Dear ‘Food, Inc.’

Does the chicken come first, or the egg? When the poor bird is suffocated under its own unhealthy weight and sinking in a kiddy pool of its own dung, does it matter?

I’ve seen Robert Kenner’s Oscar-nominated doc Food, Inc. twice now. A third opportunity presented itself, but I was called away to the burdens of wage-making. Still, because it was briefly on the George Fox University campus radar, I felt it important to remind others of crucial film.

Documentaries are, generally, biased. I know this to be true. I can’t even pretend to beat around that bush. But Kenner is not only a filmmaker; he’s hypnotist. I mean that as a sincere compliment. In an age where food is categorized by the “organics” and “non-organics”, audiences get to be the James Bonds for the food industry as we are taken into an in-depth – and utterly horrifying – look into how America’s food supply. On large, industrial farms for the masses of people, animals are cheated out of their living rights, between being pumped with hormones and injections to unsavory and spiteful deaths.

Watch the documentary for yourself. Words cannot describe most of these images.

I’m less interested in reporting the issues brought up in the movie. In a society of clever people, these are the kinds of topics we should be discussing with friends and families already. Robert Jenner’s film prods us into those questions, for the better.

I bring up this film, ultimately, because I am in love with food. Yeah, I’ll say it, and I’ll say it again: I am in love with food. My infatuation has blown up to the proportion where it can become painful, agonizing to think that I have to make daily decisions: the ethical food, or the tempting delicious ones?

Why not both? Call me idealistic, but I think we’re ready for a bit of progress. Are we not graced with a land to select local, ethically-selected foods, meat or meatless? I care for this film because it does not prescribe a serious habit change in our eating. In fact, the first image is of the muckraking author of Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser diving teeth-first into a juicy hamburger. The film promotes logical and ethical questions, and has shaped my life and my thinking for the better.

Are there any other docs you guys have seen that Dear Food should watch? Comment below, share with us the titles so that we can continue to spread the word.

Viva la Food!

– Rory Phillips

The two great loves of my life are the movies and food; you can't take those away from me. Growing up in Oregon, where the hammering rain can't help but lead you inside great restaurants and venues, I've picked up a fine appreciation for these pieces of beauty and art, and how to give and get those along life's way. Through a life of pictures and dishes, my only wish is to be able to share with any and all my insights, misadventures, and fortunes.