A Movie Preview

I have not seen the documentary, Food, Inc, but David Brancaccio’s NOW interview with Robert Kenner, its director, was a real enticement.  Kenner set out to shine some light on agri-business by answering the question, Where does our food come from?  He found an industry shrouded in secrecy, and ended up making, as he said, “…a civilized horror movie for those that appreciate food.”

The fast food industry is the major culprit in the transformation of food processing.  Their goal is to have all menu items taste the same regardless of where in the world they are eaten.  This is achieved by conformity in how beef is raised, vegetables are grown, and all are processed.  Food might look the same but it is radically different, in large part because of two additives: soy and high fructose corn syrup.  Both increase caloric intake without enhancing nutritional value and have a direct link to the increase in cases of obesity and type II diabetes in the US today.

Agri-businesses are not held accountable by the FDA – when a food is contaminated it is the company’s choice to remove it from the shelves, the government has no authority.  This lack of consumer protection is not just a function of the unregulated power that the processed food industry wields.  I think it is also related to the fact that because our government does not provide healthcare for all it feels no responsibility for ensuring the health of Americans.  If it did there would be real consequences for food contamination and it would be in everyone’s best interest for all for consumers to know where food comes from. The cost of unhealthy foods would no longer be the individual’s burden, but the government’s.  You’ll find more information about Food, Inc at


Debbie Jones-Steele

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(Image Source: Food Inc.)