Friday, January 01, 2010

Do you know where your food comes from?

I finally watched the movie Food, Inc. Great film that everyone should watch. A large part of the beginning of the movie, which is on meat production, I already knew about. What was really eye opening was the second half of the film which was on agriculture and politics. It's really amazing that nearly the entire soybean industry is controlled by a single company who forces farmers to raise their genetically engineered soybeans or puts them out of business. The other shocking thing was people in government positions that are supposed to help protect the average American from unsafe food practices were lobbyists for the exact companies they are supposed to protect us from. I guess P. J. O'Rourke was right, "When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators."

This is a great film that I encourage everyone to watch. You can even download it as I did strait from Amazon. My basic take on the film is that fast food and factory produced foods, everything from soda pop and ketchup to hamburgers and french fries to chicken and beef you buy at the supermarket, is kept at artificially low prices due to a farm bill that subsidizes products such as corn and soybean and greatly benefits big business. Because of this these products are pumped full of corn syrup that lead to poor diets and obesity. Chickens are pumped full of antibiotics and raised in crowded unsanitary conditions where they grow so fast they can't even carry their own weight for more than a few seconds. Cattle, who evolved to eat grass, instead are fed corn, which is unhealthy for the cattle and has a poor environmental impact since feed and manure from corn fed cattle have to be shipped great distances.

If you really want to make an impact try to buy organic or sustainable locally grown foods. Do as I do and cut soda out of your diet and replace it with water. Drink pure juices that aren't pumped up with corn syrup. And finally, take a stand and get involved. Push for healthy lunches in schools, tell congress that food safety is important to you, and finally, learn where your food really comes from.

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