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Monday, April 12, 2010

Reactions to Food, Inc.

I watched Food, Inc. for the first time this weekend. The movie makes lots of points – some valid and others very misleading.

The movie stresses the importance of safe, healthy food. This is something everyone can agree with. However, Food, Inc. makes it seem like conventionally produced foods are not safe. The fact is there is no food safety benefit to the organic options the movie promotes over conventionally produced food.

Food, Inc. is critical of cheap fast food and advocates for local and organic foods. I agree that Americans need to eat better. Eating a balanced variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy products is something most people could do a better job of. The movie blames obesity on the fact fast food, candy and soda are so cheap and cites income level is the biggest indicator of obesity. This is a real problem. However, organic food is not the solution.

Don’t get me wrong, farmers and ranchers will happily provide the food that people demand. If you prefer to buy organic, and can afford to pay the premium, I support that decision. However, recognize that conventionally-produced food is also a safe, healthy choice. Additionally, this is a much more affordable choice, making it a more realistic option for those who struggle to make ends meet. Conventional food production is also very efficient, which is an important consideration with a growing global population and less resources available to feed people with.

A final point that really bothered me was the movie’s theme that the agriculture industry is trying to hide how food is produced. I personally know many farmers and ranchers who spend their free time trying to reach out and connect with consumers. Check out the Ranch Family Blog or Advocates for Ag to get the food production story from those who know best, actual farmers and ranchers.


  1. It seems like everyone forgets that in the 2nd grade children learn the food pyramid. It is simple theory that even SECOND GRADERS! can understand. However instead of taking personal responsibility for their personal actions of eating poorly, lazy so called "whistle blowers" attempt to find a scapegoat for society's own shortcomings as human beings. Maybe they need to take a page from Billy Madison's book and start fresh from kindergarten.


  2. What??? You really think conventional food is safe and healthy! So does that mean you're ok consuming the pesticides and herbicides sprayed on conventional fruits and veggies?? You're ok with putting dyes, preservatives, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and other additives concealed in conventional, processed foods in your body?? You're ok eating meat from the factory farms where animals stand in their own feces and are fed unnatural diets high in grains, other animal byproducts, and unnecessary antibiotics? And you're ok drinking milk that is pasteurized and homogenized to the point that it is no more than a dead, white-ish liquid??
    Please, please, please tell me how you have determined that conventional foods are a healthy and safe choice because I would looove to hear your rationale. And if you truly eat organically, you know not to just trust the "organic" or "natural" labels. You buy your food straight from the farmers and the rest of your food you get from a local co-op (no, not Whole Foods or the "organic" section at Wal-mart) and you READ the labels, only buying minimally-processed foods with no additives. If you do that, buying organically is similar or a lot cheaper than buying conventional food. Do NOT say it is unrealistic if you've never tried it. Here's evidence as well ( Now I'm sorry, you are entitled to your own opinion, as am I. So you can go ahead and eat however you want, that's fine by me. But me, I prefer REAL food.

    1. I didn't have to bother to write my response to the movie, you managed to put forth everything (and more) that was already on my mind! the writer/critic, is obviously speaking out on behalf of the toxic food industry or just entirely oblivious to the facts!

  3. Steph,

    1. Thank you for commenting on our blog.
    2. Milk is pasteurized in order to destroy certain disease-carrying germs and to prevent the souring of milk.
    3. Conventional food is traditional food and farming.

    Thanks for reading our blog!

  4. Steph - I do think conventional food is safe and healthy. I know this because my family helps raise crops and livestock that go into the conventional food system. We care about the animals and crops we produce because they end up on our table too. Moreover, conventional food is how I see we will feed the growing population and that makes me proud to be in a country that is a leader in the world's food supply. Thanks for your comments and traffic!

    Tera Rooney

  5. Brandi - Yes, pasteurization does destroy pathogens, but it also destroys all the GOOD bacteria that exists in the milk, therefore leaving the milk unprotected from any contamination that occurs following the pasteurization process. If cows are fed on outdoor pasture, kept in sanitary conditions, and are given no antibiotics, then there is no reason to pasturize milk. There will be little-to-no bad pathogens and, if there are any, then the good bacteria that exists in the milk will act as a defense. Raw milk contains good bacteria essential for a healthy digestive
    system, including a natural lactic-acid
    producing bacteria known as Lactobacillus acidophilus that, in addition to benefiting your intestinal tract, fights against bad bacteria. Raw milk also sours naturally, turning into a healthy substance used for yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream.

    Pasteurization only exists as an excuse to practice unsanitary factory farming methods!

    Pasteurization also changes the physical
    structure of the fragile proteins in
    milk (especially casein) and converts
    them into harmful proteins your body
    can’t handle. Pasteurization destroys all cancer fighting CLAs in milk. Pasteurization also causes lactose intolerance because it destroys lactase, which is essential for the body's digestion of milk.

    So, again, if you get milk from a good source (clean farm, cows fed pasture and NO grains, sanitary milking methods, no antibiotics), then drinking raw milk is the best things you can do. I've been an avid raw milk consumer and supporter for more than 5 years (and haven't even touched pasteurized milk for the same amount of time!). I have never gotten sick from the milk, if anything I have been healthier than ever. So do not just completely reject the idea.

    If you dig in the research, there is actually a lot of evidence out there about the dangers of pasteurization. And, it's kind of common sense. A lot of cultures still drink raw cow's and goat's milk. And it was only because farms grew so quickly, were producing in the cities, had poor animal nutrition and unclean production processes that pasteurization was introduced in 1908. Sometimes "innnovation" is not the best way to go, especially when the result is a dead, chemically-enhanced, boiled liquid.

  6. Steph u tell em i remember the days when the milk man delivered fresh milk in glass bottles with the cream on top
    like it was said in the movie IT SMELLS LIKE MONEY thats all it is greedy people with no regards to human life nor animals and our land
    back to the old days i say

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  9. There are also numerous food safety risks with consuming raw milk. I think that's why pasteurization was invented and is utilized, right?

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