Food Inc states each year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die from foodborne illnesses.
Obesity is another issue that the film relates to what we eat and how it is produced.
The film also focuses on the corporate control of the food production system. In the US, the country's top four meatpackers control 80 percent of the beef market.
Watching the film we are told, farmers are subsidized to overproduce corn, which then goes into Coke, Sweet & Low, diapers, Motrin and cattle feed.
We also hear the gut of a cow fed on corn breeds the deadliest strains of E. coli; that the Monsanto Co. owns every last one of its genetically engineered soybean seeds; that the Smithfield Hog Processing Plant in North Carolina slaughters 32,000 pigs per day.
It took 70 days to raise a chicken to slaughter 50 years ago while today it takes 48.
If you find the film to be one sided consider officials at Monsanto, Smithfield, Tyson and Perdue all declined to be interviewed.
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