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!)