July 7th, 2009
By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
Food, Inc. could easily have turned our stomachs upside down. There’s lots of raw material – cows mired in manure, pig carcasses whacked about on conveyor belts, immobilized chickens locked in dark crowded coops – to make the point about how mass food production can be an unhealthy affair.
The film does dish up selected gross-out shots of slabs of beef, downer cows, dead hens and grimy CAFOs. There are a few gasp-aloud moments, such as when chickens are beheaded (inexplicably, this hard-to-watch scene is on a small sustainable farm operation). But the beauty of this wonderful documentary lies in its restraint. Rather than beating up corporate culprits Smithfield, Cargill and others with the big stick of blood and guts, Food Inc. strolls confidently and methodically into our packaged food wonderland, armed with words, telling anecdotes and revelations of corruption and greed that make its case more compelling.