Realities and myths of food production

Whenever movie critics unanimously approve of a movie that has political overtones you just know there must be more to the story. It would seem movie producers and I, include the CBC in this, can’t resist a politically-correct idea when they see one – and if it involves fear-mongering about the climate or our food supply it guarantees that someone will chase that rabbit for all its worth.

Some genius film maker decided that there was still more cash fodder to be harvested from a dumb gullible public by exposing the alleged frightening ways food is produced in North America. All that was needed was to gather the usual bogus food experts, some edited horrific scenes of livestock being processed, some cleverly edited words of denial from the industry and bingo we have an expose film.

No problem with critics or city folks, being those people have no idea how food is produced anyway and the more negative the movie the more those dumb saps will actually believe what they are seeing.

Well that’s the premise of the latest fear-mongering film about food production that is circulating through movie theaters across the continent. It’s called Food Inc. and its a short film that is doing the rounds. Major theatre owners figured it had a limited audience so it’s only being shown at small obscure theaters in major cities. Don’t worry, I expect the CBC has already got wind of this piece of fudge and its almost guaranteed that they will buy and show it ad nauseam dozens of times on your TV screen in the very near future.

The film purports that food production is totally industrialized and in the control of giant evil global corporations. They state that they approached the big dogs in the food production chain but they declined to participate in the film. Gee, you think that they might suspect that anything they say would be twisted and edited into a confession of evil deeds. The film makers have the gall to state that they wanted to be fair and balanced.

Yeah right, when was the last time you saw a hollywood film or TV documentary that showed how we, in North America and in western Europe, developed the safest, most efficient, most available and most productive food system the world has ever known? Clearly such a film would be way too boring.

The film does devolve into almost hilarious delusions of what food production should be like. They show an organic producer killing a chicken in a supposed humane manner as compared to the industrial practice. Gee, does it really matter to the poor chicken how it’s killed? I suspect slowly bleeding to death, the alleged organic humane way, is not all that pleasant, compared to the quick stunning method used in processing plants. But then, I have no personal experience and chickens are usually uncommunicative about preferences as to their fate.

As one expects, the film goes on about genetically modified plants as an evil corporate plot that could have devastating effects on our food supply and health. No mention that there has not been a single sickness or death from these products since we began consuming them 11 years ago. They also forgot to mention that GM plants have seen the reduction in the use of millions of tonnes of herbicides wherever these crops are used.

One can challenge the credibility of such films but its always after the fact. Our urbanized society seems to want to believe the worst about food production; all the while enjoying the safest cheapest food in the world. Those that have little food would gladly run a hundred miles to take advantage of the abundance we enjoy. Those that are fortunate to immigrate say that is the greatest advantage we enjoy – our abundance.

Yet, fat cat film makers duplicitously go out to find or invent fault with that abundance. Perhaps, we need those same film makers to do a reality show of those folks in Africa who live the organic free range lifestyle which they seem to want to recreate. Not a chance – that won’t sell to well-fed city folks or the CBC.