By Kevin Stoda
I don't know why USA insurance and other insurance companies around the globe aren't supporting the film, FOOD INC. Bad nutrition and bad food offerings in supermarkets around the globe are causing more costs in health care than the nicotine industry causes annually. Concerning the film, FOOD INC. Maria Garcia of the Film Journal International, "A cleverly written and well produced documentary. Kenner crafts an intelligent, visually compelling argument grounded in old-fashioned investigative research and journalism." The documentary is up for an Oscar this 2010.
On my way back from the Philippines to Germany this last month, I had time to watch the well-made documentary, FOOD INC. It was such a good summary of the issues linking run-amok governmental and private food industry alliances that dominate farmers and our nutrition world-wide (although the story in the documentary takes place primarily in North America). The documentary's website is entitled: "Hungry for Change".
The website promotes the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act with the improvements needed to significantly improve the status quo in school lunches in America. The site even allows you to sign a petition on behalf of this REAUTHORIZATION which states: "We believe that federally funded nutrition programs should provide all children with the healthy food they deserve. This includes low fat and safe dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Schools should be soda and junk-food-free zones and serve food that complements and furthers parents' efforts to feed their children healthfully."
THE AMERICAN NUTRITIONAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
For many years, I have known a Son of (what FOOD, INC. calls) the "Nutritional Industrial Complex". This man was a lifelong farmer and graduate from Kansas State University (originally an agricultural and technical college), who had majored in biology and who had worked for years with the chemical and agricultural firms around the state of Kansas. Despite all of this Kansan's background in the farming industry and his hatred of what he had seen around him for decades, including his own losing of his father's farm during the many 1980s/1990s farm bankruptcies that swept the USA, this Son of "Nutritional Industrial Complex" in America could and would not critique his own education and the KSU extension agencies that had promoted mono-cultural agriculture and a humongous dependence by farmers on petrochemicals since WWII.
Michael Pollan, who appears in FOOD, INC., was asked recently what the "Nutritional Industrial Complex" is. Pollan explained, "Well, there is a very kind of cozy relationship between nutritional science, as it's practiced in the universities and in the government, and the kinds of advice that emerges from that research, and the food industry, which does a very good job of taking any shred of new information like, oh, maybe fiber prevents colon cancer, and then go to town with really dubious health claims about it. A lot of the research is very tentative and it's changing. I mean, the great open secret about nutritional science is it's a very young science, to put it charitably. They really don't know a lot. They still haven't gotten straight whether we should worry more about fats or carbohydrates with regard to heart disease. So, but whenever they come out with a new finding, the industry uses that to sell more food to people."