Food, Inc. is a documentary where food industry customers are finally able to see a very detailed look at what they are eating and where it is from. The film takes you from industrial size corn fields and factory farms to immense slaughterhouses and the supermarket, exposing astonishing industrial agriculture practices along the way. After seeing Food Inc., you will realize how important your own yardfarm is, and how crucial the movement toward small-scale farming and locally, organically grown food is for communities across the world.
Since the 1970s factory farming has grown considerably and now dominates the meat industry, with the top four beef packers controlling 80% of the market. The number of slaughterhouses has drastically been reduced, from thousands to just 13 across the country today. Industrial agriculture and food processing have increased greatly as well, and are also controlled by a small number of companies. For example, Monsanto controls 90% of the U.S. soybean market with their genetically modified, patented soybeans.
What exactly does this mean for consumers? With the extensive processing and concentrated industrial control of the majority of our food, an abundance of problems have emerged. Obesity is a widespread problem in America and diabetes rates are on the rise. There have been more frequent E. coli and salmonella outbreaks from unsanitary practices. Attempts to pass legislation on labeling cloned and genetically modified foods have failed, keeping people in the dark about what they are eating. Unfortunately, governing bodies that try to combat some of these problems have been blocked from regulating the food industry. For instance, the USDA previously required microbial testing for E. coli and salmonella, but after being taken to court by meat and poultry industry companies this safety measure was removed. (See Food, Inc. Facts for the statistics and examples cited in this post.)
This is just a small glimpse of the secrets in the food industry that Food, Inc. has exposed—the film has much more information and is a must-see for beginning yardfarmers. It may seem disheartening to see how much power and control big agriculture has over our food, but that is exactly the reason why yardfarming is so important. In your own small way, in your own yard, you can choose to make a difference in the way food is produced and eaten in your community.
To see more about the film you can also check out the Food, Inc. website from Take Part.