FOOD CHAINS REVIEW

Food chains is a movie about injustices that occur to the working people who pick vegetables, and more specifically tomatoes. The movie goes in depth with the problem by focusing on the CIW, Coalition of Immokalee Workers. They are a group who want to just bring fair wages and work conditions for people in the food industry, specifically the food pickers. But in order to do this, companies must change their focus from profits and money to the importance of people.

The movie focuses on a way to help the people: by increasing the cost per pound of food by 1 cent. “They [food companies] earn more than monsanto, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and Apple.” This amount of money is crazy considering how much those other companies make. Microsoft and Apple sell expensive electrons by the billions yet these food markets are still making more money off of relatively cheap food. These crazy profits along with the company’s refusal to lower cost demonstrates the insane amount of focus on profits. The greed, and selfishness is explained more in depth in the full movie brings out want to fight it.  

In a memorable scene, slavery is depicted by showing the truck that people were forced to live in; they would be chained up in a rusting truck. That one scene just doesn’t settle right because in this century, for something that sickening to happen in America is just unbelieveable. Working day to day just to be chained up is a really terrifying idea that will make you appreciate your life more.

This movie’s focus on people’s abuse rather than food, helps make it a must watch that doesn’t make you feel guilty but instead encourages you to answer the call of action. Even if you don’t care about food, the story is captivating enough for anyone to watch.

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Food Chains Film Review

When I’m rich and famous because my young adult novel on two teens falling in love in their fight against the mistreatment of agricultural workers gets adapted into a film, I’m going to buy all the supermarkets in the world. Why you ask? Well, when I watch documentaries like Food Chains, it makes me want to change the way agricultural workers are paid and the conditions they work under. Food Chains is a documentary that shows agricultural workers point of view and the, for lack of a better word, unfairness they face. This film delves into the real-life struggle of people who deserve way more for their hard work. My argument is the documentary’s argument. “They’re entitled to be paid well.”1 I could end it right there because that’s just the plain truth.

The CIW (Coalition of Immokalee Workers) is a human rights organization for agricultural workers and is the main focus in this film. The coalition held a hunger strike because of Publix’s refusal to speak to them about increasing wages by just a penny a pound. That penny increase would cost around one or two million out of their two-billion-dollar income. This is what makes me angry: the pure greed. Publix could change these hardworking people’s lives by shelling out just a little bit more money but they refuse. They have enough money, they’ve been doing this for ages, and it’s time to do away with this legal slavery (by paying them the absolute bare minimum) and give these honest workers what they deserve; better working conditions and fair pay. It’s about the poor man keeping the rich man rich and the rich man saying thanks and walking away.

I recommend this film for a number of reasons. Besides showing the worker’s point of view as I’ve mentioned before, it exposes the problem of buying industrially. “One of the most difficult things is just coming to a realization how little you mean to the people that you are working for.”2 Imagine going into work every day and besides not getting paid what you should, your employers not giving a care about you. You would think I’m not appreciated it’s time to go, but these people have no choice and must endure it and it’s not right.

 

 

Sources

1 Food Chains. Dir. Sanjay Rawal. Perf. Eric Schlosser. Screen Media Films, 2014. NetFlix.

2 Food Chains. Dir. Sanjay Rawal. Perf. Lucas Benitez. Screen Media Films, 2014. NetFlix.

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Food Inc. Review

Summary:  
Throughout the film, Food Inc., Robert Kenner explores first hand where our food comes from and the disturbing practices among the American Food Industry. To farms, and slaughterhouses with disturbing conditions, the truth is revealed. Amazingly, three or four companies alone control the meat industry, with the biggest buyer being McDonalds. I mean, who would think a simple hamburger was made from not one cow, but a thousand?  As for those beloved chicken nuggets from Tyson? Be prepared for the harsh truth where the quantity of food is more important than the quality. From farm animals to fruits and vegetables, farmers to CEO’s and the consequences of the food industry producing over 200% of what we need; this films goes into depth on the effects of the demand for convenience and low cost food. Throughout you become aware corporations that put money and profit before consumer health and safety.

Review:  
The argument of this film is that we are deliberately left unaware and the pace of industrial production is unsustainable, inhuman, unsafe environmentally and economically. However, if I could sum up Food Inc. In one word it would be horror. Why would I consider this film a horror? While a documentary’s  purpose is to inform the audience and leave awareness, this film instead heavily relies on shocking and scaring the audience about their food to convey their information. In addition, while the movie is filmed poorly, the film has more graphic images of blood, and  guts than a horror film. The serious context and graphic of the film is enough to make you feel sick at times.  
 
Overall,  this film does fulfill it’s purpose in spreading awareness and holds your unwavering attention till you cannot stand to watch no more as do most horrifying things tend. However, I have several serious issues with the film, while this film is effective very little changed within the food industry after the release of this film. In question, I wonder why this film was not enough to change the minds of consumers long term? The issues are emphasized, but I also feel there is not enough content on how to resolve this issue touched in the film. Furthermore, because it is heart wrenching to watch it makes it hard to watch let alone eat meat for a period of time.

If I could sum up Food Inc. In one word it would be horror. While Food Inc. Is a documentary of the shocking practices among the American Food industry, why would I consider this film a horror? While a documentary’s  purpose is to inform the audience and leave awareness this film instead heavily relies on the shocking and scaring the audience about their food. In addition, while the movie is filmed poorly, the film has more blood, guts, and heavy tone than a horror film.
 
 In answer to why I think this film has been ineffective, even if it does make a person rethink what they consume, I realized many prefer too be ignorant rather than worry about everything they eat. The film, in reality was way too shocking to be taken seriously. Very few people can last a week being scared of everything they eat. For children who watch this film in heath class, by the end they are likely more traumatized than actually aware and as a result they become vegetarians for a week.
 
In conclusion, Everyone who watches is in shock, but its not long before our minds kick in to shove the film out of your mind so you can eat that hamburger without feeling sick at the thought of one. While everyday I become more increasingly aware of the issues among our food industry, I found this film to be the least informative, but it was enough to motivate me to think about the food I consumed everyday by effecting how I feel- the feelings remain,  but the details of ones memory fades. I will continue wish for a day where the life of a baby chick is not worth less than a penny, but as a life and a living being deserving of respect and a good life.

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One Less Grocery Bag

Imagine the owner of a local grocery store taking the trash out before closing and accidentally throwing it on some unsuspecting guy rooting around in the dumpster. For Grant Baldwin this was a reality. Only, instead of going through a dumpster looking for food because he was poor, he and Jen Rustemeyer were doing it to prove a point. For six months the pair lived solely off of food waste that they could find in grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and dumpsters. The point that they were trying to prove was that in America we throw out enough food that they could survive comfortably off of this surplus and in doing so, show that we must find a better solution than wasting perfectly good food.

The documentary Just Eat It is an excellent film. It utilizes the story of the young couple to emphasize its point. We get to see Jen break down when she says, “I’m fatigued with this project. I don’t want to do it anymore. It’s not that fun,” and then arguing with Grant over whether or not they should continue the project. We see Grant at his low point after having trash thrown on him. “I felt really embarrassed that I was, like, in his bin, and he felt, like, sad for me probably.” Both of these instances make us feel for them and their decision to go through with the project. By using them as the main focus of the story, the documentary becomes much more personal and relatable.

The documentary also supports the idea that we need to find other ways of dealing with our food waste by including other speakers. In the beginning of the film, Grant and Jen talk with a local farmer, Delaney Zayac, at the farmer’s market about what he wastes. He says, “Overall, there can be a lot of a good crop at a market that won’t get sold if it has just a slight blemish or something’s wrong with it aesthetically.” Throughout the film, Dana Gunders, a Food and Agriculture Scientist with the National Resources Defence Council, supplies facts that drive the message that we are wasting food home. At one point she says, “Imagine walking out of a grocery store with four bags of groceries, dropping one in the parking lot, and just not bothering to pick it up. That’s essentially what we’re doing.” It is jarring to think about just how much food is being wasted.

Just Eat It also has fantastic cinematography. There is one sequence in particular that stood out to me. It begins with a small pepper plant growing and follows the bright orange pepper to harvest, transportation grocery store, and finally refrigerator. All while playing to “Don’t You Forget (About Me)” by Simple Minds. The sequence ends with the pepper rotting away in the appliance. It is a perfect representation of the theme of the documentary; we gain nothing by letting this perfectly good food rot away.

Overall, the documentary offered great insight into both the facts and a few options that we may have as individuals in trying to change this problem. It is the perfect starting point for anyone of any age to gain the knowledge to do something about food waste. By using a few simple strategies (none quite as drastic as dumpster diving) mentioned in the film such as freezing food so that we can prolong its life at home or making smaller, more frequent trips to the food store, we each can reduce our waste and help to stop this cycle of wasting perfectly good food.

Sources:

Just Eat It. Directed by Grant Baldwin. Performances by Tristram Stuart, Jen Rustemeyer, Dana Gunders, Jonathan Bloom, and Grant Baldwin. The Orchard, 2015.

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Just Eat It: A Review

Similar to its title, Just Eat It is unforgivably in your face and demanding attention.

A tight focus is centered on Jen and Grant, a couple and their 6 month mission to live on food waste.

The film frequently cuts to colorful scenes of food being mechanically sorted. In one instance, Harold McClarty, owner of HMC Farms is interviewed about how much fruit actually makes it out of the packing house.

“The amount of fruit left there in the field or discarded after it gets in the packaging house, I`ve seen as high as 70%, the least I`ve seen is 20% that gets thrown away.” Harold McClarty, owner of HMC Farms.

Grant gets garbage accidentally thrown on him, an admitted low for him during the project.This seemingly trivial moment launches us back into the real issue at hand, wasted resources.

The shocking visuals of perfectly beautiful food being destroyed for reasons unjustified, etch themselves into the morality of the reader. In one scene, Grant comes across an entire dumpster filled with perfectly good hummus. A moment of silence naturally falls when Grant tries to absorb what he is seeing before grabbing a few to take home.

The rotting, forgotten fruit in the fridge costs more than it seems. Every watering that goes into that fruit, the petroleum used for transport, even the energy expended by the consumer to bring it home, are also wasted.

“When we fail to eat it, what we have failed is an entire system which is in itself already wasteful. All of the embodied energy and the resources in that piece of food, all of that, has been in vain.” Tristram Stuart, author of WASTE.

Just Eat It guides us through our menagerie of excess, without a blindfold.

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Just Eat It. Baldwin, Grant.2014. Peg Leg Films

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Food, Inc. review by Jason Hurst

When you go to the supermarket to purchase meat, have you considered what happened to the meat before it was packaged for sale? Or maybe who are the people that prepare the meat and what they do to get the meat ready for sale? These are some of the very issues that are tackled in the film Food, Inc., the only bad part is that you most likely won’t like the way it is prepared. That is because this movie goes no to show the viewer the side of the food industry that they don’t want you to see. The film most certainly isn’t for the squeamish and may even change your perspective of meat all together.

I felt that this movie had such a big impact on me because it went on to show the food industry for what it really is. To me this was best said when Eric Schlosser had this to say, “There is this deliberate vale, this curtain that is dropped between us and where our food is coming from. The industry doesn’t want you to know what you are eating, because if you did you wouldn’t want to eat it.”[1] To me this stood out because it was one of the first things that was said in the film so I felt that it really set the tone for what you are about to watch. The film also tackled issues that are still going on today so it was easy for me to relate to it, while at the same time providing a few ways that you can attempt to solve some of the issues on your own.

Despite how much I liked the film there was a few things I found a bit unnecessary. For example, the film didn’t really show you another side of the food industry, just pretty much the bad things. Which to me seemed a bit biased at times, I like to compare the good and the bad so I can get a better general picture of what’s really going on. For example, there was a point in the film where they interviewed a Perdue chicken farmer by the name Carole Morrison. She had this to say about her own chicken farm, “It is nasty in here. There is feces everywhere. This isn’t farming this is just a mass production like an assembly line in a factory.”[2] To me this just showed that the conditions of her farm individually was bad. It still left me wondering where her farm stood compared to a more proper chicken farm. If it would have showed me what a proper chicken farm looked like there would have been a better impact since this was something I had no prior knowledge about.

Another thing I didn’t really like was how in depth they went with showing what happens to the animals prior to being butchered. Like how they were treated at the different types of CAFOs. I found this to be necessary however, because despite their being other ways of animals being raised for slaughter this is the general way our meat is prepared to be slaughtered. And despite how hard it was to see at times I felt that it should be shown to get their point across. Furthermore, I would still recommend this movie since I felt it accomplished the goal of showing the food industry for what it is really is. But only to those who are prepared for what they are about to see. This film tackles many serious issues within the food industry and could even have a serious effect on one’s diet. But at the same time it seems this was the objective of the film’s director, Robert Kenner. If this was his objective all I would have to say to Mr. Kenner is bravo you, for sure, accomplished that goal.

food-inc

[1]Food, Inc. Dir. Robert Kenner. Perf. Eric Schlosser. Movie One, 2008. Netflix.

[2]Food, Inc. Dir. Robert Kenner. Perf. Carole Morrison. Movie One, 2008. Netflix.

 

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Some Thoughts on “Food Inc.”

Food Inc is a documentary of exactly what happens to our meat before it is set on our tables.  It shows graphic scenes of deformed chickens, a child with E-Coli, a cow being treated for indigestion, chicks on a conveyor belt, and animals being slaughtered inhumanely for no other reason than human selfishness.  I am outraged.  I hate, loath, and despise Food Inc and its reason for existing.

The argument of Food Inc is that the meat we eat is not always safe and is certainly not natural.  When we think of farms, we think of rolling fields, bright green grass, and happy animals frolicking here and there.  Food Inc shatters these ideals and brings to light what really happens.  To do this, Director Robert Kenner used graphic images, sinister music (with some exceptions), and the testimonies of multiple farmers who actually farm for a living.  The documentary itself is professional and well done, even though it came out in 2008.  I just happen to hate it.

The first time I watched this documentary, I was a twelve year old in middle school.  On the day that we watched the section on E-Coli, my family had hamburgers for dinner.  I came home scared out of my skin and, after a few hours of failed attempts to forget the movie, I sat down to my father’s grilled hamburgers, which I love with a passion, and almost cried.  Ever since then, I have been very, very, very conscious of the color of my meat.  My Mom is sick of me staring at my food, searching for the pink spot that I alone will see.  Is this a good thing?  Was this helpful to my life?  Was me living in fear of my food the end-goal of Food Inc?  If it was, congratulations, you won.

Looking at the film critically, I am glad that they didn’t flinch away from showing us the nastiness that is our food industry, but they could have presented it in a way that wouldn’t have made a twelve year old sit down to one of her favorite meals and cry.

Food Inc. Kenner, Robert. Participant Media. 2008. Film.

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