Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Food Inc. Review

Just in time for the holiday season Food Inc. has been released to DVD.

For those of you not familiar, Food Inc. is a documentary film that details the industrialization of the American food supply with lenses trained primarily on corn and beef.

I have mixed feelings about the film. On the one hand it's a tremendous tour of what's wrong with how we get and subsidize our food. On the other hand, it doesn't really offer up any solutions and the folks they chose to champion change in many cases are indeed great on camera but shy on authority. While it's wonderful to have the wise, sustainable agriculture farmer waxing philosophic on the food supply I do wonder whether or not his means of farming are in fact scalable to supply the masses.

One thing's for certain however, the movie is both powerful and frightening. While I'll often blog about the health risks associated with red meat consumption and the development of various chronic diseases, Food Inc. takes the viewer on a tour of the acute diseases associated with contaminated ground beef and I found the story so chilling that I've decided to give up mass market ground beef.

To that end some kind folks at Cookware.com sent me a meat grinder to try out to see what grinding your own meat's all about. I tried it out this past weekend and clearly I've yet to get the hang of it. I did succeed in grinding out 4lbs of beef, but I think I used meat that wasn't quite frozen enough (semi-frozen is apparently the way to go) and the grinding took multiple attempts, many cleans and a great deal of frustration.

Despite the movie's shortcomings, I highly recommend this film though be forewarned, I'd bet this film has birthed its fair share of vegetarians in the past 6 months - it's that jarring.

(If anyone reading this has any meat grinding tips, I'm all ears!)

Bookmark and Share


  1. Anonymous8:40 am

    Good meat grinding tips here:


    The cut is more important than the temperature of the meat, imo. If you are grinding a small amount of meat, a decent food processor will do the job, and they are much easier to clean.

    Bon grinding!

  2. Can't you just get the butcher to grind it?

    I remember reading something from Ron Eade of the Citizen ... his butcher shop has some kind of "special blend" for burgers. You have to go in and ask for it. (I asked him for more info about it but never heard back.)

  3. Yup, probably can get butcher to grind.

    I was hoping with the grinder to make homemade, nitrite free turkey and chicken sausages etc. too.

  4. Though I haven't watched the film (yet), we are fortunate enough to live in a rural community and have been able to purchase beef directly from farmers that have raised them free of hormones, antibiotics and grain. The next steer goes to slaughter next month and our side will provide beef for most of a year in our small family.

  5. Anonymous10:53 am

    As a child I ate moose and caribou as roasts, steaks and ground meat.
    Unfortunately, I'm not in a hunting community any more, but there are many people who hunt and who do their own butchering. I suggest you check with someone who hunts, or a hunting supply store.

    This is also meat free of many added chemicals, although I'm told the liver of game is best avoided.

  6. Anonymous2:23 pm

    Whole Foods has nitrite free sausages (Beretta Farms)

  7. Anonymous9:25 am

    Just watched the movie yesterday. I wish it had some content on how eating at home usually is cheaper (unless it's in the US for a $1 hamburgers with no drink or fries). I think the family that was profilled didn't have time to cook as they stated, maybe then they would consider the $1.29 brocolli more often. Healthy meals can be made at home for ~ $2 per person (ie. $140 groceries per week for a family of four to eat three meals a day)