FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Food Inc

   
Author Topic: Food Inc
Alcon
Member
Member # 6645

 - posted      Profile for Alcon   Email Alcon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Shelly and I just watched this movie. It was my second viewing in the course of three days and her first.

We were already aware of the problems in our food system, but I hadn't previously been aware of the extent of them. Shelly's been reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver about her year living local. It's an excellent book and it inspired us to try to live more local. It inspired us to try and eat more out of the farmers market and to try and grow more of our own food. We started an indoor garden employing grow lamps.

However, after watching Food, Inc a couple of times I almost don't want to set foot in a grocery store. And I don't really trust any of my food. The system it reveals is worse than the system that existed when Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle.

For one thing, it extends far beyond the meat packing industry to the entire food system. Farmers can no longer save their own seed because a single corporation owns them. A single corporation, Monsanto, owns 90% of the soybeans produced in this country. Four corporations produce over 80% of the meat in this country out of a mere 13 slaughter houses. This isn't capitalism - this is monopoly. Where are the anti-trust regulators? Farmers can't even talk about the system for fear of losing their contract or being sued by the food corporations.

I'm nearly speechless. Even after two viewings I don't really know how to put what I've learned from it into words. Really, the movie says it best itself. Watch it.

And if you've already seen it, what do you think we can do to change this?

Posts: 3295 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This isn't capitalism - this is monopoly.
It's both. Monopoly, cartel, and monopsony are all intractable features of capitalism. And the Monsanto situation is not a monopoly of pure capitalism (that would be more like DeBeers), it's a monopoly of odd legislative favoritism.

The only thing you can really do to unseat Monsanto is to change that legislation, and put agricorps on a much tighter leash.

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/11/industrial-thanksgiving/
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Farmers can no longer save their own seed because a single corporation owns them.
Not if they use heritage breeds.

The only reason why they can't keep their own seeds is because when they purchased (licensed) the patented seeds, they agreed to not keep any of the seeds.

So why do the farmers put up with that kind of crap?

Because the proprietary breeds really are that much better. The crap they have to put with is more than worth it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of our food industry either, our family lives largely "off the grid", but let's save our outrage for things that really are problems.

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
mph, the picture it paints is much more sinister than that. Even farmers who use their own seed and don't purchase licensed seeds are being sued by the seed manufacturers who say that their(the corporation's) seeds are getting into the farmers stock of seeds from spill off through adjacent farms who did in fact purchase the corporation's seeds. They then sue the farmers who don't have the money to fight the law suit. At least that's my memory of the story from when I saw it in the theater.

Alcon, similar to you I was really blown away by the non-meat aspects of that movie, particularly the part about soybeans and the takeover of all the small organic companies by the major food corporations.

Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Even farmers who use their own seed and don't purchase licensed seeds are being sued by the seed manufacturers who say that their(the corporation's) seeds are getting into the farmers stock of seeds from spill off through adjacent farms who did in fact purchase the corporation's seeds.
My understanding (not that I'm an expert) is that yes, this has happened a handful of times, but it's certainly not the norm.
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alcon
Member
Member # 6645

 - posted      Profile for Alcon   Email Alcon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems to be the norm. They have a staff of 75 devoted to prosecuting farmers who try to save their seeds. They are suing the seed cleaners who remain for "encouraging farmers to break their patent". They interviewed a whole ton of farmers who had had trouble with Monsanto over seed saving and cleaning. Farmers who weren't even guilty were sued and had to settle simply because they couldn't pay their legal fees.

Seriously, watch the movie and read the book. It is pretty scary.

Posts: 3295 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DDDaysh
Member
Member # 9499

 - posted      Profile for DDDaysh   Email DDDaysh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Alcon, I have a very hard time believing that is the norm. I've lived in an agricultural community the vast majority of my life, and I've never heard anyone complaining about this. Farmers complain about the weather, water, the government, and the market - but very rarely about seeds. I've never hear of a single lawsuit by a giant corporation, and my grandparents are basically the central hub-o-farmers, so I'm pretty sure I would have.

On the other hand, I'll grant you that the family farm is slowly but surely going extinct. It's sad really, but I'm not sure it's really disastrous. I've read a few of Barbara Kingsolver's works, and while she presents an interesting viewpoint (and I presume this movie presents much the same viewpoint) some of her arguments just don't hold that much water. For instance, the woman treated Coyotes like god in one of her story. Coyotes!!!

I think that if you want to support "local living" that's great. I just don't really think our actual food supply is in great danger. I live surrounded by the slowly dying family farm, and I've never seen an actual farmer's market!!! Most people around here either plant small garden's or shop at the big box grocer like everyone else. I think our food supply is just the next step in the evolutionary chain. Small stores have been wiped out because of big box stores, and family farms are being wiped out because of mega-farms. It sucks in some ways, it's better in others. I don't think you're going to be able to reverse the process.

Posts: 1321 | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The family farm is as much to be mourned as the family 'factory', where people would spin or weave cloth in their homes on a piecework basis.
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alcon
Member
Member # 6645

 - posted      Profile for Alcon   Email Alcon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well part of the scary part is the affront to freedom taking place. There may be lawsuits taking place around you DDDayish. And you would never hear of it. Often a term of settlements is that the farmers don't talk about it. Many of the farmers interviewed for the movie still had a hard time talking about it, either out of fear or just out of embarrassment. Either way, they were reluctant. I say again. Watch. The. Movie. You will learn so much. And if, after watching it, you aren't convinced, haven't had your viewpoint changed. Then return and say so. Don't guess at what it will show you, find out.

I know it would get me in deep, deep trouble, but I'm dearly tempted to burn a ton of copies of this movie and distribute them for free simply because I think people need to see what this movie has to show.

Posts: 3295 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
you don't really need to do that. you could just use weblinks to pirated copies that play online.
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2