Food Inc Notes

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1. Facts that you are surprised by, think important, or are suspicious of.;

2. Questions raised by the movie;

3. Claims or thesis that the movie's documentary evidence seems to support.

Notes for Food, Inc.

  • Agrarian images in supermarkets are ideological. Conceal reality of food production. 47,000 products in supermarket.
  • Fast food industry -- factory system in kitchen. unintended consequence: fast food determines features of market.
  • Concentration of markets in a few large corporations. Control of production for larger market. 70’s top 5 meat packers: 25% 2008: top 4 80%. Not as much diversity as supermarket labels imply.
  • Chicken Industry. (8 mins)
  • industrial chicken design: lots of breast meat and quick growth. 48 days vs. 70. (Hurricane Florence: 1.7 million chickens drowned.)
  • 10min Vince Edwards (300,000 chickens): "Smells like money to me!" economics of industrial chicken ag. health issues. transparency issues: Tyson refused to allow cameras in.
  • Carole Morison - dissenter - 15:28. Bones can keep up with growth and weight. Connect selection by price to chickens that can’t walk. Loses contract.
  • price of commercial vs. Organic chicken: [1]
  • Corn Story - Pollan. 17mins
  • industrial foods as rearrangements of corn -- from 20 bushels an acre to 200 (I wonder what yield is for a modern organic corn field?).
  • 30% of landbase to corn. Troy Raush. Corn produces below cost due to gov't subsidies. Foreign policy and commodity crops. Commodity crops can be stored.
  • Food scientists: Larry Johnson. 20mins HFCS. Defining “industrial eating”. Making fish eat corn. Corn and effect on meat prices. Gov’t subsidy of meat. 200 pounds of meat per person per year in US. 22 mins. CAFOs -- shit everywhere. Slaughter rate 400 cows an hour.
  • Jack in the Box Ecoli Story, gastric window segment, fewer inspections. Concentration of slaughterhouses, from 1,000 to dozens. A modern hamburger has bits of lots of cows in it. 35 minutes - segment from modern hamburger processing factory.
  • Kevin's Law - victim of Jack-in-Box event - 37min industrial meat plants footage. Making your burgers safe without removing fecal content. Ammonia and ammonia hydroxide.
  • Family segment - fast food as a family economic choice. 39mins. Lots of calories for $12. Diabetes as a social justice issue. Lower income citizens have higher rates of diabetes.
  • Joel Salatin Show -- Polyface Farms - 44 mins. - "honest food" includes externalities. speech on not maximizing growth to preserve food integrity (very interesting topic). Customers complain about $3 dozen for eggs while drinking sodas. Back at 58mins
  • Hog Segment Smithfield processing plant (Tar Heel, North Carolina) - 55:44 32,000 / day recruiting from Mexico after dumping cheap corn there. Immigration control arrests workers who migrate to work in plants.
  • Organic Industry Story — Natural Products Expo — Gary Herschberg 1:00
  • Stonyfield -- hippie origins, now in Walmart.
  • 1900: farmer feeds 6-8 people, now 126. (There is a literature on yield comparison from industrial vs. Organic production. Montgomery's 2018 book, "Growing a Revolution
  • Monsanto and Seed Patents. - conventional seed culture. Roundup news: [2]
  • Moe Parr seed cleaner story-- 1996 2% patented seeds to 90% today. STory of Monsanto surveillance team. Back story: Land grant system for seed cultivation. Politics of industry/government revolving door. California case -- resistance to labeling of gmo animals.
  • Food libel Laws - back to mom who lost her son.
  • Oprah case - sued by meat industry for disparaging meat. Colorado criminalized food disparagement. Oprah spent a million to win. Moe Parr settles to limit legal bills and liability.
  • Food security -- sensitivity of food prices to oil. Dependence on monoculture. Global food price politics.
  • Closing political arguments: You vote every day with your food purchases. Salatin: What is we changed the measurement of success in food policy? ("regulatory capture" )