Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Take on the Movie: Food, Inc. (part 1)

There has been quite a bit of talk about the movie: Food, Inc. lately. Even in some of the most unlikely circles that I run in. Since our family is on a quest to live a more agrarian life in the near future, a few have assumed that we have been influenced, at least in part, by what we saw on this movie. I will just say it now, Food, Inc. did nothing to bring about the changes we are making in our life. It did, however, make my stomach turn to think about eating fast food burgers ever again.

While I think that the movie did a good job on some points, I disagree with most of the movie's views. I will start with the good aspects I saw, hence the part 1 of this post. Part 2 will be my thoughts on why I disagreed with the movie. I'm sure to ruffle some feathers.

If anybody takes anything away from this film, my hope is that they were able to see just where their food comes from and realize that it is not a healthy model. I will not deny any of the cruel and filthy conditions that those animals shown in the movie had to endure so that we can eat. Most people are so disconnected from just how they get that nice juicy steak, or their trimmed boneless, skinless, chicken breast that it has promoted a lack of responsibility on their part. "Just get it to me nice and packaged up, but do NOT tell me how you do it." Is many people's thought. So, it was nice for the average "Joe" to get a small glimpse into the large corporation mass food industry.

I also thought the movie did a good job of showing just how some people think about how healthy food can be more expensive. The scene where they showed the family going through a drive thru because it was going to be cheaper than a healthy meal on the table was sad. Yes, an all organic diet can be more expensive than cheap, fast food. You can still eat healthier without going all organic though. While ideal, you have to provide the best food possible within your means.

I am a frugal zealot for sure. I do not spend a fortune on food for my family. Right now, my current food and household items budget is $400 a month for my family of 9. I still provide healthy food for my family. While I may not have picked up that head of fresh broccoli, I would have had two bags of frozen broccoli florets in my cart for the same price, if I was out of frozen broccoli from our own small, city, backyard garden. It is my hope that people saw how taking away the responsibility of providing our own food for our family has dumbed down some. Not all, but some. I also hope that it can bring about an awareness that can cause better choices when people buy the food that they are going to feed their families.

One last positive I saw in the movie, was meeting with Joel Salatin and seeing a piece of his farm. We are fans of his methods in this house. I really don't want to get into why I believe what I do about Joel Salatin and Polyface Farms right now, because I have that reserved for another post. I know some do not agree with his practices, but I believe them to be some of the most God honoring, humane, and environmentally responsible i've seen.

I really don't want to sum anything up here until I explain why I do not agree with the movie. So, until part 2....


karen said...

Hi, I just found your blog and am very interested in what you have to say about keeping your grocery cost so low. My daughter has 4 children and very little money and could use some ideas! Just an FYI that the supermarket 101 button does not bring you to a blog, it brings you to a page with advertisers links. Do you have another way to share the info? Thanks!

Teresa said...

Karen, I have a series up in my sidebar called "$300 a month grocery budget series". Just click on that. I think I broke it into 7 different parts that go into great detail on just how I do it. Now I have since upped my grocery budget to $400, but it was due to some health issues that made me put aside couponing for now.

That supermarket savings is a very cheap ebook that teaches basically the same things I do. It was put together by Crystal Paine who runs

Anonymous said...

Teressa, In a pinch on laundry soap you can also just grate any old bar of soap it does wash the clothing. In old days a lady took a bar of home made soap down to the creek rubbed the soap on the clothing using the wash board and wash the clothing in this manner. My family has been trying to knock out a lot of debt. So when I run out of laundry soap and the stores do not have a great sale. I grate a bar of soap (almost always a free bar from years when we use to have money to travel, I still have the free bars of soap we brought home) I also use this grated soap in my soft soap containers just mix with water and shake!