We went to see Food Inc last night.
I am still beside myself.
Not because I had no idea what went on the food industry, of course I did. As a vegetarian, one of my arguments with meat eaters has always been, "If I was one of you, I would be pissed off at how my food is raised and treated."
This movie lifts that veil and does it well enough that it reinforced my decision in being a vegetarian and angered me at the gross monopoly we have in the food industry as a whole.
Bottom line for all food conglomerates is money. Sure you say, they are a business. Yes, well, a business still should respect its costumer and you saw last night how most of them are blissfully detached from the customer, their workers and the animals themselves.
It was repugnant.
Smithfield Farms works with the INS to have some of its workers arrested after working there about ten years and have them sent back to whatever Latin America country they came from. As the Union Representative said, "Why is no one arresting the management?" Good question, but one that is left unanswered.
Monsanto, who are quite possibly Satan himself, sue farmers constantly for what Monsanto calls "patent infringement." Soybean farmers are not allowed to save their own seed to replant the next year because Monsanto has a monopoly on pesticides and GMO's. Thanks to Clarence Thomas and the Supreme Court, businesses like Monsanto can put a patent on their Frankenstein soybean. Thus happy being litigious and doing undercover investigations on farmers by Monsanto is ruthless and filled with signs of tyranny. Of course they have a whole PR machine on their site to discredit the film. Must be lovely to have no soul.
We left the movie angry, appalled and powerless.
Kevin's Law has been brought to Congress for over seven years by Barbara Kowalcyk.
Her son, Kevin, died in 2001 after eating a hamburger and suffering an E. coli O157:H7 infection and hemolytic uremic syndrome. The meat company never apologized for their tainted product.
Where is the outrage?
Why are we, as Americans so damn complacent when it comes to food?
Perhaps everyone needs to revisit Upton Sinclairs groundbreaking novel, The Jungle.
There are 13 slaughterhouses in the USA. This is for 300 million people. I find this horrifying, yet, people will grill burgers and hot dogs this weekend and I am almost certain, someone, somewhere will get sick. We should not need someone to die to enforce Food Safety laws or to demand better quality. Maybe we should hope it is a Senator's kid, then Kevin's Law will get passed in a day.
This whole experience has made me even more wary of government. Can't they even get the regulation of the nations food right? How can our Representatives sit there, daily, with lobbyists for these money machines, and protect them and help them and make them even more omnipresent?
One of the bright spots in the film was farmer, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Check out their site to see how they respect the land, the animals (happiest pigs in whole film) and the planet. For Joel, it is all about how you should know your farmer and your community. Their principles should be mandatory. If I ate meat, I would drive to his farm in Virginia to buy it.
I am even more determined to garden, continue to support our friends who are farmers, and go to the Farmers Market. In some cases we will be paying more for our food, but at least I will know where it came from and how they grew it. You should be able to say the same thing.
Here is their site if you want more info: Food Inc
Find a farmer's market or a CSA near you: Local Harvest
Support the Humane Society
Educate yourself: Organic Consumers Association
Appreciate the Slow Food movement
Let's get Kevin's Law passed