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Monday, June 29, 2009

Food Feud

Pretty ironic that my last entry was about how I hate that food that tastes good is bad for you, because I just happened to see Food, Inc. the other night, and thought it was pretty excellent. It's one of those documentaries that says a lot of what you kind of already suspected but chose to ignore . . . and will probably still ignore because it just requires too much effort to do anything about, but is still very worth seeing and enlightening:

The movie doesn't try to shock your system with gratuitous, graphic slaughterhouse footage, though there is some hard-to-watch animal abuse, but rather focuses on the fact that like almost everything else in our country, control of the food we consume has been taken by enormous corporations who edge closer and closer to monopoly-like scale, further ensuring that we can do little to stop them. The corporations consciously keep the average citizens in the dark about what they (the consumers) consume, and many of these corporations' former employees now hold powerful positions in the FDA and USDA. (If you ever saw Fahrenheit 9/11, then think Halliburton.) It's pretty crazy, and pretty infuriating when you watch it. One great point that's made about the types of food we consume is that the food companies essentially trick us by pushing our evolutionary buttons, by saturating our foods with fat, sugar, and/or salt, all things that occur rather rarely or in very small doses in nature, but trigger our evolutionary sensors which, before processed food, told us these three tastes are good because they provide valuable nutrients.

The hero of the movie, to me, was this Joel Salatin guy, who was totally and utterly awesome. A little crazy, but in a good way. He and his family have a farm, with their own animals, that they raise organically, slaughter themselves, and sell to the public. They only have one location, to which people come from extremely far away, but the family has zero interest in expanding or putting their meat in stores. It would be a pretty cool way to beat the corporations, if little farmers' markets cropped up locally all over the country, and people actually chose to frequent those instead of supermarkets . . . but good luck with all of that. Anyway, here's his website. Worth checking out if you're bored and have some time:

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