My thoughts on Food, Inc., about four years later than everyone else.

Finally watched Food, Inc with my boys today, as part of school.  The 91 minute movie took us more than two hours to watch, because of the little girls needing attention, and for pausing to comment on the movie itself, both by me and by the boys.

I would say that I already was aware of about 95% of it, having learned from other sources the same/similar information.  But, it’s just GOOD to have what I already know be reinforced, and to learn even that 5%.

Most of what I didn’t know had to do with the human element:  The progression of how subsidized American corn has been exported to Mexico, putting Mexican corn farmers out of business.  Then, slaughterhouses advertise in Mexico, soliciting illegal immigrant workers — often ex-corn farmers — and even BUS them to the U.S.  Then, the employers have basically slave labor because the illegal employees don’t want to get busted by ICE and deported.  So, they have zero voice, and they’re one more source that keeps the price of low-quality meat unnaturally suppressed in the American market.  I had never heard that, nor pieced it together for myself, but it makes total sense.

I told my boys at the end, “I know that you already knew much of this, but sometimes, it helps that, instead of hearing your mother harp on you –” Twelve-year-old Grant interrupted and laughed, “You can hear OTHERS harp on you!”  Ha!  He said this with good humor, as none of the boys felt “harped upon”;  they all appreciated the content and found it interesting and confirming.  They also commented that, at the end of the film, where all the suggestions are made for how to be better food consumers, “We already do all of that!”  My oldest said that, instead of our family being the health-freaks amongst our circle of friends* and being the odd man out, that, maybe by the time he’s a grown up, the weirdo will be the guy who regularly eats fast food cheeseburgers. Most touching was 10-year-old Wesley saying, “I hope you get to be in a movie like that some day.”  :)  Not that I aspire to be an interviewee, or that I even merit that, but that’s how he sees me, which is so precious to me.

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*Not that we’re the ONLY people we know who are committed to eating healthy, but it’s still not the norm, by far.

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About Karen Joy

I'm a homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 17, 15 and 12 years old, and three girls: 8 and 5 years old, and our newest, born in June 2013. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I am a natural childbirth advocate and fledgling birthing class instructor. I'm a CSA coordinator for a local organic farm, Crooked Sky Farms. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on April 24, 2012, in Clean Eating, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Groceries, Health, Homeschooling, Loving Nature!, Motherhood, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Meat here in Canada is so much more expensive. I took a quick 2 hour trip to the States a while back when I was visiting my sister who lives in a border town and went grocery shopping at Walmart (don’t judge!! I live in a town of 1000 and our groceries are even more expensive than most other places in Canada, and if we want to eat non-processed healthy food, our food bills are regularly around $200 a week, which is just too much for our budget, so I jumped at the chance of getting some slightly cheaper food!). I was able to get around $170 of groceries, mostly meat and yogurt and other dairy products, that would have cost me upwards of $300 here, but I did kind of worry about the quality of the meat a little bit, particularly the extremely cheap chicken breasts and huge tube of ground beef that ended up being really fatty… I haven’t seen Food, Inc., but now I know why the meat is so much cheaper there, at least partially!

    • Maybe if you watched it, you’d appreciate a little better how/why food is more expensive in Canada!!

      Actually, WalMart wasn’t given an entirely bad rap in the movie. The point was made that while healthy farming practices are ideal motivators, WalMart has changed much of its offerings in recent years to include more organic goods. They are entirely consumer-driven, and make no bones about it; they’re not trying to save the planet or anything like that. But, a contract with WalMart is an absolute boon for organic farmers and the health of the environment as a consequence, and it makes healthier produce more readily available to a wider range of customers, as many people in the U.S. shop solely at WalMart. So, even if that organic brand is actually owned by PepsiCo (or whatever), and PepsiCo is profit-motivated, and not trying to save the planet, either, buying that corporately-owned organic product at WalMart is *STILL* better than conventional farmed/produced food. The ideal is local, organic, family-owned, etc. But buying at WalMart isn’t necessarily BAD.

      I still don’t prefer WalMart, though. :) I do, however, shop there maybe four-six times a year, which is still less than you! So I’m not judging. :D

      • I don’t love Walmart either, though I do like their prices on pretty much everything, but it just seems wrong to buy groceries from there somehow! And they never seem to have a wide enough selection of the stuff I actually do buy, though the one I visited in the States had the best grocery section I’ve ever seen in a Walmart. I don’t mind buying clothes and electronics and yarn and things like that, there, though.

  2. I love the hope that being what my friends refer to as “crunchy” will be the norm for the next generation. It seems absurd that we have to defend our choices to buy organics etc.

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