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Week of 3.5.10

Food, Inc.

Behind the food we love—Secrets that giant food companies don't want you to know.

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The Weekly Q
Americans have a longstanding love affair with food—the modern supermarket has, on average, 47,000 products. But do we really know what goes into making the products we so eagerly consume?

This week, David Brancaccio talks with Robert Kenner, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Food, Inc.," which takes a hard look at the secretive and surprising journey food takes on the way from processing plants to our dinner tables. The two discuss why contemporary food processing secrets are so closely guarded, their impact on our health, and another surprising fact: how consumers are actually empowered to make a difference.

Find out why you'll never look at dinner the same way.

This show was originally broadcast on June 5, 2009


Web Features

What You Can Do To Change Our Food System
Ten steps you can take to improve the quality of your food (and your health).

A Food Poison "Epidemic"
An expert on foodborne illness litigation offers his advice on fighting food poisoning in America.

Q & A: Eric Schlosser
What do the food industry and the financial crisis have in common? The author of "Fast Food Nation" makes the connection.

In the News

BBC: Chicken into Nuggets

Boston Globe: Demand and prices rise for organic food, but supply falls

Forbes: Wal-Mart milk to be hormone-free

The New York Times: Second Company Is Implicated in Outbreak Linked to Spinach

NPR: Beef Recall Follows Animal-Abuse Scandal

Reuters: Starbucks revamps bakery food ingredients


Viewer Comments

Commenter: Eugene Constantine
I suggested in a previous message that NOW should check out the Coronary Health Improvement Project or "CHIP" website www.chiphealth.com and that I learned about Food, Inc. from a CHIP director in Dayton, Ohio while taking the CHIP program. I forgot to mention that the CHIP program's main founder/director Dr. Hans Diehl works with Loma Linda Hospital which is a Seventh-day Adventist hospital. I think PBS has an upcoming program this April about Seventh-day Adventists and their health system and health message and lifestyle which might mention that some Adventists tend to live longer than most people and some reasons why they are studied. The CHIP program is one such ongoing study that teaches what processed food does to people, and that is why "Food, Inc" was mentioned as yet another way to prove that what CHIP teaches about processed food being bad for us is true. CHIP promotes a natural plant food diet with proper exercise and other lifestyle practices, including proper rest, faith in God and forgiveness, good family life and relationships, etc. PBS NOW did a great job with this Food, Inc. program!


Commenter: Eugene Constantine
I wonder if your program is aware of the "CHIP" program which means "Coronary Health Improvement Project" directed by Dr. Hans Diehl. I learned about Food Inc. from some friends who directed a local CHIP program in Dayton, Ohio. Check out www.chiphealth.com


Commenter: Ds
Roberta Stewart don't talk about other reilgons this because it is really reallly bad. and muslims also have a big heart like all of u other people.


Commenter: DS
Martha Anne Reeves don't say things u dont know about muslims, by the way muslims recpect other reilgons, and muslims are not terroists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Commenter: double s.
thanks for giving me signal now i can eat heathly and not be sick anymore.


Commenter: Charles may
We as consumers have the power to change how are food is made. We have to be educated, and informed about the laws, and regulations in our states.
We also have to pay close attention to food labels.
Many people choose food by the price of the item, and not the nutritional content.We are also conditioned to buy food that smell, looks, and taste good, therefore we tend to eat more fast food.
We also have grown accustomed to the idea, that whatever we want we must get it now, so we have little or no patience, when it comes to what we put into our stomach.
Public education is key, and i hope your film helps people.


Commenter: Mihele inboden
It very good to learn what is being put into your body.But I am also very worried about how the t.v. is programming the mind adults,and the young.


Commenter: Aaron
I cannot believe that this wonderful show is being cancelled in April! What a terrible decision by some bigwig! Hello, I am a big fan of NOW. I was informed by this episode. For example, I did not know that the meat on the one patty on my hamburger probably comes from several, or many, different animals. It's concerning that persons who cannot afford to buy a lot of different things could end up purchasing food with too much of one ingredient...an ingredient which they absolutely do not need more of! However, I continue to think that, simply put, too much of anything is bad! And, the decision to eat too much of something, or eat something in moderation, is just that...a choice! Surely, in an unhealthy environment, at least healthier choices can be made!


Commenter: NLF
Lucy, true, there is no peace without justice. But,
what is justice?. The American justice system is
not too concerned about justice, but LAW.
If the peace is against this law,then the law prevails. Justice takes a back burner. Go figure!!.


Commenter: Louis
Corn and soybeans as vegetables are fine. It is when they are synthesized into various chemicals, that they become a problem. Kenner blurs the line between corn and soy as vegetables versus say high-fructose corn syrup. I found this blurring of the line to be misleading.

Kenner also blames subsidies as a major part of the problem. While this may be true to a point. The fact that it's corn and soy is meaningless: if there was another fruit or vegetable that was heavily subsidized, we'd likely see similar problems (the equivalent of high-fructose corn syrup).


Commenter: Mary
I was surprised with the information that I got, but it makes me scared to know what I am eating is what makes me. Does this mean am I eating Healthy Enough?


Commenter: William Zaffer
He is on the money about our industrial food production, however I knew that years ago after reading "Diet for a New America" Though his movie was very well done. I was very angry after seeing how Nafta hurt all the farmers in Mexico and Tyson used them for cheap labor and hired them while destroying the unions in meat packaging. America has become a land of greedy and big corporations. It all started when Reagen broke up the unions and Wal Marts started their lies about being made in America and now are now ingrained in other big box stores and others using cheap labor around the world and stopping unions from starting at their outlets. #1 employer at $7.00 an hour and we wonder now why the system is broken. We need to hire a terrorists to blow up a few of their stores. I would never advocate that but down the road I see an act against them coming for what they represent. I thought the South with slavery was over. Now it is economic slavery. The bright side though is maybe people will become more responsible for their lifestyles. The blame game has to end when if we look in the mirror. We shop at fast food outlets or Wal Marts then complain. Me, my power is how I spend my money, I shop green, local, and eat at home, garden and eat organics with less meat.


Commenter: PK
This is why there is health issues today.


Commenter: Barbara
Thank you for being responsible and bringing awareness to America about this problem in America. Much of the food we consume everyday is filled with GMO. The president wants to address healthcare...why doesn't he start by educating Americans to staying away from GMO. Please continue to bring awareness.


Commenter: L Johnson
Dear Mr. NOW,
Food Inc. was a very interesting program. Have you read OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA by Michael Pollan. Most of what was shared in the program is covered in this book and much more.
One of the most interesting things is that it is govenment regulation and subsidy of agri-business, namely corn that has changed the whole face of rural America. Because of corn subsidy and technology - better equipment, etc., - basically one person can plant, grow and harvest his corn where it used to take several people. According to Mr. Pollan, the small towns have become ghost towns because the farm workers who lived in them no longer have work so have had to move to the city.
My growing up years were on a dairy farm. We were allowed to sell raw milk in those days to private customers. Our cows were tested each year and the milk of any cow that had to be on antibiotics for a time was not sold to the dairy processor or to private customers but was thrown out or fed to calves. My guess is that more people end up with food borne illness from the corporate food sources than ever became ill from buying from private farms.
Government subsidy of corn is very similar to the government subsidy of tobacco. Both have led to increased health problems that have ended up costing more in the end.
Mr. Pollan's book takes a look at a private farm where the animals are grass fed only. If you haven't read it, you must!


Commenter: Greg
Food For Thought: Morton's Kosher Salt, at one time per Jewish ritual, was Kosher. In other words, by that definition, it was 'fit' for consumption. Those choosing to purchase this product would perform service to themselves in reading it's ingredients as it contains an additive today.

Having worked in the food industry for years, I understood how seriously that faith believed in ensuring products bearing that label did, in fact, meet their criterion to being fit for consumption. It seems that today, they are marching to the beat of a different drum called profitability.

Back in 'the day,' a Rabbi would come to the plant and inspect the product's manufacturing and packaging line(s) for cleanliness, inspect the ingredient list and ingredients and, if all was 'kosher,' bless it all. Other items or things had to pass but they're not germane to this comment's point. One can only conclude they have changed their requirement's criterion for 'kosher' foods. This gives me pause to wonder how many oher 'kosher' foods are not.

If the buying public paid more attention to the quality and safety of the products they purchase than they do regarding what's on TV, we would not be in this position. To be indifferent to our health, wealth, safety is like not voting RESPONSIBLY. The end result isn't, for the most part, very pleasing.


Commenter: Barbara Nixon
For Jerry:

The very next line of the article you are quoting states:

"This very small percentage suggests that such information should be more prominently displayed, such as on restaurant menu boards, to help customers make informed decisions."

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/99/5/820

Thus, I view your unsophisticated comment as totally irrelevant.

Jerry, please know that I am not a vegan, vegetarian or any other kind of food crusader. I appreciate the effort Mr. Kenner has made to stimulate our thoughts.


Commenter: JoAnn
I saw this film last year, and thank you for presenting the problem .

Farmers, who use growth hormones and antibiotics are corporate farmers; not family farmers, and farmers know which ones they are. Corporate farmers have wrecked life for family farmers, here and abroad.
NAFTA is why Mexican farmers can not make a living, and they have come here. US Ag foreign policy is why Haiti farmers and produce growers could not continue to make a living feeding Haiti. Family farms are what we need all around the world; not corporate farms. For info re:ingredients of products go to Dr. OZ's web site. For info re: NAFTA, go to citizen.org/nafta.


Commenter: JoAnn Witt
Dear David,

Another area, that you might explore, is city sludge being spread out on top of crops. Kansas City,MO has land for sludge deposits, and growing soybeans.

There are compost toilets, somewhere. It is a shame, that scientists haven't learned a proper way to take care of human waste.

I grew up on a farm, and I know that Dad spread manure out on the farm land in the fall, plowed it under, where it cooked over winter, and then disked the fields in the spring. (But not human waste.)


Commenter: Dave in LC
This is a perfect example of agenda-driven media. The story of the family in the program that is forced to go to fast food restaurants because the healthy foods in the grocery store are too expensive is contrived.

My wife and I feed our family of 8 on healthy, store-bought foods very inexpensively. For someone to suggest that it is cheaper to go to a fast food restaurant for a meal is either being dishonest or has not taken the time to add up the cost. The producers of the program should do a little due diligence and actually add up the costs. Someone is either being blatantly dishonest or pathetically lazy.


Commenter: Rae Gilson
Being a part of a small group of Ethical Eaters what is obvious is the people who planned ahead about what they were going to eat were able to eat the most ethically, meaning to eat fresh, not processed food they knew had come from within the 200 mile radius. This discussion needs to start in school class rooms and continue to back yard cook outs.
Since we know we're going to get hungry planning ahead is a good practice.


Commenter: Faith Gagne
I think it is absolutely shocking that the food industry has so much power that our individual right to free speech has been destroyed. I remember that Oprah fought the system and won, but I notice that she is now very careful to not SAY anything negative on her program about food. Where is our government in this? The food industry must have such powerful lobbyists that they can create laws against freedom of speech in some states. I plan to warn my son and his family about lousy food.


Commenter: HillbillyBill
Teenagers can survive the fast food garbage. But beyond those years it is stupid to waste your hard earned money on that source of all that destroys the health of adults. But what's in the supermarkets is not much better. Short of raising your own food, it is not easy to eat healthy in this country anymore. But it's worth trying.


Commenter: Dale Hanson
I was surprised at the control the "big boys" have over or eating.


Commenter: bette grotegut
Thank you for your documentary on food safety and production. We need more of this information.


Commenter: Nancy Jacobson
Great Show, The need for education on the food processing and the way the government protects these big companies. Making people aware that the choices made at the store effects the demand of what is supplied. God Bless Robert Kenner.


Commenter: sam
I noticed the survey was as one sided as the show.Why isn't "not worried at all" in it.People like to complain about things they know nothing about. Most of the veggies i know wouldn't know what to do if they ran out of toilet paper, let alone how to feed themselves or their family if no one in the business was left to do it for them.


Commenter: Lumetrie Phillips
I am have start a mission to help inform or get people to be aware of their health and environment, I have webpage:http://www.healthynaturalgreenlifestyleresources.info/ that is free for the public to use to ask question and learn about their health and environment, I am so glad that PBS, had a great info. for everyone about food and about how process food affect everyone health and help encourage the public to eat health no matter what the cost. God Bless


Commenter: Bruce Day
If only the masses would wake up and watch more of what PBS offers instead of the other mindless dibble that fill our TVs. I can only hope that you will follow on Food Inc. Keep us all informed so we past the word along to others as to how the food producers are turning out products that are causing serious health problems. The work PBS does is so valuable not just to educate but also to keep us informed to issues that wish not to be exposed. I salute you and tireless efforts. I also salute those who donate their hard earned dollars to PBS.


Commenter: Anne M. Hobart, N.D.
I hope Robert Keener wins the Oscar. It will be a step toward solving the food/health crisis in this country. He is absolutely correct. Corn sugars, esp. high fructose corn syrup is making people sick. Now, how about you folks doing a piece on how Congress subsidizes the corn growers? Can we then say Congress is encouraging obesity?
A. M. Hobart
Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor


Commenter: Jolene Anderson
If the old saying is true "You are what you eat", America is in trouble. Perhaps the best way to address health care reform is to make education available on eating healthy, beginning in the schools. What about teaching "healthy cooking" in Home Economics classes? Or "healthy farming".

Isn't it time we put "health first" vs convenience?


Commenter: Beverly Johnson
I remember driving past one of those feedlots and the odor and rot was so disgusting I can never forget it. I will vote by my purchases of conscientious marketing. I have watched several documentaries on what happens before the food gets in our super markets. I am now wide awake! We want transparency. We want to see what you are attempting to sell us. Food becomes our body cells.


Commenter: Adrian DeVore
I have several problems with your "Food, Inc." segment which is when he takes a low-income family to the supermarket. I thought it was the most patronizing and classist display of the director's inability to see that direct access to a neighborhood is a matter of location. In some low-income communities, there are NO SUPERMARKETS in their neighborhoods but increased numbers of fast food restaurants or convenience stores. In some cases, farmer's markets don't always accept EBT cards which also shuts out low-income consumers. Buying organic/natural food items (which is something that I support in principle) can be very expensive (unless its on sale)for most people to buy on a regular basis!


Commenter: Cheryl Beesley
Thank you for bringing this issue to light. I guess your lawyers would not let you discuss Monsanto and their attack on farmers who save seed. This, along with their GMO seed creation are important issues that the American people need to know about. GMO seed has already been banned in Europe and Canada. Shouldn't we be allowed to at least find out about them in America?


Commenter: Rob Schnabel
Know Your Farmer Know Your Food-

Future Harvest- A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture futureharvestcasa.org

Check out their "Amazing Grazing" directory- MD, VA and West Virginia farms to get pasture based beef, poultry, dairy products.
Good for you, the land, the animal and the farmer


Commenter: Carolyn Mordecai
Please add no Genetically Modified Foods to your list of things we can do.


Commenter: Jerry
For Mr. Kenner, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the rest. Yale University released a study in March that appeared in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers vistited McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks and Au Bon Paine and counted the number of patrons who read on-prmeise nutritional info. Out of ,311 people observed ONLY SIX (0.1%) looked at the data.

Thus, the vegans, vegetarians, crudsaders etc. can do their own thing but remember that most Americans simply don't care. Statistically, you are totally irrelevant.


Commenter: Huxley
The companies that handle food are far better equipped to know when to recall their food than do the bureaucrats on Capitol Hill. Stop needlessly delegating power to the federal government.


Commenter: Russell on Olympic Peninsula
I must say I am grateful for the information in all the episodes of NOW I have seen. However David Brancaccio seems to be on the same side of everyone he interviews... Is it just me or does he seem to pitch very friendly questions.

For example he didn't go into the "great scientific debate" surrounding growth hormones in food. Why does he just leave it at that instead of pressing the issue? I think this episode was more a summery of a documentary then a thought out investigation.


Commenter: Sheri
Can't wait to see this movie. As we've moved towards more local and organic food our families health has improved across the board. Farmers markets and CSA's have been a good way to get fruits and veggies at a reasonable price. Monsanto, and the companies who have hijacked and adulterated our food supplies with their genetically modified products need to be stopped and forced to clean up their mess.


Commenter: Kevin in SF
Just saw this today and though I knew about the issues, it was still an eye-opening and thought-provoking movie. After careful deliberation, I believe that one of the solutions to the problems we see raised here is voting with our dollars and becoming more active in holding our elected officials responsible for our food safety. I also believe vegetarianism is not a solution for the problems raised, since all three problems (industrialism, corporate responsibility, and workers rights) apply just as equally to fruits and vegetables as they do meat and dairy. Sustainable, humane, and fair labor practices do exist in livestock production, which Joel Salatin - featured in the movie - goes on to prove. And considering what percentage of the problems we see stem from the production of soy and corn, taking away a need for vegetarianism after seeing this movie is completely missing the point. See this movie and decide for yourself!!


Commenter: Andrea
I saw the film a few days ago and I think it did a great job of putting together the wide variety of issues associated with our corporatized food system-animal cruelty, environment, animal diseases, public health, immigration and worker abuse. My one complaint was that at the end of the film, when they suggested solutions consumers can take to solve these problems, they did not emphasize the importance of reducing consumption of animal products and shifting towards a more vegetarian diet. Shifting to free-range animal products is important, but it's unlikely that growing animals in a free range system will provide the same amount of meat to the public as factory farming, so consumers, especially those of us in the western world, must start eating much less meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. The filmmakers did suggest eating less meat on their website, but they should have also mentioned this action in the film itself.


Commenter: Jack Sawyer
Go vegan! For your health, for the planet, for the animals.


Commenter: Julie S
Thank you for doing this. The American public needs to be educated as to what is really happening out there. You are making a difference.


Commenter: goose
If this had more about the Monsanto and ConAgra companies and what they are doing to our food it would have had some meaning.
But, he did a hit


Commenter: Lucy
Making nicey with the Terrorist Moslems (Not all moslems are extremists) will not and is not helping the cause of peace.
North Korea and Iran are building up nuclear weapons as they speak of peace. We cannot ignore the facts and just listen to words. Actions speak louder.
We need to pray for peace and work for justice.
There is no real peace without justice.
Blessings, Lucy


Commenter: Steve Spence
I have found the movie trailer and the interview informative, and accurate as to my own health. Since I have started buying form the local CSA instead of the processed foods at the local grocery, my blood tests are improving, my weight is dropping, and my general health has improved. As to playing nice with the muslims, they have been killing non-muslims for centuries. their goal is to make the world muslim, so you can't stay out of "their land", because they want yours, and the only way to play nice, is to become muslim. Not this little gray duck!


Commenter: Martha Anne Reeves
The Muslims will not be content until they have persuaded or forced everyone else to become Muslims. You cannot appease terrorists.


Commenter: Canoe Plankton
Why not take action and support local, indie eateries. Join the Dine Indie movement at DineIndie.com/TakeAction. No Burger King. No Applebees. No Agribusiness.


Commenter: Tracy
Care about animals? Go veg!
http://www.chooseveg.com/vegetarians-save-lives.asp


Commenter: Ray Prock
As long-time dairy farmers, my father, brother and I are passionate about our profession and committed to doing what's right for our animals and natural resources, while producing dairy products that are safe, affordable and healthy for your family.
Today, we operate more efficiently at our 500-cow dairy to keep up with the growing world demand for our milk and to remain economically viable. Modern technology enhances individual animal care and attention; for example, using my cell phone I can now access whole-health history for each cow. Modern housing keeps our animals comfortable and healthy â protecting them from weather extremes, predators and disease. A vet is here a minimum of every other week to check on our herd.
We're also doing everything we can to conserve and minimize our impact on the environment. In fact, we conserve 10- to 11-million gallons of groundwater each year through re-use.
Change? Yes. Compromise? No. We manage every aspect of our farm in a socially responsible manner so we can be proud of the legacy we leave.


Commenter: homemaker
The upcoming movie is purely garbage. The American consumer has the safest most abundant food supply in the world. American farmers and ranchers are committed to producing the most wholesome and nutrious food for us to eat. Don't be fooled by the misinformation from this movie.


Commenter: Kevin
I am a farmer and I am outraged at the misinformation in this movie. This movie attacks family farmers and is not portraying agriculture in an accurate way. This movie is not about attacking Big Business, but family farms. Do you go to the doctor and ask him to treat you with practices used in 1912? Why should farmers use practices from 1912 then? Technology has improved medicine, and agriculture. This movie uses scare tactics to promote your food being grown in foreign countries. How safe is that? The ultimate goal is a vegetarian society, with food imported from a foreign country. Do not buy into this propaganda, instead, go meet a real farmer and ask them how food is grown. Farmers protect their animals and have bio-security on their farms to protect your food supply. They don't allow strangers near their animals to protect the animals from disease.


Commenter: piscesgirl
This movie isn't about Big Business, it's about putting an end to FAMILY FARMS. I am a 5th generation family farmer and the lies told in this movie aim to put my farm out of business. Agriculture is my life's calling, and I am dedicated to producing food that is safe, nutritious and affordable. I take great pride in knowing that consumers can go to their local grocery store or restaurant and purchase food that is safe and wholesome for their family. I understand that contemporary agriculture doesn't look like it did in the past. But we're not unlike many other industries that have had to become more efficient to survive. The production practices I use are ethically grounded, scientifically verified, and economically viable. They allow me to maximize efficiency and meet the growing demand for food. I am committed to providing for the well-being of my animals and providing consumers a safe, nutritious and affordable supply of food. In fact, I've committed my life to it. We drink the same water and breathe the same air as our neighbors. I want to protect and sustain the environment for my family, my community and for future generations so they have it as good, or better, than I do. There are strict standards in place for nutrient and waste management, and we respect, support and abide by those standards. My children are my life, and my goal is to pass my farm onto them someday. If I abuse it, there will be no farm for my children. The SIZE of a farm does not indicate how well it is or isn't operated. SIZE doesn't matter. This movie aims to destroy family farms all across the United States, so foreign farmers can feed America.


Commenter: Troy Hadrick
Just like your wardrobe, agriculture doesn't look like it did just a few short decades ago. However that doesn't mean family farmers like my self are doing it wrong. Having been around livestock all of my life, I can easily tell by looking at the animal if they are stressed, sick or uncomfortable. Any time that happens, I have the responsibility to alleviate the situation. I do this so that the animal feels better and also so that I can produce the best possible product for the consumer to enjoy. Movies like this unfairly portray people like me as cruel, heartless, and greedy.

If you want to learn about agriculture, don't go to the movie theatre, go visit one of your local farmers that has dedicated his/her life to feeding our country.


Commenter: MediaSlackers
It seems that some commenters are worried about Kenner's credibility and that NOW's report was lopsided and lacking facts. While I agree the interview could have been more comprehensive, I completely disagree that anything was said that was untrue or without basis. Perhaps you would prefer Peter Jenning's report from 2003 entitled, "How to Get Fat Without Really Trying". There is no denying the fact that the "food" of today is killing us (and helping to erode our economy and security). To deny this is pure ignorance.


Commenter: maro
It is a good time to re-review the PBS' report about WHO KILL THE ELECTRIC CAR? To improve our destiny in transportation. I recalled that GM produce the transportation SOLUTION long time ago, but still we need the answer who and why determined its no production. Today, where is the accountability for those desiders? and How do we reward those who decided to kill the electric car? Knowing that no produce them is a environmental crime.

Please many people do not have an idea that the electric car existed. We must educate the consciuos of our people to see our future with the next generations as judges.


Commenter: michael
One thing viewers must consider when watching this movie as well as the interview; Robert Kenner utilizes his ability to create fear and doubt in the minds of consumers. That's all a "news terrorist" needs to begin to move public opinion in a direction he/she wants.

Kenner is not an objective and factual journalist but a producer of a movie that accomplishes his mission. He does not report the facts, but uses the power of suggestion, i.e., when he replies in the interview regarding the right to know what's in our food, "I think we would have greater access if we were talking about nuclear terrorism."

What's that, Kenner? You say, "I think?" Okay, but is that a true statement? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? It's not something he has actually verified before making the statement.

In addition, Kenner's denial that personal responsibility for the choices people make with their food is a valid argument, while laying all the blame for what people eat at the feet of food producers is a classic tactic in the strategy of creating fear and doubt in the minds of consumers.

I think it's time some real journalists need look into the underworld of Kenner's finances and supporters of this video and report on who may actually be working to destroy the American food production system.


Commenter: colbydog
Just watched NOWs food inc program... and frankly, I was appalled by it.... there's no teeth in that whole show! the host david broncachio was so ambiguous one could hardly tell what they were supposed to take away from the information.

theres a much more insidious tactic being deployed now than any frankenfood, one world rule, privacy issue.. and that's the control and dissemination of information....

PBS/NPR/CPB are guilt of lying through omission.

theres so much fact being torpedoed by a single, well-placed line in any story.... that its insincere use is diabolical.

at one point in this story bronchachio actually said "there is much scientific debate about this issue" referring to the rBGH trouble with milk. MUCH SCIENTIFIC DEBATE?

that's like saying theres significant doubt of the connection mans activities have on global warming... or that smoking has anything to do with cancer... or that iraq or Hussein had anything to do with 9/11.... if the media wants to discredit a truth, it simply interjects a single sentence at the right time.... and creates reasonable doubt, and justifiable perception of a reality completely untrue.

theres recently been a study of viewer perception of the Colbert Report. Perhaps you are aware of this show? Its a comedy central spin-off of the daily show with host Stephen Colbert pretending to be a right-wing talk show host but completely making fun of the right, in the process... well a recent study of viewer perception found quite startling results when surveying a broad swatch of American viewers... both liberals and conservatives found the show informative, entertaining, and humorous.... but for entirely different reasons. Much like the 70s sitcom All in the Family ultimately tried to showcase or pervasive prejudices by creating Archie Bunker and his dysfunctional family ... it in fact fostered and (in a sense) permitted people to become more like Archie.... Conservative viewers of Colbert... use his character as something to model... not be reviled. They think much of his routine IS the self-parody of true right ideology.... meaning its good to keep ones reality in-check... therefore radical right xenophobia and conspicuous consumption are ok so long as you take time to make light of it now and again.

I got nothing out of the NOW show other than there is some yukky stuff that goes on in food production... big deal... frankly most people don't think farmers jobs aren't yukky to begin with.

A more truthful rendering by a true journalist, who broncacchio is not, wold be to spend time talking about WHY he can't talk about the topic... WHY he was required to say that sentence, and what a crisis we are in regarding the perception and actual power of government regulatory agencies. Then I'd think it worthwhile for me to watch.

Do you understand and agree with my line of thinking here? Certainly there is debatable issues here... but isn't the REAL story the one not being told... and the real trouble the fight being diluted by the presentation of both sides points in the most generic and non-threatening way.

Its like the cig story... or global warming... one powerfully placed sentence... many scientists disagree... that torpedo's truth unlike a thousand hours of fact... because the average person, has an out. A way to continue living the lie, to resist change and the possibility of having to risk non conformity.... either from the right... or the left.

I feel shows like this actually seem to be castrating the cause more than championing it.... its an epic "catch22" that's for sure.

either that ....or my tinfoil hat is on too tight!

see, I just did it to my own story! ;-)


Commenter: sakura
I would like deeply to thank you for this great program "Food Inc" and the speaker Mr. Robert Kenner. Yes, I absolutely agree with him. American people should know that food is most effective medicine. Customers should create an environment together in order to purchase more quality food at reasonable price. These high quality foods should be available to anyone, not only rich people but also all the people who live in this country equally, because it relates to the human right to live with good health. In fact, I have stopped taking any dairy products and meat since I came to the United States, because I knew that the taste is chemical and they look different and unnatural compared to the food in Japan. However, when I am back to Japan for vacation, I drink milk and eat red meat.


Commenter: John
What the American public finds reprehensible, is that as far back as 1998, now eleven (11) years and counting, Mary Bono of Calif, has been trying to provide for country of origin labeling to protect the American public from potentially tainted and toxic foodstuffs, while many members of congress as well as past leaders of our country are determined to sidetrack this issue and this law.

George W. Bush, in 2002 signed the COOL provisions into law.

And further, George W. has signed legislation to provide delay tactics to subvert this law on at least three or more occasions.

Yet, seven (7) years have elapsed, and the American people are just now becoming closer to having this law implemented.

George w. bush and his administration with the help of those in congress, who the people have elected to serve at the pleasure of the American public, are
playing politics with the health, safety and welfare of the American public.


The leadership in congress and the white house are allowing big business to dictate which foods will be allowed to poison the American public in the
name of their bottom lines and the almighty dwindling and worthless American dollar.

Congress and George W. went to war in Iraq faster than they have implemented the COOL law and provision, yet the Iraq war is far more complex than putting a country of origin label on a package of foodstuffs.


Why is this ?


Commenter: anonyman
Go Organic! Go local! Go Vegan! Go Raw!


Commenter: Mo
It's simple really: eat simply. I have changed the way I eat as I get older and it has made all the difference. I try to eat 'close to the ground.' Not quite a raw diet (yuk) but no processed food either. Kind of what my grandmother taught: eat your vegetables!


Commenter: john649
FROM BILL 'the food industry is one of the most ethical in our country.'

Please, give me a break, your awareness is clouded by your alliance to your work and financial income which is the main motivation for the lack of integrity with our food. I do not shop at mainstream grocery stores nor purchase any of the foods listed here as troubling. GM foods will be the holocaust of the future as long as people don't wake up and demand wholesome, healthy, organic, GM free food and become vegetarians. If you want to know the ethical thinking of monsanto watch these videos:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=9718E18F75D6A373


Commenter: John Yaeger
I think "making nice" trivializes the forever-ongoing effort to reconcile inflammatory differences with the Muslim world.


Commenter: Jeffrey Slott
While I certainly agree that the industrial food system that exists in this country has done more harm than good, I find the claim that it's cheaper to eat at a McDonald's than to prepare proper meals at home to be quite off the mark. I am able to prepare dinners for my mate and I for, at the most, three or four dollars, including desserts (which is always fresh fruit). A family of four or five could easily feed themselves a healthy dinner for around ten or twelve dollars, or the same amount as one would spend at a fast-food place, perhaps even less. You just have to learn what to shop for and where, and put a expend just a little more energy in the kitchen.


Commenter: Mike
Thank you VERY VERY much for this story.

I have been looking for some insight into the
food that comes off the shelf, across the counter
and into my body.

I've been wondering lately if it's absolutely
essential for so many food products to contain
"high fructose corn syrup" or other ingredients.

Certainly a companion piece to this is, I believe the
movie name is "King Corn".

And I still maintain that many of these problems are
perhaps directly related to the size of our population. We are busy trying to find, perhaps inherently unhealthy means for sustaining ourselves at the expense of our health, well-being, and our
environment.

And we are not being told the truth about these costs lest they threaten profits.

There may be some who would call this bias, but,
sometimes "bias" is simply an epithet thrown at
inconvenient truth.

Thank you.


Commenter: Natural Answers Radio w/Darren and Steve
We have been talking about and doing something about this for 5 long years!!!

A travesty. Why are people so concerned about climate change, perhaps a reality, but if you aren't alive why does it matter so much...children yes but at this rate they won't live to see it either!

We will be promoting this film HARD!!!

NATURALANSWERSRADIO.COM
ENERHEALTHBOTANICALS.COM

VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS...
FAX..EMAIL..HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD...YOUR ARE POWERFUL..BE THAT!!!!


Commenter: Grace
Thank you for informing the public with what is going on with our food today. People need to know more about their welfare. I appricate that you have the courage to let the public know the truth about our food. We need more shows like yours to tell the truth and start thinking about people for a change instead of making profit. The almighty dollar. Thank you again


Commenter: Bill VN
I have watched your program for many years and have a great respect for it, however tonight's broadcast on Food, Inc. was a travesty of good journalism. The film maker obviously has little regard for facts and, quite frankly, sounded like a "quack."

I have provided engineered products and engineering services to the food industry for many years, and I can say that, with few exceptions, the food industry is one of the most ethical in our country. They have children too and are just as concerned about the safety of the food chain as anyone else.

Also, in spite of the "big business" tone of the film's producer, most food today is actually produced by medium sized contract manufacturers/co-packers, many of whom are unnoticed by their communities yet good local citizens. And, there are few industries in the US that show such a level of innovation and entrepreneurship ; just shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Wegmen's.


Commenter: Roberta Stewart, seigstew@gte.net
"Making nice with the Muslim World" will only reduce terrorism IF we get out of their lands like they tell us to. No one in our country wants to talk about why the terrorists are after us, so of course we won't admit that THAT is why we're a target. We can kill all the Al Qaeda and Bin Ladens in any Muslim land and it won't stop terrorism against us until WE stop the terrorism we commit. And, of course, we likely will not - look at the howling already because Obama admitted up front that we deposed Iran's democratically elected president in the 50's and put in the Shah. The whole World knows it, but we in the U.S. have to continue seeing ourselves as lily pure. Until or unless we admit the dark side of our country's history, we are doomed.

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