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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Food, Inc. reveals hidden costs on the menu

click to enlarge SMOKE ’EM IF YOU GOT ’EM: Businessmen in Food, Inc.
  • SMOKE ’EM IF YOU GOT ’EM: Businessmen in Food, Inc.

The harrowing documentary Food, Inc. serves up a kind of sampler’s platter of the recent culinary exposé trend. Like Super Size Me, it touches on the physiological effects of a fast food diet and further examines the assembly line approach to restaurant service. Recapping the themes of King Corn, Food, Inc. reveals how agricultural policies enable farming practices that put corn in seemingly every item at the grocery store, including cheese, batteries and diapers. It even goes to the source of Richard Linklater’s dramatization of Fast Food Nation to explore the industrial mistreatment of cattle and cattle workers alike.

The tours of sprawling slaughterhouses and dark chicken houses can put you off your feed, but Food, Inc. leaves generous helpings of anger and despair on your plate as well. The documentary cites examples of massive, secretive corporations suing small competitors into oblivion and making indentured servants out of employees in once-prized professions. In its scope, effectiveness and unmistakable passion, it’s the must-see documentary of the bunch, if you can take the heat.

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(Photo courtesy Magnolia Pictures)

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