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Theme of Food Industry’s Profit in a Film Food Inc

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    Food is an essential part of our lives. We consume it every day and absolutely need it to live and thrive successfully. With something so significant to us, why should we risk the source of where our food comes from? Robert Kenner created a powerhouse documentary film called Food Inc. that gives an accurate description of the horrible realities of corporate farming by providing evidence of the harm affecting both humans and animals. Robert Kenner is a film director and producer.

    Kenner claims that today; food can be potentially harmful to the health of any consumer and the process of creating certain foods is detrimental to the lives of the animals and humans involved in the procedure. Kenner demonstrates his argument by using the effect of pathos, exemplification, and imagery. Pathos in this film displays a depressing feel to the documentary to appeal to the emotional aspect of viewers. Pathos is represented through the size and living conditions of chickens at Tyson farms and the death of a child named Kevin by E. coli poisoning.

    Exemplification is used by Kenner to display examples of Kenner’s argument and how they relate to each claim. Exemplification is seen through the versatility of corn and result of cows that have been fed corn. Imagery is important to this film because it leaves a descriptive representation of the concepts, making them more understandable. Imagery is effective to the tone of the movie, especially in scenes such as the living conditions of the chickens, how much manure is involved with cows in the slaughterhouse, and the conditions of workers in the Smithfield slaughterhouse.

    Robert Kenner explores a valid problem of the real objectives of the food industry and the reliability of the food that is sold in markets and restaurants. The market for food is much different now than how it was over fifty years ago. The ultimate goal of food industries now is to make profit. With this mentality, the lives and safety of animals and humans are put at risk. Kenner uses a problem and solution type structure to help better understand his argument. Pathos is persuasion by, in this case, clips in a video, to appeal to the emotions of the viewer. Robert Kenner displays multiple scenes representing pathos; some that are graphic, sad, or cruel. In the start of the first chapter, “Fast Food to All Food”, pathos already played a role when it came to the living conditions of the chickens in the first chapter. Since the demand for food is so high, chicken companies such as Tyson are mass-producing their chickens at such a fast rate and are being grown as food rather than animals. According to Fast Food Nation’s author, Eric Schlosser, the chickens are now being “raised and slaughtered in half the time they were fifty years ago but now they’re twice as big”.

    Kenner showcases this fact by providing a memorable visual of the size comparison of the chickens. Carole Morison, a Perdue grower describes the anatomy of chickens being grown in seven weeks by stating that “their bones and internal organs can’t keep up with the rapid growth”. According to Carole, the chickens could barely stand, as they would “take a few steps and just plop down because they can’t keep up with all the weight they’re carrying. ” It was sad witnessing the struggle of the chickens with such a simple task as just walking.

    However, the size of the chickens weren’t the only issue, the living conditions also created problems. For example, the Tyson farms were raising their chickens in horrible farmhouses. Vince Edwards, a Tyson chicken grower, stated the chickens “never see sunlight and are pretty much in the dark the whole time”. I know I couldn’t imagine a world without sunlight. Along with the dark farmhouses, there is an overpopulation of chickens, which can cause diseases to be spread much faster and cause the chickens to be much dirtier. Kenner showcases the overpopulation of chickens by showing clips of Carole Morison’s chicken houses.

    Carole, a Perdue grower, describes her farmhouse, as “dust flying everywhere, feces everywhere”. Another example of pathos occurred in the third chapter, “Unintended Consequences”, when a woman named Barbara Kowalcyk had lost her son, Kevin, to an E. coli infection. According to Barbara, he had went from a “perfectly healthy to dead in twelve days. ” Kenner showcases Barbara’s sadness over the passing of her son by the tears she had shed when she described Kevin in the hospital, as being so thirsty for water he “bit the head off of a [sponge].

    He begged for water, it was all he could talk about. ” He had gotten the infection from eating a hamburger whilst on a family vacation. He had been a healthy young boy and to showcase this, Kenner used a smaller, square screen frame with a black and white color scheme and somber music while showing clips of Kevin having fun on the family vacation to perhaps make the video have a “home” type feel to it. This appeals to emotion creating a sort of melancholy effect on the viewer because no one could ever imagine the death of a young boy who seemed so happy and healthy.

    Seeing Barbara’s son in the clips had made me entirely sympathetic because of how happy he looked before his passing. The E. coli infection is an example of how unsafe food can really be and how the worst of it can happen to anyone. Kevin’s infection had come from a new strain of E. Coli called E. Coli 0157:H7. The new E. Coli strain was a result of a new corn diet to cows. In the second chapter, “A Cornucopia of Choices”, corn is covered as playing a huge role in the food industry, being fed to our meat and being broken down to create almost anything such as maltodextrin, xanthum gum, or high fructose corn syrup.

    Corn represents exemplification because it illustrates a specific example of what is unknown about food nowadays. Exemplification uses specific examples to help explain a general idea. Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, stated, “so much of our food turns out to be clever rearrangements of corn”. Corn can be broken down and be reassembled into many different products such as high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, di-glycerides, etc. Along with being included in many food items, corn is also fed to animals involved in our meat industries.

    Kevin had gotten his infection from a cow that was infected with the E. Coli 0157:H7 strain, which is solely from cows that were fed corn. Pollan had stated “cows are not designed by evolution to eat corn, they are designed by evolution to eat grass. ” The corn causes bacteria to appear in cows that can turn into E. Coli and often infect humans such as Kevin. Kenner describing the situation of Kevin is the perfect example of what could potentially result from taking part in our food industry. Kenner uses a lot of imagery when it comes to representing his argument.

    Imagery is the use of descriptive language to represent objects, actions, or ideas. The certain scenes with imagery that had gotten to me were the living conditions of the chickens, how much manure is on the cows, and the condition of the workers in the Smithfield slaughterhouse. Another image from the “Fast Food to All Food” chapter that had gotten to me was the living conditions of the chickens. Carole Morison, a Perdue chicken grower, had described her chicken house as “it is nasty in here, there is dust flying everywhere, there is feces everywhere.”

    This living condition seems absolutely disgusting to me. Another piece of imagery that had gotten to me was how much manure the cows in the slaughterhouse had to deal with in the “A Cornucopia of Choices” chapter. Michael Pollan had stated “the animals stand ankle deep in their manure all day long” and once the cows get to the slaughterhouse, “their hides are caked with manure. ” With so much manure, I can only imagine how dirty our meat is. The condition of the workers in the Smithfield slaughterhouse in the “In the Grass” chapter had impacted me with such disdain.

    One of the Smithfield workers related the workers to the hogs as both being “temporary” and that “everything has an end”. According to that worker, the employees would get “infections under their fingernails and all their fingernails separate from their fingers”, along with being covered in “blood, feces, and urine”. Once I heard the employee talking about their fingernails separating, I imagined the fact and truly couldn’t believe the severity of their working conditions. The descriptive words used in this documentary give me chills for the realities of the food industry.

    Robert Kenner developed a successful documentary with proper evidence to his claim that food can be unsafe to eat nowadays, and that by creating this food is harming the health of the animals and humans involved in the process. By using pathos, exemplification, and imagery, Kenner proves his argument valid. Pathos appeals to our emotions and is observed in such scenes as the size and living conditions of the chickens being bred for slaughter and the happiness of Barbara Kowalcyk’s son Kevin, taken away by the bacteria that is E.

    coli. Exemplification uses specific examples to explain more general ideas and is seen in the versatility of corn and how E. Coli develops in corn-fed cows. Imagery is the use of descriptive language to represent objects, actions, or ideas. Overall, Kenner creates a valid argument with valid evidence that informs viewers of the dangers of food that we are consuming and how the food industry is now based off of a market system.

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    Theme of Food Industry’s Profit in a Film Food Inc. (2016, Jul 03). Retrieved from

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    Has the food industry changed since Food Inc?
    The food industry has not made many significant changes since the creation of Food, INC., but there are more people concerned with the effects of the different food methods on the population.
    What does the film reveal about our government's involvement in the way our food is grown and sold?
    6. The film reveals that the government is involved in subsidizing farmers to grow corn but then the government ends up needing to fund and reward corporations that invent new uses for corn.

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