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Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It Paperback – May 5, 2009
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Food Inc is guaranteed to shake up our perceptions of what we eat This powerful documentary deconstructing the corporate food industry in America was hailed by Entertainment Weekly as more than a terrific movie it s an important movie Aided by expert commentators such as Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser the film poses questions such as Where has my food come from and who has processed it What are the giant agribusinesses and what stake do they have in maintaining the status quo of food production and consumption How can I feed my family healthy foods affordably Expanding on the film s themes the book Food Inc will answer those questions through a series of challenging essays by leading experts and thinkers This book will encourage those inspired by the film to learn more about the issues and act to change the world The movie Food Inc is shaking up our perceptions of what we eat This powerful documentary deconstructing the corporate food industry in America has been hailed by Entertainment Weekly as more than a terrific movie it s an important movie Now this unique companion book explores the challenges raised by the movie in fascinating depth through thirteen essays most of them written especially for this book and many by experts featured in the film Highlights include Eric Schlosser on the industrialization of our food supply Michael Pollan on the benefits of locally sourced organic eating Robert Kenner director on the making of Food Inc Marion Nestle on sorting out food facts from fictions Anna Lappe on how the U S food system promotes global warming Muhammad Yunus on the global impact of food industrialization Joel Salatin on how to declare your independence from industrial food Gary Hirshberg on how organic food is going mainstream If daily headlines about food poisoning pollution labor abuse and rampant hunger have left you worried or confused about the foods you eat Food Inc provides the facts behind the problems and
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I could tell by Part One opening with Eric Schlosser, Rolling Stone, a little left of center, that the book I was reading was going to be more political than informative. Parts One and Two were Soapbox Letters with tidbits of meaty information. By midway Part Two until the end of the book, which is the bulk of the book, don't expect any in-depth descriptions about Corporate food, organics, GMOs, animal welfare, hormones, cancer, etc. The book takes a sharp bend to Climate Change and maintains that bend for the remainder.
The only author that I felt any simpatico towards was Joel Salatin in Part Three, Chapter Ten. I did a little further research on him and he describes himself as a "Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic-Farmer", which helped me understand my liking him. I didn't feel like he was preaching or taking the route of the victim. His approach was very proactive and liberating.
In the end, there isn't any information in this book that I will refer to in the future. I won't have a discussion with a Monsanto cheerleader and say "Well in 'Food Inc.' I know Monsanto does x,y, or z." What I knew about Monsanto pre-Food Inc is what I know about Monsanto post-Food Inc. What I know about GMOs, organics, animal welfare, etc is all the same. What I did learn is that I am a Christian Libertarian Capitalist who is concerned with the environment (to a degree, not in worship) and furthermore concerned with the chemicals that I place in my childrens' bodies. I am concerned with my family's food sovereignty. I am concerned that Corporations, like Monsanto, are legally maneuvering themselves to take away that sovereignty. I also learned that I am in company with a lot of people that I disagree with politically. I am concerned that their approach is in fact sabotaging food sovereignty. So, for the readers out there, if you're far left of center, this will probably be an enjoyable yet uninformative read. If you're anywhere else on the political spectrum this will be an incredibly boring and uninformative read.
The "book" is actually a series of essays written by a selection of very knowledgeable persons and groups, detailing the adverse effects of the industrialization of the food industry. Each of the articles takes a slightly different tact, but collectively, they comprise a very effective attack on the large, multinational food and farming corporations and the governmental agencies which are supposed to be regulating them. The book describes their decimation of the environment, the adverse effects of their practices on the health of our citizenry (obesity and the effect of the pervasive use of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics), the harm their activities cause to the economies of the poorest of the third world nations (and the resulting increase in malnutrition and starvation), and their shameful disregard for even the most basic welfare of the animals that grace our dinner plates.
On the negative side, many of the essays are duplicative, and others are obvious and repetitive. Additionally, the editors who selected the writings don't even make a pretense of subjectivity. Notwithstanding these negatives, the book nonetheless very powerfully and effectively argues that when it comes to farming, agriculture, and other aspects of the food business, the old ways are most certainly the best.
I am glad I bought my book through the Amazon seller. The book arrived in good condition and I couldn't beat the price.