Food, Inc. needs to be served up and passed around the screening-room table of anyone who takes our abundant supermarkets for granted. At the root of director/co-writer (along with Elise Pearlstein and Kim Roberts) Robert Kenner’s exposé of big-silo corporations’ widening control of the planet’s food supply is corn. Not so much corn-on-the-cob with a bit of butter and pepper during a summer BBQ, but oceans of the easy-growing vegetable. Its inherent ability to fatten up chickens, cattle and pigs—in profit lickin’ shorter timespans from birth to the slaughterhouse—is misery for the poor animals, some of whom, literally, collapse under their own weight.
The film is a rich mixture of seemingly beautiful, well-managed farms and the tension between corporate greed and organic alternatives. Notably, predictably absent were the spokespeople for the food monoliths that exploit the land, their employees and the public: the likes of Tyson, Monasto and McDonalds, where the satisfaction of shareholders and senior management is all part and parcel of the explosion of Type 2 Diabetes in the “civilized” world even as millions more face the ravages of starvation.
Similar to The Shock Doctrine (cross-reference below), we’re called to action in the closing frames, but so long as fast food is cheaper than raw vegetables there doesn’t appear to be much hope for a calorie-counting revolution. JWR