Sunday, November 29, 2009

Food EEEEEK! Review

Nick and I watched Food Inc. on Thanksgiving (after we ate our meals). Like we expected, the movie was fantastic and it really put things into perspective. Was it a good perspective? Not so much, but boy am I glad we watched it.

What's scarier?




Don't answer that please.

After watching Food Inc., my vote would have to be for A (the obese man chowing down on a fast food burger). I already knew the crap we buy at Taco Bell, McDonald's, KFC, etc. was exactly that, CRAP. But what I didn't know was how the animals were treated and how unsanitary and unethical the farming practices were. It's so sad, to say the very least. And our government is actually so greedy and pathetic, they are doing nothing about these practices, in fact they are enabling them!

I'm not anti-government, but this movie really made me wonder what really goes on in here.....

Bottom line: This movie taught me that there is more than just health-related reasons to not eat fast food and many of the junk we find at grocery stores, there are also moral and political reasons not to do it, and I don't want to pump any more money into those companies. I'm not going to promise never to eat some of those products ever again, but I am going to be more cognisant of my decisions.

The information regarding the feeding practices of the cows (Ruminants) was very interesting. I don't know that we should assume that all grass fed animals are more safe and healthy, but they did provide an excellent argument. I'd like to read more about this. Keep in mind, however, there have been foodborne illness outbreaks in Organic foods as well (Salmonella in organic peanut butter) and also local stores that we'd assume were "safe" (Trader Joe's beef was recalled just about a month ago).

Bottom Line: I'll continue to buy the protein products that I buy (non grass fed) but I am not against looking into some grass fed, local protein products. I would be more willing to give it a shot now that I have learned more about the potential benefits of grass fed animal products.

The statistic that literally shocked me the most was that; "Of all the people born after the year 2000, 1 in 3 Americans will have Type II Diabetes, and 1 in 2 minorities will have Type II Diabetes". We've got a serious mission to conquer here. Let's make sure that statistic turns out to be false. Who's with me??

One of my favorite segments was with the man who worked for Stonyfield. He said something really fantastic. Basically their initial goals for their business was to sell their products to those who weren't necessarily interested, simply to get them to like it. After some struggles they realized that in order to "reach the masses" they needed to start marketing towards those who were already sold on the product. Building business by word of mouth is the best way to go. Eventually other people heard about their great product and started trying it for themselves. Same thing with organic products, in general. You can find them now at Walmart! Why? Word of mouth caused people to start buying them and now they are being requested!

Bottom Line: Buy organic when you can. I know it's expensive, trust me, but if you see a sale on an organic item that you would like to try, buy it! Every purchase helps make organic foods a bigger, and cheaper business. And that's what I do. I don't let the high prices hold me back, I just don't waste my money on other junk so I am able to make those purchases.

I would like to end this little review with a quote from an article in the LA Times. This article, which isn't available online anymore, focused on how a healthy diet can have a tremendous positive effect on your immune system.

"The human body doesn't have to be starving to suffer malnutrition. Studies show that obesity, in addition to its other health risks, may also make people more susceptible to infections like the flu. A diet heavy on processed and fast foods may be low in the vitamins and minerals important for health."

If you didn't read this post, I am going to be posting 5 random things I learned this year as part of every other post, from now until January. I know I skipped it last time, just pretend I didn't....

Five Random Things I've Learned This Year

- Wierd is spelled Weird

- Becomming is spelled Becoming

- Buying bagged popcorn is a waste of money, the kernels last longer and are much cheaper

- My IBS actually effects my mood and my life in a negative way, therefore I am doing something about it.

- Trader Joe's is the best grocery store ever (I just started shopping there this year!)

Thanks for reading everyone! Have a fantastic day.


  1. I saw Food, Inc. just a few weeks ago. It was an eye-opener and a jaw dropper all wrapped into one very well executed film.

    My eating habits haven't changed much, but some of my buying habits have. I try to buy local and organic foods more frequently.

  2. Around here, the negative moments caused by IBS are known as "IBS-isodes"!

  3. I've never seen the movie ... I'm afraid!

  4. I agree with you about IBS and Trader Joes- the first sucks the second is great haha.

    Thanks for the review on the movie. I want to watch it at some point but I'm a little scared.

  5. Haha, love the "wierd = weird" fact :-D

    Trader Joe's IS amazing!!

  6. I like your review and your takeaways.

    We hardly eat out anymore and buy a lot more organic produce and meat (we also eat less meat and focus more on plant based protein). I actually don't think we spend more money overall because we are saving so much money by not eating out. For example, it's so much cheaper to make organic bean and cheese burritos with homemade salsa at home, than to go to a fast food restaurant and buy food for four people. And it's a lot healthier.

    I do realize that it's not always possible to buy organic, and it's not always possible to be "perfect." I think it's all about making the best possible choices at this point in our life. You are so right, we can make a difference.

  7. They need to start subsidizing health food rather than just the crops that fill junk food. Organic food should be made standard, without jacked prices that make people want to avoid buying organic items. Hopefully one day agriculture and the food industry will move this way!

  8. I did not finish watching food inc yet, but I did and did not agree with some things they showed. I did not like that it took a far extreme and ran with it. I did not like how it made everyone other than the big head honcho look like they were to blame.

    The smaller farms do fuel that fire too and finding the one or 2 that wanted to speak out and try to look like they are being bullied by all the big wigs really does not show the big picture. I thought it was too narrow minded and was just showing what they wanted to show to make a point. And although this is how we prove a point, it makes everyone biased. I mush prefer a big all out debate because trust, both sides will always be wrong about something. I do agree with the portrayal of the harm, pain and torture that is placed on animals, but unfortunately our own people are to blame for this. If we never bought into bigger and better a long time ago, thinkwould still be done the old fashioned way (like here on the island). A farmer has a few cows, he slaughters them and sells them in his butcher shop. But, the companies have also adapted to what the consumer wants (although yes at times they have placed this in our tiny little heads).

    So I personally do not think all the blame is to be given to the big companies. We as a society wanted to not waste money therefore leading to more shelf stable foods, things that don't spoil, and thus a need was created for preservatives and transfats. Too bad little research at that time could have predicted what this would do to our health down the road. Sorry for my rant, but I had to give my 2 cents!

    I did like the movie, but I just hate when things overly bash on something since you know something is being left out of the story. I like science and sometimes emotions block that. Well, that's it, I'll shut up now, hehe. Oh, have you read Food Politics by Marion Nestle. Great book. I did my internship in the DC area so I had lots of exposure to political things and even visited the USDA. There's always 2 sides to a coin. I am just lucky to have the experience here of all free range and organic.

    Ah, and organic does not always mean healthy (except when we are thinkng prodcue). I have had clients load up on organic foods only to realize that "organic" sugar is still sugar and should not be consumed in excess. You would be surprised how much juice a parent will let a child drink when it is organic versus a non organic juice. Organic cake is still cake and so I like to remind clients of this. You can overeat on plenty of organic foods masquerading as healthy.

  9. hahahahaha "food eeeek" that's hilarious dude.

    i haven't seen it! and i don't know if i will. i don't eat fast food to begin with and i just don't know if i wanna watch it after all the reviews i've seen. it doesn't sound pleasant haha and it's so wrong of me to avoid it bc of that but it's whatev haha

    1 random thing i just learned:

    pleasant is not spelled plesent or plesant..

  10. I haven't watched this movie yet but it's in my "que" and I can't wait! I love learning about this and finding small, sustainable changes I can continue making. A teacher of mine once said "every time you buy something, you're voting for that" so I always try to remember that as my barcode is scanned and what exactly I'm voting for!

  11. I saw the movie and agree with everything you said. However, I will add that it angers me that it takes movies like this and other movies like Sicko, Bowling For Columbine, etc...for people to actually notice what's going on in our government. It's not new news. People just need to watch BBC News, Rachel Maddow, or any of the various news shows that are available every night for free on cable to discover this information. The Daily Show and Colbert Report have even been reporting on these issues for quite some time now. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Food Inc has grabbed people's attention. I just wish people paid better attention to what's going on in our country. Maybe corporations wouldn't be able to get away with the things they do if it didn't take a movie to get people to notice.
    Sorry for the long comment, it's just something that annoys me.

    p.s. Thank you for your supportive comment on my post earlier today. I think we could relate on quite a few issues with relationships and blogging. I might shoot you an email later on today or tomorrow if you don't mind.

  12. I requested the book from the library. I think I'll have my parents watch Food, Inc. over Christmas because my dad gives me so much crap about buying anything organic and it annoys the crap out of me!

    And re: Type 2 diabetes...this is a HUGE reason why I am so passionate about my job. As scary as obesity is, more people are willing to "treat" their diabetes than they are their obesity. Does that even make sense? Anyways, I just feel like my presence in the diabetes world will only become more valuable the deeper and deeper we sink into this obesity epidemic. Scary and sad, but I want to be a part of preventing diabetes-related complications and deaths.


  13. So glad you watched and enjoyed Food, Inc. and also learned a lot about the food industry. It really opened my eyes last summer, and I've tried to make some changes in my eating habits to reflect that. I think local meat is almost better than organic sometimes. If it's organic but shipped halfway across the country, it might be hormone-free but is still harmful to the environment. A lot of times produce from local farms is organic, but the small farmers don't have enough money to become USDA organic certified. I think the movement is shifting toward local vs. organic food. And you're right...just because animals are grass-fed doesn't mean that they are grown in sanitary conditions. Usually locally farmed animals are, but it just depends.

    Great review! Hope you have a good week!

  14. Thanks for the link on that article! I wish I could get more of my diabetic friends off the couch - one girl in particular (who works with my sister) ignores her diabetes altogether because "it's too hard to manage."

    She's 24 and her blood sugar levels are in the high 300's! I emailed her and told her that she has to do something now before the damage is done, but it isn't sinking in. :(

  15. i love this post... first of all, i want to see food, inc. so badly! the problem is, as much as i want to buy organic- realistically i know that i will probably occasionally still enjoy some mcdonalds and i dont know if i want to feel guilty about it? and i lOVE the pic of u haha very cute..& also the weird/wierd thing..that's great

  16. trader joes is the best store everrrr!!!

    I spell so many words wrong too! some are really tricky to remember!!
    i still have to see food inc!!

  17. Such important points about food and the food industry... The statistic about diabetes is terrifying!! I'm definitely with you on banding together to do something about this! The example of Stonyfield is a perfect one - let's keep spreading the word of healthy eating across the web and to everyone we know! *high five* :-)

    I love your list of things you've learned! I'm learning quite a bit from your spelling items - I spell weird as "wierd" all the time! :-) I'm glad I'm not the only one! :-)

  18. Guess I've been living under a rock, I had'nt heard about Food Inc. Thanks for the heads up!

  19. So glad you watched Food Inc! If you're a reader, I would highly suggest Michael Pollen's books "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food". I read them at the ripe age of 17, and boy, they changed my life. Food Inc. is just a reiterating the books basically. Loved them all!

    Scary- but still, loved them.
    Also: I lived in a TINY town in TX this summer, and thanks to WalMart I could eat greek yogurt without driving 1 hour to get it! Stoneyfield has gone to great lengths and I highly appreciated it in my little adventure living in TX.

  20. hahah loved that picture!! the fat man is def scarier.
    i havent seen food inc!! i should see it tho-it sounds interesting and i know id love it.
    gah, i so wish i had a trader joes here! id be ALL over it!

  21. Ha I love the pic...too cute =)

    I seriously have to watch this movie...I might be the last foodie who has not seen it =/

  22. I like your take on the movie. I think the important thing is to be informed- whether it comes from a movie or from the news, scholarly articles, whatever! Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to the foods we put in our bodies.

    On another note, your picture is way too cute!

  23. I loved your practical, non-extremist and realistic perspective on that movie. I can always count on you for bringing both sides to view and give a down-to-earth conclusion. Personally, I get irritated by people who take the extreme side and go all "rah-rah, government is EVIL and all who eat farmed products are cows".

    I do agree that some things need to change, but realistically, many of us can't afford all organic and grass-fed meat.

    I think the movie is a great attention-seeker, and a kick in the gut, but change won't happen overnight.

  24. I have got to see that movie! I only buy grass fed and cage free or free roaming meat...funny it sounds like I mean still roaming .... Anyway, Mallard does not care what the animal ate or did when it was alive as long as it's dead when he gets it lol. So, his shopping is a different story.

  25. I haven't watched the movie yet. ( I know I should but what's not urging me to do so is that I probably can imagining what I'm going to see... but as you say, one thing is imagining or knowing something, another is to actually see it and get impressed).
    you just realized that IBS affects life quality? I learned that many many years ago! :( such a bummer that we suffer this. hope your new diet guideline helped (let us know if it does).

  26. I haven't seen the movie yet, but your review does make it seem a lot like the same type of stuff in the omnivore's dilemma. That being said I now know I need to get the Husband to watch it with me, as he won't read that book.

    I love your list of 5 things! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble spelling! ;)

  27. Great review! I have got to see this movie. Those are some startling statistics about diabetes!

  28. I've been dying to see this because I heard the passionate Joel Salatin is it a bunch. I tried to go see him speak last year and had something came up at the last minute. My BF read his book "pastured poultry profits" and loved it. Our food complex is slowly heading in the right direction, just keep on voting with your grocery dollars!

  29. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  30. I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm interested in it since I have heard nothing but good things. Anyway the "Of all the people born after the year 2000, 1 in 3 Americans will have Type II Diabetes, and 1 in 2 minorities will have Type II Diabetes" stat is scary to think of but the way that things are headed it doesn't surprise me.

  31. I recently went to a seminar regarding our environment, eating organic, as well as the treatment of animals. It has become so much of an industry and it doesn't seem to matter if these animals have a good life while alive.
    I try to buy organic as much as possible and have tried cutting back on my meat consumption.

    It is good that these movies come out to make the public more aware. Interesting post!

  32. Thank you for the insightful review and for the conversation it spurred. This is one of those posts where the comments are as interesting as the initial post.

  33. I reeeaalllly need to see Food Inc! Thanks for posting your review. And for making me laugh with your 5 randmon things :)

  34. I'm another person who hasn't watched Food Inc yet. I really need to get on the band wagon!

  35. PS.. thanks for the hair tip!! never thought about the water thing!! your hair is beautifully curly!

  36. I so need to watch that movie sounds so thought provoking is that red velvet cake !!

  37. Which fast food chain has the nastiest burger of all time? A special consumer report. Worst Fast Food Burger Ever

  38. I loved Food Inc and it has definitely inspired me to eat a more plant/bean based diet as opposed to beef/chicken. I love trying new recipes and products I have never tried before (tofu, etc).

  39. I definitely found Food Inc to be an interesting movie. I was sad though, when I went to see it, that I was only one of 4 people in the theatre. Hardly getting your message out there if that's the audience you have. Fair enough, this was the second showing, at a small theatre, only matinee, but still. All of these kinds of articles and movies just make me wonder how similar or different our food system is here in Canada in comparison.