johnlink ranks FOOD,INC. (2008)

Could this be? Over a year and a half into my ranking project and I am finally putting up my first documentary? That’s embarrassing, just as embarrassing as it was to take until June of this year to finally watch a silent film. But hey, better late than never…

I watched FOOD, INC. (2008) on 8.31.10. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

Documentaries are subjective. Facts will be there, and they will seem infallible. Good documentaries go beyond data and limited anecdotal evidence, and feel more like they give you a complete picture (or at least as complete a picture as the director wants to tell).

In some ways, FOOD, INC. is amazingly successful. It reminded me why I will pay a little extra for local food, and confirmed my worst fears about the policies of big food companies. It helped explain the epidemic of major food illnesses we’ve had lately, and it offers solutions.

In some ways, I wish it went further. I’m left wondering about the food at my deli, and not just the food at a fast-food place which I already assume is junk. I also wish I had a fuller picture of why we let it get this way.

The end credits tell us what to do, in a moment which feels a little preachy after a 90 minute film which already pleaded its case. The farmer who showed how a humane and sustainable farm can be done, was much more effective than a crawl on the screen telling me to buy organic.

Ultimately, though, this is necessary viewing for anyone who wonders why people might want to eat organic or eat local. I know many people feel that ‘organic food’ is the sort of money-grabbing liberal scheme (the same way they feel about global warming). But FOOD, INC. does a solid job of explaining why someone would make that decision.


FILM: 6; MOVIE: 8; EFFECT: 8; WRITING: 5 (What is this?)

For documentaries, I will use EFFECT in place of ACTING. This is an effort to to tell how effective the filmmakers were in telling the story they wanted to tell.



~ by johnlink00 on August 31, 2010.

One Response to “johnlink ranks FOOD,INC. (2008)”

  1. I also found this a decent documentary on the food industry, particularly with the strong-arming tactics used by some corporations on farmers. If the documentary can wake people up to the plight of farmers, that’s all to the good. They also did a good job of presenting the information in an entertaining way.

    However, I take strong exception to this statement: “I know many people feel that ‘organic food’ is the sort of money-grabbing liberal scheme (the same way they feel about global warming).”

    Global warming has documented evidence backing it up. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming is real, and any “controversy” on this point generally does not hold up under serious examination. Even the right-wingers are finally starting to accept global warming as a real phenomenon.

    Now, as for “organic food” and “local” farming: It is a myth that organic food is more nutritious (it isn’t), that organic farming is better for the environment (it isn’t – in fact there is significant evidence that it may be worse in some cases), or that it is “higher quality” (totally subjective, so harder to quantify). I strongly urge you to look at these three links regarding organic food:

    Dr. Steven Novella’s take on organic food and farming, which I personally agree with 100%:

    Brian Dunning’s InFact synopsis of why locally grown produce does not benefit the environment as is widely believed:

    The Skeptic’s Dictionary compilation of current studies regarding organic food and farming:

    It’s fine to say you prefer organic food, but to say that skepticism about organic food claims is akin to global warming denial is quite a stretch, and unfair in my view.

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