Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Food Inc. Is More Fantasy Than Documentary

What If Food Inc. Takes Home An Oscar?
03/02/2010 02:02PM

You may not care much about the Academy Awards, but this Sunday (Mar. 7) may be worth a bit of your time; at least pay attention to the “Best Documentary “ category.

Nominated for an Oscar is Food Inc.-- The film that “lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies USDA and FDA.” That’s a promotional line from the film that appeared in theaters for most of last summer.

While you’re not fooled by Food Inc. carrying the label “documentary”, most of the viewing public takes it more literally. The common logic is-- in order for a film to be set apart as a documentary, it has to be truthful—Food Inc. is a documentary, therefore Food Inc. must be truthful.

Between the theater release and DVDs, millions of people have already seen this movie. Too often they walk away believing American farmers are greedy, reckless with food safety and the environment and are forcing unhealthy products upon the public—and U.S. regulators are supporting all of it.

The film is filled with mistruths and misrepresentations. “Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, and the safety of workers and our environment.” Organic is the only sure choice, is one of the messages drilled home. Another tells consumers that they are the only hope to drive change, because the regulators and corporations are in control and don’t care. Read More

It’s troubling that we have so many high-profile people in the many different types of media that are more concerned about personal wealth through activism rather than journalism. Real journalists provide all of the information and allow people to form their own opinions. Wealthy activists like Pollan provide only what he wants his audience to know about and then tells them what to do with it. If Food Inc wins an award this weekend, we will need to view this as an opportunity and motivation to do a better job of sharing the real story of production agriculture.

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