Food Inc.: Summary & Facts

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  • 0:03 ''Food, Inc'': The Facts
  • 0:34 ''Food, Inc'': Summary
  • 3:14 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

The documentary 'Food, Inc.,' showing much of what really goes into the production and labeling of what Americans eat, earned the praises of viewers and the wrath of the food industry.

Food, Inc.: The Facts

How much do you think about what you eat? Do you know where your food comes from? The film Food, Inc. explores how the food we eat is produced and what that means for our health and society. This lesson will focus on the summary and facts of this documentary.

Food, Inc. was released in 2008. It was directed by Robert Kenner and narrated by Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, but didn't win. The film received a lot of positive press and good reviews.

Food, Inc.: Summary

The film Food, Inc. is set up in three parts. The first part examines the production of meat for consumption in the US, specifically looking at cows, chickens, and pigs. The second part deals with corn, soybeans, and plant production. The last part examines the legal and government response to the practices in the first two parts. The film explores the production of meat and plants and its legal ramifications through a series of interviews with people in the industries.

Meat Production

In the first segment of the film, the light is on the production of meat for human consumption, in particular the chicken, beef, and pork we eat on a daily basis. The filmmakers visited two chicken farms, where the viewers are shown the differences in raising chickens for food today and years ago. The practices, according to the film, are cruel to both the animals and the farmers involved.

In the part about pork and beef production, the film tells the story of two-year-old Kevin, who died from eating a hamburger contaminated with e. coli. The corn most cows are fed and the contaminated feed lots where they live before being slaughtered are contributing to outbreaks of disease and making people sick. Kevin's mother Barbara has become an activist for safer, more humane conditions. The film also highlights how few companies are actually contributing to the meat market, explaining that around 80 percent of the nation's beef production is controlled by just four companies.

Corn and Soybeans

In the second segment, the film recounts how corn production is not only subsidized by the government but is putting our health and welfare at risk. The myriad of products that contain corn are shown, as well as the reason behind feeding corn to cows, even though the risks are known.

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