Saturday, December 12, 2009

My review of "Food, Inc."

Too much conspiracy theory, but there are some good messages too.

The story of corn and e.coli was that, "this may be happening, and if that is true, then this really bad thing is happening." A lot of the points were driven in this manner. And the fact that they added dramatic music and cinematographic lighting effects accentuate their points whenever they showed the evil meat processing plants left me wonder if there was another agenda for "Food, Inc." by its producers.

There is one story of a family where the dad spends more than a hundred dollars a day on medication (implying he got sick by eating unhealthy food for a long time), then says because of this, they can only feed their families through the dollar menu at Burger King. How about the miracle of technology and science that is able to keep this man alive and functioning? The alternative is that he is dead and the family is in a worse situation. Lots of people die due to bad genetics, and it has been this way since the dawn of man. The fact that he can take a pill, he should consider himself one of the lucky ones. Also, with bad decisions in life, like deciding to have more kids than you can provide for, he should consider it a blessing that he is able to feed his family of 5 through the dollar menu, rather than buy a head of lettuce for dinner.

There are some good tips at the end. Buy food locally at the farmers market. Buy things when they are in season. When you buy food from local markets, you support your local community. The food is cheap, and the food tastes amazing because fruits and vegetables are best when they are in season. This takes the need to add chemicals to colorize and to keep it fresh through the long communute from a country that you wouldn't ever consider traveling to.

If I were to add to the conspiracy theory, I do think there is something bizarre going on in the big American grocery chains. Let's take Ralphs for example. Do you ever remember being in the fruits and vegetables section at Ralphs? The raw fruits and vegetable prices are outrageous. Sometimes, I go there, and I want to buy an orange, and I find myself in a situation where I have to decide whether I want to pay $1.50 for an orange. Why of all places, should a single orange cost $1.50? You would expect that a big market can provide you good deals for fruits and vegetables? If you've been in the asian market, compare that to the atmosphere of an American market. The fruits and vegetable sections of the asian markets are bustling with people. The worst thing is, you pay $1.50 for that orange, and you realize that the orange has been stocked for its appearance, and long shelf-life. The last thing they care about is taste. So maybe there is some truth to the conspiracy here. The big markets would really prefer that you buy something from the regular isles, not their fruits and vetables. And they've calculated out that if you really want something from their fruits and vegetables section, they have that too. It's just not going to be cheap.

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