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Food Inc Movie review. FOOD, Inc discusses the downfall and degradation of Americas food industry.

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Introduction

Geography Coursework 2011 Movie Review: FOOD, Inc The pigs shift uncomfortably in the small, metal pen. They sniff each other with their snouts, snorting. They are not sure why they have been herded there. For a moment there is a strange silence, broken only by the snorts of the pigs. Then, slowly increasing in volume, is a creaking, rumbling noise. Suddenly, a metal wall appears, and with a clean swipe pushes the pigs away, off the screen. The next scene shows the limp bodies of the pigs lying on a conveyor belt. This is certainly not a pleasing image, but it shows the gritty reality of the food industry represented in FOOD, Inc, Emmy-award winning director Robert Kenner's latest documentary. Released in 2008 at the Toronto International Film Festival and in 2009 in the United States of America and Singapore, this Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media production1 has been critically acclaimed across the world as a documentary which discusses and delves into the inside story of America's food industry, scoring well on many movie review websites and having a rating of 96%2. It documents the food industry's shortcomings and the harm and abuse it brings to the world-not just to animals but to humans and the environment as well3. FOOD, Inc discusses the downfall and degradation of America's food industry. It begins with the morphing of fast-food restaurants into a factory-based output system, and in the process introduces changes to the food production system. ...read more.

Middle

The use of interviews, such as the one concerning a mother who lost her child due to food poisoning, gives credibility to the stand taken by the film. Haunting images in the film, such as the one at the beginning of this review, cause horror, guilt and tugs at the heartstrings of the viewer. One key idea that piqued my interest was the issue of labelling food containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and products. There are always two sides to an issue, and it is no different with this one. Should food containing GMOs be labelled or not? Currently, in the United States of America, the setting of this film, mandatory labelling of food containing GMOs has been proposed, but not enacted. It is purely voluntary to label such food according to guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration. According to the Codex Alimentarius Commission7, which is an international body that issues guidelines assessing the safety of food derived from GMOs, mandatory labelling is not required but voluntary labelling is allowed. However, in 21 other countries including those in the European Union, Australia, China and Japan, it is mandatory to label food containing GMOs.8 In Singapore, according to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, it is not compulsory or mandatory to label such food.7 The film argues strongly for labelling food with GMOs. It claims that it is the right of consumers to know what they are eating as well as what their food contains. ...read more.

Conclusion

Food production companies are deliberately covering up the process of food production, and abusing their power to ensure that no one exposes this. FOOD, Inc takes a noble stand against this, and forces us to realise that this is directly related to our lives, not just a faraway conflict. Through real footage and interviews, we are introduced to many problems that affect us: health problems such as diabetes, and environmental problems such as water pollution. Moreover, FOOD, Inc also brings to us another form of reality: the world of corporate business. We are introduced to the situations of lawsuits and worker abuse, making FOOD, Inc a movie not just about animals, but about humans and their rights too. Besides the main theme of food, we begin to realise how interconnected many other themes are, such as the abuse of power. FOOD, Inc does not simply give us facts and figures and paint a bleak picture of society, but also has the potential to change our daily lives. In the last section of the movie, we are urged to help in the fight against the food industry, and the film tells us that we can make a change in every meal we eat as a consumer. This film is not just a film of entertainment and general knowledge, but is a film that convinces the audience that they should be doing something to revolutionise the food industry. Indeed, FOOD, Inc is not a movie just about food, but also people, rights, freedom and life itself. ...read more.

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