Directed by: Robert Kenner
Release Date: 2008
This documentary takes a very hard in depth look at how our food is produced in the United States. The film begins with looking into our poultry industry. There are many interviews with different chicken farmers but very few are willing to talk on camera and the use of hidden cameras is used to expose what is really happening in our chicken farms.
The average chicken farmer in the United States borrows $500,000 to have 2 chicken houses and will only earn $18,000 per year. Carole Morrison, a chicken farm owner, is interviewed at great risk because, she fears retaliation from Purdue, who she sells her chickens to. Carole states that; “Someone has to speak up or it will never stop”. Carole shows on camera the inside of one of her chicken houses. “The conditions are horrible”, Carole states. “When you grow a chicken in 49 days that weighs 51/2 pounds, their bones and internal organs are unable to keep up”. She allows the camera to show chickens on top of each other and you can see the overcrowding. Shortly after the interview Carole lost her contract with Purdue and she is unsure of how or who she will sell her chickens too.
Only a handful of companies control the American food production. In 1970 the top 5 beef packers controlled 25% of the market; today the top 4 beef packers control 80% of the market with the largest being Smithfield’s in Tar Hill N. Carolina being the largest slaughterhouse in the world
The movie shows and I interview with Barbara Kowalski, her son Kevin who was 21/2 years old died after eating a hamburger that had been contaminated with the E. coli virus. Since her son’s death she has become an advocate for food safety. She is fighting to give the USDA back the power to shut down plants that continue to produce contaminated meats.
Troy Rouse, vice president of the “American Corn Growers Association states; In the United states today, 30% of our land base is being planted to corn. In the U.S. when the average family has both families working to put food on the table. They have to choose to buy McDonalds because a cheeseburger- made from cows fed government subsidized and E. coli prone corn diets- costs less then broccoli.
Erik Scholasser, author of “Fast Food Nation”, states; “things can change in this country, it changed against big tobacco companies. We have to influence the government and readjust these scales back into the interests of the consumer. We did it before, and we can do it again”.
Food, Inc is a very powerful and many times un-nerving documentary, revealing the truths about what we eat and how it is produced. It’s not a farm it is a production line, like in a factory, Carole Morrison states. The farmers don’t want us to talk to you, they don’t want the consumer to know the truth but, someone has to speak up.