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Neo

Food, Inc.

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I'm sure by now most of you have at least heard of the documentary entitled Food, Inc. My wife and I recently watched this film...or rather my wife started watching it with me and halfway through I had to stop watching as she could no longer handle it. I had to finish watching it alone less I force vegetarianism on her. :)

First off, there is no way I'm becoming a vegetarian...I need some meat in my life, but I respect those who choose to leave it out of their diet. For those of you who haven't seen the film I would really encourage you to do so, but be prepared that after watching it you may no longer want to eat...anything. Fortunately I rarely (and by rarely I mean I can count on one hand how many times I go in a year) consume fast food (i.e. Hardees, BK, McDonald's, etc). I suppose the debate is up as to whether or not places like Panera Bread are fast food joints, but I certainly put them in a different class. Regardless, the movie hits on points that affect everything from McDonald's, Panera and <insert name of your favorite sit-down restaurant here>.

I had no idea that so few companies controlled such a large amount of the food we consume on a daily basis. I had no ideas of the patents on seeds and the lawsuits that are thrown on small farmers who are trying to do the right thing by giving us genuine nature made food. After doing quite a bit of research on 'organic' labels, I've come to the conclusion that even though something is labeled USDA Organic doesn't mean that it is what you may think 'organic' should mean.

Since watching the documentary my wife and I have tried to locate grass-fed beef for example, but have come up empty unless we want to have it shipped to us (and who's to say that it really is grass-fed at that point anyway). USDA Organic beef means that the cow could have been fed with grass or with grain, but since almost all cattle are grain fed, I doubt you're actually getting grass-fed beef with that label.

I'm curious if anyone else here has seen the flick and what you thought of it. Has it changed the way you eat?

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thanks for the discussion neo. i haven't seen the film yet; watched the trailer. michael pollan (featured in the film) is a valuable source for information regarding healthy and wholesome food. he has heroically spoke truth to power about the sinister side of our corporate-controlled food distribution system. pollan has the ear of lots of influential people right now, and he is exposing lots of fraud. our society has many concurrent problems right now, the central recurring problem that i observe is fraud. doped corn, doped athletes, bribed leadership, and ponzi banking.... all frauds.

the fox guarding the henhouse? a revolving door between food giant monsanto and the fda... fraud.

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I just rented this from the big blue movie ticket over the weekend. Very eye opening. I was amazed to hear some of the lengths that companies like Monsanto will go through to protect their genetically modified patents. The whole soy bean part of the movie was very troubling to me.

My wife was sickened by what she saw, I think it might be awhile before she eats meat again. I think this will change the way we eat at the house a little. Over the last couple of years we have been much more conscious about what we eat. We've frequented the farmer's markets, we've switched more more organic foods, we've tried to buy from more local sources, and we've planted a garden. Small shifts but hopefully meaningful. However, we still buy most of our meat from the supermarket. I think this will probably continue to some extent but we will be searching for more local sources for our meat.

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For an update on how my wife and I have changed our habits, we now purchase USDA Organic if it is an option (including meats) and we have increased our dining out percentages in favor of those who purchase grass fed meats and organic produce (i.e. Chipotle). We do buy our meats from the supermarket, but it isn't for lack of trying to find grass fed beef from local sources. I couldn't find anyone locally who offers grass fed beef and chicken, so we have settled on second best by purchasing USDA organic meats.

Interestingly enough, Costco has started selling USDA Organic chicken and ground beef, so our last purchases for meats came from there. Super Target also sells USDA Organic beef (I haven't seen chicken there though). I look forward to the day when places like Target, Costco, and the local supermarkets have grass fed meats available.

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There is some good news on USDA Organic beef. New rules were released last week for USDA Organic participants that states:

  • Cows must be out on pasture throughout the grazing season (for at least 120 days)
  • A minimum of 30% nutrition must come from fresh grass (dry weight)

This takes affect one year from now (February/March 2011). IMO this isn't enough, but it is definitely a good start. I've been a little hesitant (but still do it) to buy USDA Organic beef since there were no rules stating that 100% of the diet couldn't be grain fed. I would still prefer 100% grass fed and which the USDA Organic label forced that, but I'll definitely take 30% and a more humane environment for the cows.

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I haven't seen the movie - but I've heard the horror stories!! It does sound like a must-see though based on what I've heard from people. I rarely, rarely do fast food (well, depending on the definition - is pizza fast food???), haven't been to a McDonalds for nearly 10 years, and I don't regret it! Haven't had beef since 2000. I do miss that, but have survived nicely without. I'll get around to seeing this at some point, but I'm almost afraid too - like I don't have enough to worry about already!! :o

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I've really been wanting to see this movie! After reading this I am definitely going to order it from Netflix next time, I hate fast food!!! I'll take the risk and watch it, even if it means becoming vegetarian! Really, is it that bad though?....guess I'll find out

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