TheFilm starts with the picture of a man herding cattle on the back of ahorse. The picture looks alive until the camera backs away and allthe scene earlier seen turn to be a product poster in a supermarket.The narrator of the movie is Eric Schlosser, author of Fast FoodNation. He states that eating habits have changed in the last 50years than the previous 10000 years. This is true compared to what itused to be in the last 50 years. People are more interested in fastfood and not the source of the food. Food producers are interested inuniformity and profit than quality of the products they sell. Ericpoints out that when the two brothers started McDonald`s, it was amore of a fast food restaurant depending on farmers to for supplies.Although McDonald’s is the largest producer of beef in the UnitedStates and the largest potatoes consumer, it revolutionized thesimple production processes into factories that prepare the foodwhere uniformity is of the essence than quality. Eric states thatmost of the big food processing firms do not buy their product fromfarmers rather they produce them using various food technologies.Eric claims the processes used in manufacturing these foods are notsafe. This is in contradiction to the US laws on processed foods.Federal inspectors from USDA, who act as food police inspects allfood processing industries (Grunert371).They have vast powers and violators are not only heavily fined, butare also faced with the risk of closure for good.
Ericalso implies that food processing industry works secretly to hide allits operation to consumers. The comment is a ridiculous one, giventhat all food industries in the U.S are supposed to indicate clearlyon the packaging the contents of their products. The people at FoodInc. missed the fact that all food products are tested randomly bythe federal inspectors. The report about these products is publishedand in the case of any wrongdoing the company is faced with the law(Grunert380).Food Inc. is seen implicating that all modern food are processed in alaboratory, a point I tend to disagree at the same time. Althoughmost of the food products contain a certain level of chemicals, itdoesn’t imply that they were processed in a laboratory. Most of thechemicals present in the food are natural and do not mean harm toanyone. The fact that Eric and his group at Food Inc. cannot be ableto pronounce the chemicals indicated in a food product, they assumeit is not suitable or consumption. The chemicals are isolated fromother natural products and are used to supplement the productslacking the nutrients required.
FoodInc. labels multinationals such as McDonalds’s, as a sinisterorganization that does not care about consumers, quality of theirfood, and safety of their food products. The reason behind thisaccusation as explained by the narrator is that they do not disclosetheir food processing methods to consumers. These allegations are incomplete contrast to the US Bureau of Standards, who in collaborationwith federal inspectors go through the very processes used tomanufacture the food products to ensure public safety is not at risk(Grunert377).
FoodInc. switches its attention to chicken farmers, who it accuses offalse practices. Food Inc. claims that the poultry farmers werereluctant to grant them entry since they didn’t want the public tohave an insight on the various practices conducted. The narratorimplies that most chicken farmers are abused. He fails to mentionthat the chicken farmers follow the Tyson model introduced in thelate 1940s. The farmers voluntarily join chicken farming based on thejudgments of educated inputs.
Ericand the Food Inc. crew implicated the large meat processors ofinventing and spreading the bacterial pathogen E.coli0157:h7through contaminated food products. This is a bold statement that wasnot made out of the available facts. Food Inc. goes ahead to providea false evidence of a child’s death due to E.coli0157: H7.Food Inc. goes ahead to accuse the USDA of carelessness in theirinspection and enforcement. This remark is out of place consideringthat USDA is ranked first worldwide in safety (Grunert369).To implicate food companies in spreading of pathogenic bacteria andcausing death is serious accusation to both the relevant authoritiesconcerned and food companies involved. Food Inc. forgot to mentionthat E.coli 0157: H7 wasfirst recognized as a foodborne pathogen in 1982.
FoodInc. introduces the viewer to food safety practices where Ammonia isadded to some meat products. They insinuate that addition of ammonia(NH3) to food is wrong. Food Inc. does not tell the viewer thatammonia is present in the body as a key metabolite, in the air webreathe and in the water we drink. Ammonia is considered safe, andthere has not been a single documented case of ammonia poisoning.
Toconclude this, it can be stated that the film Food Inc. did notconduct a thorough research. Most of its allegations are a myth thatcannot be proved scientifically or theoretically. Accusations of suchmagnitude can only lead to the conclusion that the film did notaddress the real issue at hand on fast food.
FoodInc.Perf. Eric Schlosser. FoodInc.Youtube, 2014. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.<http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/grass-fed-meat-education/food-inc-review>.
Grunert,Klaus G. "Food quality and safety: consumer perception anddemand."EuropeanReview of Agricultural Economics 32.3(2005): 369-391.