Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Reaction Post to Food, Inc

If you've never heard of it, Food, Inc. is a really great 2008 documentary about the things food producers don't want consumers knowing about, like the way meat is produced and packaged and the government subsidies that run the food industry.  I absolutely recommend that everyone watch it.  If you have Netflix, it's available on the instant queue, and I'm sure there's places to find it online as well if you do some searching.

Anyway, I was happy to note that my boyfriend watched it with me from beginning to end.  He sometimes has a hard time getting really fired up about social issues the way I do because they're often so distant and nebulous.  He cares about real people and concrete things much more than ideas.  So I think it was extremely helpful for him to get to see the individual stories and really understand how these things affect real people.

I already knew a lot of the information covered by the documentary, but some parts of it were really shocking.  The worst part might be the human rights violations on behalf of the big businesses.  It was also heartbreaking to see the low-income family struggling with feeding themselves on their low budget and turning to fast food as a solution.  I know exactly how that feels.  I've been there.  And that really underscored, for me, the importance of what I'm trying to do here.

I can't solve everyone's problems.  On my own, I can only do so much.  But if something I say can in any way inspire a few people to make some changes that affect their life, then it's worth it.  If I can help people figure out how to eat responsibly and sustainably on a miniscule budget, then maybe fewer people will be faced with the fast food dilemma.

The other thing that really fascinated (and repulsed) me from the documentary was the sheer amount of political power that the big corporations have.  It's something that always makes me uncomfortable, and it strengthens my resolve even more to make my stand against consumerism.  Yes, we have to live as a part of this world, and it may be impossible to bring down the whole capitalist system at once -- but we do our small part every day, and those things really do add up.  It might not seem like we have much power as consumers, but in fact we are the power.  Without consumers, the entire system collapses.  It's our job to find the better way and forge that path.

Anyway.  As you can tell, I'm all hyped up and ready to change the world, which is always a great place (emotionally) to be.  If you've seen Food, Inc., drop me a line and tell me what you thought!  If you haven't seen it yet, I really recommend it.  It's well worth the couple hours of time. 

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