Most people can easily think of the last time they devoured a greasy cheeseburger or a thick, cheesy pizza. It is probably fresh in their memory because it was not too long ago. People eat without putting much thought to what happens behind the scenes. The consumers of America are not always informed properly when it comes to how or where their food is coming from. Food, Inc., a documentary produced by Robert Kenner, is aimed towards the American population in order for individuals to recognize the actions that the food industry is taking. The film shows different points of view between the farmers, scientists in labs, consumers and the animals. Cruel images and noises are played throughout the movie that disturbed many viewers. No one realizes what is happening to the animals that are becoming our source of food. In all fairness, consumers in America should be ensured with the truth regarding their foods quality. After watching the documentary, consumers may have a feeling of hate or feel disgusted towards the clips exposed. Food, Inc. conclusively implements strong visual aids, creating an unpleasant facade for the food industry that includes testimonies, and attempts to influence the American society regarding the truth behind the food industry.
In the opening clips of the documentary, there is an illusion of a business man walking through the fields to the factory placed in the background. This comes to show that our food is being produced in factories rather than farms (Kenner 24). In the article “The Pleasure Of Eating",” it emphasizes, “When food, in the minds of eaters, is no longer associated with farming and with the land, then the eaters are suffering a kind of cultural amnesia that is misleading and dangerous” (Berry 1). Our food is being modified by different authorities, like government agencies rather than real farmers. Knowing where our food is coming from is crucial. Americans need to become wiser when it comes to grocery shopping. Products that are labeled “hormone free” or “organic” are safer resorts. Buying from local farms is another solution to this rising problem. Eric Schlosser, an American author claims, “We have never had food companies this powerful in history.” Film makers try to warn the consumers in America. Views are perceived differently with the current reality. Cost efficiency plays a large role within large food companies; food is processed in larger quantities for a cheaper cost. This causes Americans to question those incharge of our food industry. When society thinks of food being produced, we picture a farmer on ranch rather than scientists in a lab or dead chickens on a conveyor belt. When Tyson was approached for an interview, they refused. After declining an interview, it only makes our society question what really goes on within this larger supplier that is producing our meat products. Many industries hire immigrant workers and replace them when once their help is not needed anymore. Food, Inc. states, “An average of 15 Smithfield workers who are illegal immigrants get arrested.” This was presented in the film to show how the food industry is controlling its workers and farmers. The narrorations and visuals paint a picture to the American people regarding the truth of the food industry. Evidence and claims are valid and supported in the ethical way all throughout the film. Author Eric Schlosser was a credible source that pointed out different pieces of information throughout the documentary screening.
The documentary made a comment right off the bat regarding where our food comes from. The narrator explains, “Food is coming from factories and not farms” (Food, Inc.). The visuals exploit feelings of bitterness as it implies the corruption of our government. Our food is being produced in factories on assembly lines. In the article “Why the Fries Taste Good” it claims, “Approximately ten thousand new processed food products are introduced every year in the United States” (Schlosser 24). The workers in factories are forced to work at a fast pace which comes to show our food is not prepared with the best effort. The main factor for companies is the money. Food, Inc. mentions, “McDonalds is the largest meat and potato buyer.” This shows consumers in America that McDonalds has a lot of control over our food business. To further emphasize, the conditions for the animals we eat are very poor and highly unsanitary. In the film, it is mentioned that the FDA reduced funding which does not give them the power to shut down factories where germs and bacteria are found (Food, Inc.). In further detail, the documentary tells us how corn is the main component in meat ingredients which boosts risks of E. Coli. The spread of E. Coli can hurt our society. It was said that, “200 pounds of meat is consumed by an average consumer” (Food, Inc.). This can be a problem because we consume food everyday and our chances of becoming ill are high. Many occurrences throughout the film showed how the strengths of the documentary are logical and alarming our society. The film consists of simple statistics, nonetheless, they are intended to reach Americans across the country to emphasize the importance of being educated on what they consume.
When we see animals being mistreated and hurt, we feel helpless. It affects us pathically. Although certain statistics can disturb a consumer, the images and clips presented throughout the documentary are horrid and sickening. The physical abuse, noises and dialogue throughout the film all appeal to our emotions. The film exposed recordings of animals being slaughtered while low-spirited tunes filled the background. Animals being tortured and killed were purposely shown to us for consumers to feel bad about what goes on in slaughterhouses just so Americans can happily eat meat. The audience was presented with clips from inside slaughterhouses and shadowy factories filled with dispirited laborers. Furthermore, an emotional message from a mother who lost her son 12 days after he consumed a burger from a fast food chain restaurant. It is a depressing and eye-opening video of a young boy who was killed by the disease E Coli. Because of the contaminated food, the young boy was unable to return back into his mother’s arms. Barbara Kowalcyk, the mother of the Kevin, began advocating to establishing new standards within companies throughout the nation. The mother explained, “To watch this beautiful child go from perfectly healthy to dead, from eating food.” The mother grieving over her son’s death could impact the millions of Americans. The pain the mother was going through was an eye opener for consumers to change and to come to realization of what the film producer is making.
The documentaries intentions is to resolve the corruption within today’s food industry and addressing the issue to Americans across the country. The clear target audience is the American consumers who are referred to quiet often in the film. Americans are the main impact on the food industry. The power held by the food industry leave the Americans hopeless. That is why our country needs a change. It is up to the American consumer’s to to fix the issue together. The obvious message is that change is possible. Daily purchases can affect the livestock we consume. If consumers make better choices when purchasing goods, we can change the world and the way food is being produced.