August 9, 2009

REVIEW: Food Inc.

Think Fast Food Nation mixed with No Impact Man and a bit of Omnivore's Dilemma and you have Food Inc. The movie has a nice production value without all of the artificial drama that ruined Fast Food Nation as a movie. The ugly truth of food production (not just the animal slaughtering in vegetarian documentaries) will certainly move you. And the plucky organic farmer with his belt and suspenders is worth the price of admission.

The movie's biggest critique of the American food production industry is the high government subsidies of agriculture leading to an unhealthy skewing of incentives away from healthy options, trickling down from produce to steak. I left convinced that farm subsides should be stopped (free money to business is never a good governmental policy, especially when it leads to an entire industry predicated on purchasing goods below the cost of production) but unconvinced that the rest of the food system is in peril. Sure E.Coli is a risk now, as is yet unforeseen issues with genetic modification and dietary shifts, but there are more than 6.7 billion people on earth. The cold reality is that less efficient means of food production will lead to starvation or the further conversion of terrain into farmland. Organic is nice, but it is a luxury. One that I will now indulge every chance I can.

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