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Full Documentary: "Food, Inc."

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Message James Quandy

The text below is from the description of "Food, Inc." found at the film's homepage at PBS click here

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"American agriculture has in many respects been the envy of the world. U.S. agri-business consistently produces more food on less land and at cheaper cost than the farmers of any other nation. What could possibly be wrong with that? According to the growing ranks of organic farmers, "slow food" activists and concerned consumers cited in the new documentary Food, Inc., the answer is "plenty." As recounted in this sweeping, shockingly informative documentary, sick animals, environmental degradation, tainted and unhealthy food and obesity, diabetes and other health issues are only the more obvious problems with a highly mechanized and centralized system that touts efficiency -- and the low costs and high profits that result from it -- as the supreme value in food production. (continued below)

Less obvious, according to Food, Inc., is the entrenchment of a powerful group of food producers, that sets the conditions under which today's farmers and food workers operate, in order to maximize profits. The industry also maintains a revolving door of employment for government regulators and legislators to protect its power to set those conditions. Then there is "the veil," a strange disconnect -- propagated in good part by millions of dollars poured into marketing and lobbying by the industry -- between the average American and the food he or she eats. As one chicken industry representative puts it, "In a way we're not producing chickens; we're producing food."

Robert Kenner's Food, Inc. had its American broadcast premiere as a special broadcast on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 9 p.m. on PBS as part of the 23rd season of POV (Point of View), American television's longest-running independent documentary series. POV is the recipient of a Special Emmy for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking.

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For all the dazzling technological innovations of American food production, there are many people who would ask, "But is it food?" In addition to graphically detailing animal cruelty, environmental despoliation and economic monopolization, the film Food, Inc. also questions whether the industrial system produces the nutritious, health- and life-sustaining stuff we call food.

To discover the answer, filmmaker Kenner marshals mountains of data, verite visits to production sites and footage of meat-packing operations secretly shot by workers, plus eye-opening testimony from farmers, workers, consumer advocates and the few industry people willing to speak in their own defense. Food, Inc. also features the on- and off-screen guidance of Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) and such practitioners of organic, sustainable farming as Joel Salatin of Virginia's Polyface Farms, to warn that the nutritional value of American food products is increasingly in doubt. More alarmingly, many of these products, including processed foods, fresh meat and produce, pose real dangers to public health and safety. "The average consumer does not feel very powerful," says Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farms, the third largest yogurt provider in the country.

(Article changed on August 20, 2015 at 15:37)

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Former small business owner now retired.

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