Ever heard of “Food Inc.”?

Well, here’s the other side of the story. American Agri-Women compiled a report that addresses the errors and omissions – exposes the myths – presented in the documentary “Food Inc.” This is a ‘must read’ in order to develop a balanced perspective and make informed opinions on how our food is developed.

Some summary bits:

* Food prices—especially meat and poultry prices—would rise
dramatically because of the increased costs of their inefficient
production approaches.
* Vast amounts of land would need to be used to raise livestock and
poultry in free range systems.
* The environment would suffer from open systems lacking
environmental controls.
* Many fresh fruits and vegetables, which are seasonal in nature,
would become unavailable in many areas of the country for much of
the year.
* Imported foods like salamis from Italy, Danish hams and many other
items would become “politically incorrect” because of the
distances the products travel.

“In the U.S, the quantity of pesticides used by farmers has decreased by four percent since 1990 while crop output increased by 15 percent, which indicates a reduction in the intensity of pesticide use due to the introduction of synthetic chemicals that are more specifically-targeted to particular pests…Organic fruit and vegetable growers use insecticides and fungicides that are approved for organic growers. These are inorganic substances (such as copper and sulfur), microbes and toxic plant extracts. They are all registered as pesticides by the EPA and pass the same regulatory safety tests as do the synthetic chemicals used by non-organic growers. However, since the inorganic substances, microbes and toxic plant extracts are not as effective as synthetic chemicals, organic growers spray more often than non-organic growers and use a greater tonnage of pesticides per acre than do non-organic farmers.”

“For the average American consumer, the term “organic” has a positive connotation and the beneficial properties of organic foods may be misinterpreted or exaggerated. Surveys indicate many proponents of organic food production look beyond the final product to consider factors such as environmental impacts, worker safety, and economic considerations which are not related to organic production standards. U.S. consumers frequently have the choice between purchasing organic and conventional foods and make food purchasing decisions that reflect their values, concerns, and lifestyles. Studies show conventional foods may contain more pesticide residue than organic, but organic foods should not be considered to be pesticide free. Most health professionals consider the risks from pesticide residues in the diet to be negligible and consuming organic foods is unlikely to result in health benefits. For optimal health, consumers should continue to eat a balanced diet regardless of whether the food is produced by organic or by conventional practices.”

View the report at:
Contact: Chris Wilson


One thought on “Ever heard of “Food Inc.”?

  1. Agriculture Dodges Oscar Bullet- Forrest Laws, Western Farm Press, April 6, 2010Commercial agriculture, the kind that produces most of the food, feed, fiber and alternative fuels consumed in America, dodged a bullet at this year’s Oscar ceremonies.You may not have heard that Food Inc., the movie that claims to expose “the highly mechanized underbelly” of the nation’s food industry, was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary at this year’s Academy Awards.Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to give the award to The Cove, a film that tells the story of a team of filmmakers who traveled to a cove in Taiji, Japan, where 23,000 dolphins reportedly are killed every year.Farm organizations were bracing for the publicity that would have been showered on Food, Inc., if it had been named best documentary. The National Corn Growers Association sent out an Action Alert arming members with a fact sheet to use in discussing the film with friends and neighbors.It’s unfortunate a movie with a flawed premise and factual inaccuracies can receive so much attention. But it seems to be agriculture’s fate that the more outrageous the claims and less grounded in reality a film, article, book is – the more notoriety it achieves.In the press notes, filmmaker Robert Kenner claims “Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.”The film says these corporations – Smithfield Foods, Tyson, Perdue and Monsanto and other multinationals “control” everything from seed to plate. It uses stories, video clips and interviews – not with scientific experts – to imply the overuse of corn in U.S. food production results in higher likelihood of food borne illness, obesity and declining numbers of farmers.The interviews are with Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, and Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Easter’s Manifesto, so-called experts who have turned criticizing America’s farmers and ranchers and food processors into a cottage industry.It never mentions that pesticide manufacturers spend upwards of $250 million testing a new product to make sure it is safe or that plants containing biotech traits are no different than conventional or even organically grown crops except for the gene that protects them against a specific pest or herbicide.If “experts” like Schlosser and Pollan really want to address food safety, they should travel to China or to other countries that ship food and other products that are practically unregulated to the U.S. That would be far more productive than attacking a system that, while not perfect, offers a safe, nutritious bountiful harvest that is the envy of the world.