Super Food, Inc.

I had two attempts at breakfast this morning. The first involved a packet of Green SuperFood, which is supposed to be mixed into a beverage or smoothie, but I was in the mood for oatmeal this morning. And, as you know, I will try anything once in my oats. 😉 IMG_2664

Verdict: Terrible!

Do NOT add Green SuperFood to your oats! The end result to not pretty and tastes horrible. I absolutely hate wasting food, but I had no other choice but to toss my oats. I took a few bites hoping that the banana and almond butter would mask the flavor, but they didn’t.

Of course, I will give the Green SuperFood another try, but next time, I will consume it as intended!
IMG_2670Attempt #2 at breakfast turned out much better. I toasted a couple slices of Arnold Grains & More Double Active 100% Whole Wheat Bread and topped them with almond butter and banana slices. IMG_2682Much better! 😀
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Food, Inc. Review

Wow. I will never look at food the same way again. Well, I suppose that’s the goal (and slogan) of Food, Inc., right? Well, Robert Kenner definitely changed the way I will forever view food.

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Food, Inc. left me feeling all sorts of emotions– surprised, disappointed, disgusted, saddened. (I was almost in tears listening to Kevin’s mother tell their story.) Of course, it was an eye-opening film, but I had no idea how much it would change my thinking.

For those who haven’t heard about Food, Inc., it is a documentary that examines the current state of food production in the US. In particular, it emphasizes mass-produced meat and processed foods and highlights critical issues all across the spectrum: families that can’t afford fresh fruit, but eat Burger King instead; farmers who are left with no choice but to purchase genetically modified seeds or risk litigation from big business companies; pitch-dark, overcrowded chicken coops and incredibly inhumane treatment of cows and pigs. Food, Inc. makes it apparent that these problems run deep, but surprisingly, the film’s message seems hopeful.

What I found especially interesting:

  • Grocery stores are seemingly all about variety, but much of the food is made from one ingredient: corn
  • The average chicken farmer has borrowed $500,000 dollars (from Purdue, Tyson, etc.) to run their coops and is paid about $18,000 per year.
  • 1 in 3 people born after 2000 will develop diabetes.
  • Monsanto, an enormous agriculture company that dominates soybean production, also created DDT and Agent Orange.
  • 75% of supermarket products contain some sort of GMOs.
  • Seemly healthy/organic brands are owned by larger companies like Kraft, General Mills, Pepsi, etc. and may not produce their products responsibly.

So much is covered in Food, Inc. It’s definitely a film that you need to see for yourself, but if you’d like to read some reviews about it, I encourage you to check out Rose’s review and Julie’s review. Rose does a great job of explaining important ideas, themes, and moments that spoke to her throughout the film. Julie gives a very detailed recap with interesting tidbits from the movie mixed in.

So, after seeing Food, Inc., I have redefined my thinking about how, what, and why I eat. It has also inspired me to change my lifestyle in a number of ways:

  • Eat more locally.
  • Do not take food for granted.
  • Pay attention to food policies. Be more aware, in general.
  • Eat minimally processed foods.
  • Eat less meat and pay attention to where it comes from.

No matter what your opinions are on food, I encourage you to see this movie. It will enlighten you and make you think twice about where your food comes from and how it affects your healthy and well-being. It will also make you want to do something about it. As the movie says, you can change the system 3 times a day.

Feel Great Weight

Check out my newest post on Health.com: 5 Ways to Stick to Your Diet and Still Keep Your Sweet Tooth

Question of the Day

If you have seen Food, Inc., what did you find most shocking about the film? If you have not seen it, what do you find most interesting about the food production industry?

77 Comments

  1. I have not seen Food, Inc., but I have seen several movies like this. It can be shocking the first time you see something like that. Please check out tofu products also. I love the choc. amazing grass green superfoods, it is the best one on the market. Hubby and I have tried a lot of them. Yesterday, I made some bars and put the superfood in them and they turned out great. Have a great day and this was a super post.

    Thanks,

    Pam
    http://www.alovefornewrecipes.blogspot.com

  2. I have not seen Food, Inc but now I really want to. I saw your post on it last night and looked it up–there has not been any commercials on tv about it, so I had no idea it existed. I cannot wait to see it though!

    haha, thanks for the warning about the green superfood in oatmeal. I bet it was real bitter and grainy tasting in the oats…it is MUCHO better in smoothie form! I want to try the chocolate superfood–have you tried that?

  3. I find it most suprising that people would rather remain oblivious to what goes on behind the closed doors of animal slaughterhouses, feedlots, coops, and processing plants. I don’t think anyone would eat meat if they had to spend a day in a slaughterhouse. After reading about some of the horror stories I am now a wild-caught only pescatarian!

  4. I saw Food, Inc. a few weeks ago and it definitely caused me to pay more attention to what I’m eating. It breaks my heart that families are choosing fast food over vegetables – merely because Burger King is cheaper! I recently started volunteering with City Harvest because proper childhood nutrition and alleviating hunger is something I feel very passionate about. Have a good Wednesday!

  5. I really want to see Food Inc. I just haven’t made it to the theater yet. Thanks for the review.

    I’m not impressed with the Amazing Grass products…. they’re fine if you can really mask the flavor in a smoothie but otherwise… bleh.

  6. I haven’t seen food inc. yet but I did watch another documentary called “the future of food” which was also really interesting. You can actually watch it on Hulu.com. They talk a lot about Monsanto and genetically modified food. It’s so sad how Monsanto is taking advantage of farmers and frightening how one company can control so much of what we put into our bodies. I was also shocked to learn how people/companies are patenting seeds and genes. How can you patent nature?

  7. I want to see that movie! Those are all principles I am trying to apply in my diet already and I’m sure the film will be even more eye opening. I want the skeptics to see it too!

  8. I’m going to see the movie tomorrow and can’t wait. I’ve aready modified my eating habits by eating organic, eating less processed food, and eliminating meat. I think seeing this movie will make it easier for me to make wise choices.

  9. I definitely want to see this movie. Another movie somewhat similar you should see is “King of Corn”. It’s about how corn is in EVERYTHING. It is not has graphic sounding as Food, Inc but is defintely worth a view.

    I also agree on the super greens, I added it to water one day, and could barely swallow it, it was ick!! maybe in a shake with more sweet things like fruit, it could work, maybe…..

  10. oh man, that breakfast doesn’t even look appetizing, and i usually love everything green!

    i’m seeing the movie on friday and really can’t wait. i already believe in eating locally, and i’m aware of the terrible things going on in the meat and dairy industries. but there is a lot that i’m interested in learning. i think your idea of being “more aware in general” is where we should all start. whether health is a focus or not, so many of us just eat what we find in the grocery store, without thought to where it came from or what might be in it. i think a generally raised state of awareness, where people ask questions rather than blindly trusting what they’re told, is the key to change. it will be interesting to see if the film has the effect it should.

  11. I haven’t seen it, but living in Europe and traveling a lot has opened my eyes to more local eating, and having a husband who grew up in a farming family and saw small farms wiped out by conglomerations has made us avid supporters of farm markets, local wine etc. Its more expensive, but in the long run I feel like its a community and health investment.

  12. I have not seen Food, Inc., and probably will not be able to as it is not playing anywhere remotely close to me. I really have mixed emotions about some of the things that I have heard about the movie; especially the attacks and negativity on Monsanto. My mixed emotions stem from the fact that my dad is a cash crop farmer and uses Round-Up Ready soybean seed purchased from Monsanto. If it were not for this technology, farming would not be nearly as profitable for my family (it is my parents only source of income and they only farm about 1500 acres.)

    That said, I do try to purchase organic produce, and think that too many chemicals are used in farming…but I can also see the other side of it, too.

  13. Thanks for the shout-out. It seems that some of the ideas you took away from the movie were in line with mine…. can you even believe it? I am still pretty shocked at what I saw in that film. I’ve been frantically searching places where I can buy chicken – farms and whatnot. I don’t want to give up meat, but I can’t eat that meat anymore. Not after seeing that. Thankfully, my grandparents own a farm so I’m going to try and buy a “share” of meat from them soon.

    Great review!

  14. That’s so funny that you did that (adding Super Food to your oats) because I was literally JUST thinking about doing that. Good to know though so I don’t waste!

    PS – Your “Recipe” section saved me last night and I was successfully able to “bake away the blues” 🙂

  15. “Food, Inc.” has been on our list to see for a while, now. I’ve done quite a bit of reading/research in this area myself already, so it may not be much new news for me, but the more we can get the message out there, the better! I’ve tried so hard to reduce the amount of processed foods we consume, and every week gets a little better!

    Let me know if you want an awesome homemade granola recipe that will help kick the breakfast cereal habit!! 🙂

  16. I haven’t seen Food, Inc, but I just put saved it to my netflix queue so we can watch it when it’s out on DVD. I have seen another documentary whose name escapes me that was also all about Monsato and lobbyists and genetically modified food…scary! I go to the farmer’s market in the summer and try to buy stuff locally, I buy organic quite a bit, and I’ve been a vegetarian for 16 years…but it’s always good to try to do more!

  17. that stinks about breakfast! the second one looks good, though 🙂

    I still haven’t seen the movie since it’s not playing here, but I’m enjoying reading the reviews!

  18. I can’t wait to watch Food, Inc!! When I read Fast Food Nation, what I really couldn’t believe was all those “flavors” that are concocted and added to so many processed foods.

    The best “superfood” drink I have EVER had is Chocolate Shakeology. It tastes like chocolate cake batter but it insanely healthy. It has everything that Green Superfood has and then some. I have to drink it every day or I go crazy! haha

  19. I really want to see that film, but it’s not out in my area yet. I’m actually referencing an article on it for a research paper I’m currently writing on sustainable agriculture! One thing I think is very interesting is how Monsanto and other big agriculture corporations are making farmers so dependent on their seeds and fertilizers, even patenting genes so they have to pay royalties for seeds they’ve used for generations. Farmers in India have been caught in a vicious cycle of debt due to this dependence, and it has led to mass suicides there. It is unbelievable that it continues to be allowed.

  20. 🙂 You are so brave!! the amazing grass stuff scares me!

    I haven’t seen food inc but I’m super interested! Thanks for you review!

  21. Aw sorry about your oats, they don’t look too appetizing! One time I attempted to add avocado to mine but I think I burned it or something and had to throw it out. It was horrible!

    Love your Food, Inc review. I want to see it so bad but it’s not in my area!

  22. I have seen Food Inc. and read two of Pollan’s books that touch on the subject.
    The piece that I found most shocking was the story of the family that claimed the could not afford or have time for healthy food. I feel as though this is an issue for many families in America in these hard economic times. Whenever I see this issue I just want to shout, beans! Healthy and Cheap! I wish there were educational materials on inexpensive meals for stuggling families so they did not have to rely on fast food.

  23. Ugh sorry about the breakfast, at least you were home and were able to have something else, it would have been terrible if you stuck at work without anything else.
    I need to see that movie!

  24. I haven’t seen the film yet, but am dying to. I really want my husband to see it too, because even though he agrees in general with our philosophy of not eating highly-processed, HFCS, genetically-modified foods, etc., I think that seeing it on the screen would really drive the point home.

    It’s true that we really do “vote with our dollars” – if we don’t spend money on the “crap” food, we’re making a stand.

  25. I can’t wait to see the movie! I’m going to one of the free screenings in Coolidge Corner next week: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/dishing/2009/07/see_food_inc_fo.html

    I am actually interested in who the suppliers are for Trader Joe’s. While everything is branded as being from Trader Joe’s, I think their business model revolves around getting discounted items from suppliers we are already familiar with. I discovered this while doing a project for my MBA program, but was asked to keep the supplier information confidential. However, what other producers sell their products through Trader Joe’s?

  26. Thanks for the synopsis. I’m glad this movie is bringing these topics out in the open. If you’re interested I would highly recommend the book The Way We Eat. You can actually get the audio book from the Boston Public Library, it dives into a lot of the same topics in detail and is very well written. I completely agree with everyone else in that it’s my personal perogative to remain informed. What I particularly like about The Way We Eat though is that it highlights that everything is not a cut and dry decision and that sometimes even things that seemingly are the best choice (i.e. buying local) may not actually save any energy over having food trucked in. Obviously then it all comes down to making choices based on your own personal principles (I still buy local even though the energy savings may not be as big as I would hope). It’s definitely a complex issue and one that like so much in America is driven by money.

  27. I have not yet seen Food Inc, but am in the midst of reading Micheal Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and I have a feeling a lot of the messages are the same. I was amazed to learn in the book how the corn industry came to be and how messed up our agriculture system is in this country. I am glad the message is starting to get out, but still sad how the cheapest foods are usually the most unhealthy. Great review!

  28. Unfortunately Food Inc. isn’t playing by me yet, but I hope that it will be soon! I am thrilled that people are starting to be aware of the problems in the food industry (esp the meat and dairy industries in particular) – I’m so sick of telling people about this, and about why I don’t eat meat, and they think I’m nuts…

  29. I can’t wait to see it! Great review. I don’t eat meat and try to eat local. I also try to avoid packaged foods/processed foods. Shop the outer edge of the grocery store and farmer’s markets in the summer. I am glad your 2nd breakfast was better:)

  30. I work at a health food store and the Rep for amazing grass said she uses the chocolate amazing grass in her oats and she LOVES it. My manager gave it a try and he loved it too!

  31. I have not seen the movie but I have read Omnivore’s Dilemna, In Defense of Food, Mindless Eating, etc and I try to stick to the 5 ingredients or less rule with processed food or at least, ingredients I know and understand. The “free range” hormone-free chicken you get in a supermarket is anything but.

  32. I cant wait to go see this movie and take my husband who thinks I am SOOO crazy about all of this stuff!

    Green oats. I give you credit for trying!!!! 🙂

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