I don't intend to tell you very much about Food, Inc. This is one of those documentaries that most people skip because they're not thrilled by the prospect of paying to be lectured to and left feeling depressed and helpless. Food, Inc. is better than that.
The film opens with ironically jaunty music as it shows the images of old-fashioned, down-home goodness that food companies use to sell their products, then proceeds to tell us what is really going on. Yikes. This is advocacy journalism, but it's not smug and the cases they make are strong and clear. Filmmaker Robert Kenner crafts a well-measured expose and, most importantly, gives us a to-do list at the end that offers genuine hope for change. Since most of you won't see the movie, here's the closing message.
"You can vote to change this system three times a day. Buy from companies that treat workers, animals and the environment with respect. When you go to the supermarket: choose foods that are in season, buy foods that are organic, know what's in your food. Read labels. Know what you buy. The average meal travels 15,000 miles from the farm to the supermarket. Buy foods that are grown locally. Shop at farmer's markets. Plant a garden. Cook a meal with your family and eat together. Everybody has a right to healthy food. Make sure your farmer's markets take food stamps. Ask your school board to provide healthy school lunches. The FDA and USDA are supposed to protect you and your family. Tell Congress to enforce food safety standards and to re-introduce Kevin's Law [see the movie for details]. If you say grace, ask for food that will keep us, and the planet, healthy. You can change the world with every bite."
So there's your ending. Now do yourself a favor and see the movie that comes before it. You'll want to know what they have to say.