Food, Inc.

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Release Date: June 4, 2009 (limited)

On DVD/VOD: November 3, 2009

PG | 1h 34m | Documentary

You are what you eat. It is a simple expression that bears scary implications as you watch director Robert Kenner draw upon the searing reportage of authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) to explore how modern developments in food production pose grave risks to our health and environment. The writers aren't radicals or even vegetarians but they are crusaders when it comes to exposing problems and naming offenders.

Food, Inc. makes their critiques vivid by taking us into the lives of people who are fighting back. It explains how corporations exploited laws and subsidies to create shocking monopolies. In one example, we learn how the food conglomerate Monsanto expanded its control over soybeans from two percent of the American market to ninety percent in the last dozen years. Monsanto has the legal muscle of a Supreme Court decision, enabling them to litigate aggressively against small farmers. The decision was written by Justice Clarence Thomas, who happens to be a former Monsanto lawyer.

The cozy relationships between business and government in both political parties are carefully dissected. In opposition to these powerful interests, we meet people from all walks of life, from a mother who lost her two-year-old son to E. coli poisoning, to the founder of Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurt, who flouts conventional left-wing dogma by seeing a positive side to Wal-Mart.

Along the way, we hear stories of heartbreak and outrage, but the film carefully channels these emotions towards opportunities for activism. If nothing else, this film gives you a strong appetite for better meals.

Director: Robert Kenner
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Producer(s): Elise Pearlstein, Robert Kenner
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