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Food, Inc.

I finally saw Food, Inc. a few weeks ago. It’s been on my “must watch” list for more than a year, but the only place I could find that had it was Netflix. I signed up for a free trial just to watch the movie.

It was a great movie, and I highly recommend you watch it.

Here are a few of my key takeaways…

  • It’s amazing how many foods we enjoy today include some variation of corn in them, including things like meat and ketchup.
  • Despite the perception of a greater variety of foods in today’s supermarket, nutritional diversity has actually decreased.
  • It’s shocking - upsetting really - how much pull agricultural lobbyists have in Washington.
  • Small and local farmers really, genuinely care about their product.
  • You’d be surprised by how many organic brands are now owned by huge corporations. Stonyfield Yogurt is owned by Danon, Kashi is owned by Kelloggs, and Tom’s of Maine is owned by Colgate.

Organic as Big Business

One subject that Food, Inc. touched on, but didn’t dive as deeply as I would have liked into - is the transition of the organic industry from local to big business.

The founder of Stonyfield was prominently featured in this movie. He discussed how his more hardcore liberal friends were bothered by his company’s relationship with organizations like Walmart. His position was that a million dollar deal with Walmart, in which an organic product replaces a factory-farmed one, has a huge payoff with regards to ecological and nutritional impact, just as a matter of scale. That’s true.

One thing not meaningfully discussed, though: Is it possible to really fulfill the ideals of the organic movement at big business scale?

Nonetheless, Food, Inc. is a fantastic documentary with lots of great (if you’ll pardon the pun) food for thought. Check it out.