Food Inc. – Please Go Now.

I’m not the most polite person. But I am asking you please, please go see Food Inc. now.

It’s not that the movie has any revelations beyond Omnivore’s Dilemma or Fast Food Nation. It’s also not the most exciting movie you will see this year. In fact, you may gasp now and then.

But it could be the most important movie you see this year.

The reason is that the topic of sustainability in our food system is reaching a tipping point. The mainstream media has not caught on, but a few shooting stars are getting seen. Alice Waters has been everywhere in the past year. Michael Pollan is starting to be everywhere (did you catch him on Bill Mahr?).

By seeing this movie, you will help to get it distributed to more theaters. That’s how small films move. The money has to be there for the distributor to open up more markets. The buzz created can send it national and receive the attention it deserves.

So, even if you have read the books and already know your local farmers by name, or, if you’re remotely interested in learning more about corporate agri-business, processed foods, feedlot conditions, or, you’d like to put a face to the names like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms (what a character!) – go see the film.

A brief review: unfortunately the film suffers to comparison with Omnivore’s Dilemma, which is much more thorough on the subject. At times it felt like I was only getting a window into the massive problem. Still, the window that Food Inc. opens it incredibly important for reaching a greater mass of people who are completely unaware of what they are putting into their bodies and the resulting effects.

The film was beautifully shot and is supplemented with some of the best graphics I’ve seen in documentary filmmaking. The story holds up but gets a little jumpy here and there. There are plenty of impact moments, particularly with the story of Kevin’s law (I won’t give it away). You cannot walk away from this film feeling good about eating processed foods or corn-fed animals.

At the least, I hope this film inspires people to read the books for a more detailed understanding of the problem. It’s not that I am so compassionate towards others. I’ve often felt that if people want to wallow in their ignorance and gorge themselves on Pepsi and MacDonalds, so be it. But there are two issues with that. (1) People are unaware because there is deception. If our government produces food guidelines that benefit giant corporations, there is something very wrong. (2) The only way that my son will have better chance in the future is if there is a mass demand for sustainably produced food.

So, please, go see the movie. Put your thinking caps on. Read the books. There’s gonna be a lot more of this to come from me.