By Josh Galvin ’13
It may seem like a silly question, but do people really know where their food comes from?
This is exactly what Robert Kenner, director and producer of “Food Inc.,” sets out to answer in his documentary.
In the film, the questionable inner workings of the commercial food industry that most do not know about are brought to light.
It exposes government cover-ups, payoffs, poor sanitation and even genetic modification.
Yes, popular brands like Tyson raise full-grown chickens in 48 days – as opposed to 96 in the wild – thanks to the “wonders” of modern day science.
It does not end there: there are literally dozens of unethical practices revealed in the film. For example, gone are the days of natural, “open-air” food processing on farms; excluding the organic market, everything we eat today has gone through at least one food treatment facility.
Furthermore, these huge factories exploit impoverished workers by offering jobs with miserable working conditions and terrible pay. Some companies such as Iowa Beef Processors even went so far as to bus Mexican laborers into the United States to work at their factories.
This documentary is a shining example of investigative journalism done right: no holds were barred, and the end product was the unadulterated truth, disturbing as it may be. It may even incite anger at the U.S. government’s greedy, underhanded actions.
As the Brophy community launches this year’s Summit on food, the concerns raised by Kenner regarding food preparation will most likely resurface. What most do not realize is that the problems were never corrected: they simply lost recognition as time went on.
“Food Inc.” demands attention and people owe it to themselves to stay informed.
By bestowing the power of knowledge, the film might give the food companies their just desserts.
Read more Summit-related articles in the 2011 Summit Special Section.