Food, Inc.

Synopsis: The current method of raw food production is largely a response to the growth of the fast food industry since the 1950s. The production of food overall has more drastically changed since that time than the several thousand years prior. Controlled primarily by a handful of multinational corporations, the global food production business - with an emphasis on the business - has as its unwritten goals production of large quantities of food at low direct inputs (most often subsidized) resulting in enormous profits, which in turn results in greater control of the global supply of food sources within these few companies. Health and safety (of the food itself, of the animals produced themselves, of the workers on the assembly lines, and of the consumers actually eating the food) are often overlooked by the companies, and are often overlooked by government in an effort to provide cheap food regardless of these negative consequences. Many of the changes are based on advancements in science and t
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Robert Kenner
Production: Magnolia Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 19 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
94 min

The way we eat

has changed more in the last 50 years

than in the previous 10,000.

But the image that's used

to sell the food,

it is still the imagery

of agrarian America.

You go into the supermarket

and you see pictures of farmers,

the picket fence, the silo,

the '30s farmhouse

and the green grass.

It's the spinning

of this pastoral fantasy.

The modern American


has on average

There are no seasons

in the American supermarket.

Now there are tomatoes

all year round,

grown halfway around the world,

picked when it was green,

and ripened

with ethylene gas.

Although it looks

like a tomato,

it's kind of

a notional tomato.

I mean, it's the idea

of a tomato.

In the meat aisle,

there are no bones anymore.

There is this deliberate veil,

this curtain,

that's dropped between us

and where our food

is coming from.

The industry doesn't want

you to know the truth

about what you're eating,

because if you knew,

you might not want to eat it.

If you follow

the food chain back

from those shrink-wrapped

packages of meat,

you find a very

different reality.

The reality is a factory.

It's not a farm.

It's a factory.

That meat is

being processed

by huge multinational


that have very little to do

with ranches and farmers.

Now our food is coming

from enormous assembly lines

where the animals and the workers are

being abused.

And the food has become

much more dangerous

in ways that are being

deliberately hidden from us.

You've got a small group

of multinational corporations

who control

the entire food system.

From seed

to the supermarket,

they're gaining

control of food.

This isn't just about what we're eating.

This is about what

we're allowed to say,

what we're allowed

to know.

It's not just our health

that's at risk.

The companies don't

want farmers talking.

They don't want

this story told.

How about a nice chicken club sandwich

made with fresh cooked chicken?

You know,

that's a nice idea,

but I think what

I'd really like

- is a burger.

- All right.

My favorite meal to this day

remains a hamburger

and french fries.

I had no idea that

a handful of companies

had changed what we eat

and how we make our food.

I've been eating

this food all my life

without having any idea

where it comes from,

any idea how powerful

this industry is.

And it was the idea

of this world deliberately

hidden from us.

I think that's one

of the reasons why

I became

an investigative reporter,

was to take the veil--

lift the veil away

from important subjects

that are being hidden.

The whole industrial food system

really began

with fast food.

In the 1930s,

a new form

of restaurant arose

and it was called

the drive-in.

The McDonald brothers had

a very successful drive-in,

but they decided

to cut costs and simplify.

So they fired

all their carhops,

they got rid of most

of the things on the menu

and they created

a revolutionary idea

to how to run

a restaurant.

They basically brought

the factory system

to the back

of the restaurant kitchen.

They trained each worker

to just do one thing

again and again

and again.

By having workers

who only had to do one thing,

they could pay them

a low wage

and it was very easy

to find someone to replace them.

It was inexpensive food,

it tasted good

and this McDonald's

fast food restaurant

was a huge

huge success.

That mentality

of uniformity,


and cheapness

applied widely

and on a large scale

has all kinds of

unintended consequences.

When McDonald's is

the largest purchaser

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Robert Kenner

Robert Kenner is an American film and television director, producer, and writer. Kenner is best known for directing the film Food, Inc. as well as the films, Command and Control, Merchants of Doubt, and When Strangers Click. In 2016, Kenner released Command and Control, a documentary of a 1980s nuclear missile accident in Arkansas, based on Eric Shlosser's award-winning book of the same name. The Village Voice wrote, “Command and Control is frightening for a whole pants-shitting list of reasons…morbidly fun to watch, in the manner of good suspense thrillers and disaster films.” In 2015, Kenner released Merchants of Doubt[2] inspired by Naomi Oreskes' and Erik Conway's book of the same name. The film explores how a handful of skeptics have obscured the truth on issues from Tobacco smoke, to toxic chemicals, to global warming. The Nation described Merchants of Doubt as "like a social-issues documentary by Samuel Beckett. You laugh as you contemplate everyone's doom". In 2011, Kenner released When Strangers Click for HBO. The film was nominated for an Emmy. The New York Times wrote, “Reserving judgment, the film beautifully explores the poignant nature of [one couple’s] ambivalence toward solitude.” In 2008, Kenner produced and directed the Oscar nominated, Emmy winning documentary film, Food, Inc., which examines the industrialization of the American food system and its impacts on workers, consumers, and the environment. Variety wrote that Food, Inc. “does for the supermarket what Jaws did for the beach.” In 2003, Kenner worked as co-filmmaker with Richard Pearce on The Road to Memphis for Martin Scorsese’s series, The Blues. Newsweek called the film, “the unadulterated gem of the Scorsese series.” Kenner has directed and produced numerous films for the award-winning PBS documentary series, American Experience including Two Days In October, which received a Peabody Award, an Emmy, and a Grierson award. Kenner has directed and produced several films for National Geographic including America’s Endangered Species: Don’t Say Goodbye, which received the Strand Award for Best Documentary from the International Documentary Association. Kenner has also directed a number of award-winning commercials and corporate videos for eBay, Hewlett Packard, Hallmark, and others. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Food, Inc." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 9 May 2021. <,_inc._8384>.

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