The Truth about the Food Industry
Food Inc - The Truth about the Food Industry introduction. is an eye opening documentary about the food industry in America. It examines the less known facts about the food industry. Our nation’s food industry is controlled by only a few companies who are in control of their consumers’ health, the livelihood of the American farmer, and the safety of its works. We have bigger chicken breast and there are no longer any seasons for fruits and vegetables in the supermarkets anymore. This new type of farming has brought good but it has also brought bad such as new strains of E. oli and obesity in America. I think that Food Inc. did a good job at examining the side of the food industry that has been hidden from the world for too long. We have a right to know where our foods are coming from and how it was produced. The idea of factory farming was first introduced by Perdue. The idea was simple “if Perdue owned the hatchery, the feed production, and the processing plant, it could gain significant efficiencies…” (Keiger). The movie states that in the meat packing industry the top four companies own 90% of the market.
For these companies to be able to produce this much meat they need to feed their animals cheap and easily accessible food. The cheapest and most abundant food in the United States is corn. Corn is not the normal diet for cows but it makes them fatter faster and it is cheap. The farmers are feeding their animals corn and all sorts of antibiotics to make them grow faster. ” Scientist estimate that 50 to 80 percent of all antibiotics in the United States are not used to treat sick people or animals but are added to farm animals feed to help them grow faster”(Keiger).
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This over use of antibiotics is causing bacteria that are becoming untreatable by medication. These bacteria are making it off the farms and in to rest of the county. “ They can be transported off farms by the animals themselves, horseflies, farm trucks, farm workers, and the spreading of manure on other fields” (Keiger). Another thing these companies needed to be able to produce so much meat at affordable prices was a way to house so much live stock. The answer was Concentrated-animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These were made possible by the over abundance of corn.
The animals could be kept in confined spaces and feed corn, and avoid the need for large pastures of cattle to graze in. These CAFO’s are another reason why the spread of disease is so high. Cramming animals together in small areas compared to the number of animals they hold is making perfect breading grounds for bacteria. The animals in CAFOs are walking around in manure that is sometimes up to knee deep. As seen the movie the manure is caked all over the cattle’s fur. The manure is where most of the bacteria is located at.
Keiger mentions in his article for John Hopkins Magazine. Kellogg Schawb sampled the air at a factory farm that housed 3,000 hogs in two building. The sampled contained enterococci, staph, and streptococci, and 98 percent of the bacterial isolates were resistant to two or more common antimicrobials. The movie Food Inc. did a good job at examining the evils of the factory farming but its answer to what America should to help stop factory farming and the spreading of these bacteria was slightly unpractical and potently not even an answer.
The answer that the movie Food Inc. gave to what we should eat to avoid factory farming was organic food. Organic food has its benefits over food from factor farms. Organic food can be better for our health. As stated by Jeffery Kluger of Time magazine “Cattle that eat more grass have higher ratios of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6s, a balance that is widely believed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and arthritis and to improve cognitive function”.
Kluger also states “Farm-raised animals are also higher in conjugated acids; fatty acids that, according to studies of lab animals, may help reduce the risk of various cancers. Even though organic foods have so many health benefits it will never be able to reach the practicality of factory farming. Organic food have higher cost than the food produced in the factory farming ways. “Organic fruits and vegetables cost 13 to 36 cents more per pound than ordinary produce. Milk certified as hormone and antibiotic free costs 6$ per gallon on average, compared to 3. 0$ for ordinary grocery-store milk. Another problem with organic food is there is not enough land organic food to be able to feed the majority of people in the country. We may have to accept the fact that factory farming is the only way to feed the amount of people we have in America. As stated by Kluger ‘“Only about 5% of the arable land on the planet remains unused”, says McWilliams. ‘But we’ll need to increase food population by 50% to 100%. ’
If we have to spray, fertilize, and even genetically engineer are way there these are things we are just going to have to accept. Food Inc. said that if everyone were to eat more organic food that we could help stop the evils that have become of factory farming. The movie didn’t do a real good job of explaining the truth of organic food. Even though organic food has a good name is it not the way to stop factory farming. Food Inc. was a very interesting movie. Its main focus was to show the less known side of the food industries. Food Inc. did a good job at explaining the lesser known truths about the food industry but gave little supportive examples to stop factory farming what they say to be evil.