Food, Inc. Movie Review: “You’ll Never Look At Dinner the Same Way Again!”

Food, Inc. reveals how our food system has been taken over by big business, leaving us with cheap processed foods stripped of nutrients and a farm system out of control. Find out why you may be a victim of a food system gone wrong and what you can do to switch from processed foods that damage your health to whole foods that boost your health.

While in line at the post office recently, I saw something that made me realize how skewed our food system is today…a child no more than two years old in a stroller was balancing a large bag of Cheetos and a large sippy cup of diet coke that barely fit in his tiny hands.

It was 10:00 am…was this his breakfast or his snack?

When I went to my Facebook friends to exclaim over what I saw in the post office, not all were as horrified as I. One mom said, “Well, it’s so hard to get kids to eat right today…and Diet Coke is delicious.”

If I’d ever doubted that our nutrition and therefore, our health, were in jeopardy, this was clear evidence of how pervasive processed foods are. We’ve become a nation enamored with the TASTE of our food, rather than the nutrition we feed our bodies.

Sometimes referred to as Frankenfoods, processed foods are the antagonist in the movie Food, Inc.

But more than an expose on the dangers of processed foods, Food, Inc. is a statement about how big business has hijacked the very foods that keep us healthy in the name of profits.

According to Food, Inc., “Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment” …and it’s happening with our government’s consent.

In fact, the movie showed that many of the top players in government regulatory agencies, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), are actually former executives in companies like Monsanto.

Why is that a big deal?

Because these top government officials are making decisions about the direction of our food regulations. And companies like Monsanto seem to be benefiting in a big way. For those who don’t know Monsanto, they are a huge agricultural business and they are featured for some of their suspect practices that harm the American farmer.

Here are some highlights of what I learned from the movie Food, Inc.:

  • Monsanto has patented “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered seeds that are made to do well with the herbicide, Roundup. If farmers save seed, a long-held farming practice of putting seeds aside from every crop to use again, Monsanto can sue them for violating the seed patents.  Monsanto has won millions of dollars in lawsuits, literally changing the way farmers are allowed to farm.
  • Meat and poultry manufacturers have stringent regulations that require farmers to squeeze poultry or cattle into dark, cramped warehouses so that the animals can grow fat quickly. These animals are sick and can barely walk. They lie in their own feces and need antibiotics to make them healthy. Antibiotics that are now part of our meal when we eat non-organic meats.
  • Government regulations and farm subsidies have shifted our food supply from good calories to bad calories, like a proliferation of corn and soy. If you’ve ever wondered why fruits and vegetables are so much more expensive than processed foods, this is why. Subsidized crops like corn, wheat and soy are finding their way into so many foods as main ingredients, fillers or damaging sweeteners, like high fructose corn syrup. Subsidies make them much cheaper and poor families diets tend to suffer the most.
  • Cows are fed diets of corn, which is harmful to their natural digestive systems. The corn creates an acidic condition, when they require a neutral pH. This has caused harmful bacteria to thrive, particularly E. coli.

The way to fix this is to allow cows to graze on grass, their natural diet. If cows were allowed to eat grass for 5 days, they would shed 80% of the E. coli from their system. Instead, they are given antibiotics.

Unfortunately, antibiotics don’t always work and since the cows are in cramped conditions, they also absorb E. coli into their skin from sitting in their own feces. This is how humans get sick from eating meat and other foods contaminated by these farming conditions (manure for fertilizer, droppings from birds who swallow manure or fecal runoff from streams used for farm irrigation).

And there’s more…which is why I highly recommend that you see Food, Inc. if you care about your health and the health of your family.

So does this mean you have to run away, get off the grid and grow your own food? Not really. There is a message of hope here. And the message is that YOU, the consumer, have more power than you think. Your vote is in the dollars you spend.

To understand how powerful you are, consider the organic food industry. With double digit growth, organic foods are now becoming so profitable that more farmers and more stores are moving in that direction. It’s the consumer dollar that drives this response.

Food, Inc. offers some great suggestions and a message of hope for what you can do to change the way you eat AND the way our nation eats.

Here are Body Ecology’s Top 7 Tips for Changing Your Diet and Improving Your Health:

  1. Learn about the dangers of processed foods and the dangers of sugar. They adversely affect you physically and emotionally. If you want to feel your best (and look your best too!), making changes to a whole food, sugar-free, gluten-free Body Ecology diet is your best bet. An easy way to start is by replacing sugar and other too-sweet sweeteners with Lakanto, an all natural, zero-calorie, zero glycemic index sweetener that tastes and bakes just like sugar.
  2. Strengthen your immunity, boost your energy and aid your digestion with probiotics. While sugar and processed foods can ruin your digestive system and your health, you CAN rebuild it with fermented foods and drinks. Fermented foods and drinks are your best source of probiotics because food sources of probiotics make it past your stomach acid and into your intestines where they can go to work making you healthy and strong.
  3. While naturally sour fermented foods and drinks can be an acquired taste, many people find them very tasty. A great way to introduce yourself to fermented foods and drinks is Passion Fruit Biotic. Because it tastes great right from the bottle, even kids will love this delicious, healthy probiotic liquid.
  4. Eat healthy fats. Yes, fats are healthy AND they keep you satisfied and slim! But be sure to learn which fats are the best, and which to avoid!
  5. Choose organic foods. Whenever possible, choose pesticide-free organic foods.
  6. Educate yourself on the REAL reasons for obesity, diabetes and mineral deficiencies. The food you eat plays a bigger role than you may think in the health epidemics we face as a nation. Find out why the Body Ecology system of health and healing is ideal for weight loss and diabetes.
  7. Take time to detoxify. If you have been eating sugar and processed foods (and who hasn’t?), you can do a world of good by detoxifying your body. Learn about toxins from food and how you can detoxify to look and feel your best.
  8. Go step-by-step. Take your time incorporating new practices into your life. Good health is a journey and taking small steps adds up to feeling your best over time.

Food, Inc. was created by filmmaker Robert Kenner and features interviews with experts, like Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and forward thinking entrepreneurs, like Stonyfield Farms’ Gary Hirschberg and Polyface Farms’ Joe Salatin.

You can see Food, Inc. at a theater near you. Once you’ve seen it, you can rest assured that a healthy Body Ecology diet will help you make the best choices for yourself and your family.

If Food, Inc. is not playing in a theater near you, check out your local video store or watch The Future of Food online at: http://www.hulu.com/watch/67878/the-future-of-food
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