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Food, Inc. A Robert Kenner Film

Premiere Date: April 21, 2010

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Film-Related

Filmmaker Website: Food, Inc.
The official website for Food, Inc. contains information about the issues covered by the film, videos and photos, educational materials, ways to take action and much more.

Take Part | Food, Inc.
This online community, which focuses on engaging members in social issues, has begun a campaign for Food, Inc. that focuses on ways to support healthy school lunches and change the food system. The website encourages members to sign petitions, watch celebrity public service announcements and learn more about food-related issues by reading the Hungry for Change blog.

Robert Kenner Films
This website offers information about Food, Inc. filmmaker Robert Kenner, his works in progress, his speaking engagements and his other films.

Polyface Farms
Joel Salatin, featured in Food, Inc., and the Salatin family own this pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and outreach center in Virginia. Visitors can hear their story, check out Salatin's speaking schedule and find out about the farm's two-day, six-meal intensive seminar.

Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI)
The Center for Foodborne Illness was co-founded by Barbara Kowalcyk, who is featured in Food, Inc. Kowalcyk's son, Kevin Kowalcyk, died from complications due to an E. coli infection when he was just two. For an update on her campaign, read Kevin's story and get the latest on Kevin's Law, as well as research and advocacy initiatives aimed at preventing food-borne illness.

Michael Pollan
This website features articles by the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, a schedule of Pollan's speaking engagements and a list of his resources for sustainable eating.

Books

Food, Inc.: How Industrial Food Is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer - And What You Can Do About It, Karl Weber, Ed. (New York: Public Affairs, 2009)
In this unique companion book, the challenges and issues covered in Food, Inc. are explored in 13 essays, most of them written especially for this book. Many experts featured in the film have chimed in with more in-depth thoughts.

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan (New York: Penguin Press, 2008)
Author Michael Pollan, featured in Food, Inc., notes that, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, the solutions to the current omnivore's dilemma can be found all around. In looking toward traditional diets the world over, as well as the foods American families — and regions — have historically enjoyed, people can recover a more balanced, reasonable and pleasurable approach to food. This is a manifesto about what to eat, what not to eat and how to think about health.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser (New York: HarperPerennial, 2005)
Fast food has hastened the malling of the American landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit and careful reasoning. Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions, where the fast-food business was born, to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike, where many of fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, the author unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths — from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture and even real estate.


Food Safety

FoodSafety.gov
This website is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies. Visitors can learn more about regulatory inspections and compliance procedures and gain access to valuable food safety tips, multimedia and educational materials and the latest food safety news from federal agencies.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC website updates visitors on recent E. coli outbreaks, recalls of beef and more. It also offers advice about food safety to consumers.

Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE)
A consumer food safety resource, the Partnership for Food Safety Education works to reduce food-borne illness through research-based, actionable consumer food safety initiatives. The Education and Outreach section offers food safety curriculum for kids, informative fact sheets and general safe food handling measures. PFSE also offers downloadable brochures and flyers, activity sheets and fact sheets.

Government Accountability Project
Learn more about food integrity initiatives through the Government Accountability Project, which looks to address the fields from which our food originates as well as the professional fields that impact food quality and integrity.

The New York Times: Food Safety
A topics page from The New York Times covers food safety in the United States and aggregates articles from the newspaper's archives about outbreaks of salmonella, E. coli and more. The Times points out, "Roughly 76 million people in the United States suffer food-borne illnesses each year, 300,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die, according to C.D.C. [Centers for Disease Control] estimates."

Scientific American: "Will New Food Safety Rules Hurt Organic Farmers?"
This article addresses the difficulty of policing food safety systems uniformly and the burden pushed onto small-scale farms when they are regulated in the same way as giant, monoculture farms. (April 3, 2009)

CNN: Jonathan Safran Foer: "Eating Animals Is Making Us Sick"
Author Jonathan Safran Foer investigates meat consumption, meat production and the stories people tell about their meat-inclusive diets in his 2009 book, Eating Animals. Through his account, he addresses the many costs and risks associated with eating meat in today's industrialized environment. His opinion essay for CNN summarizes the book's main points.


School Lunch

The Atlantic: "Breaking Down the Child Nutrition Act: Q&A"
Marion Nestle, professor and author of Food Politics and What to Eat, explains the Child Nutrition Act that's currently up for debate in Congress and covers the history of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's school lunch program. Nestle says, "School lunches started out as a way to dispose of surplus agricultural commodities by feeding hungry kids." Despite some reservations, she says that the Child Nutrition Act is worth supporting.

The New York Times: "Stars Aligning on School Lunches"
This article sheds light on the strides school food reform has made in the past decade and highlights the changes it has experienced under the Obama administration. It emphasizes the importance of the Child Nutrition Act, but also details other issues that must be addressed in order to achieve better nutritional standards in schools. (August 18, 2009)

School Nutrition Association (SNA)
The federal Child Nutrition Act is up for reauthorization every five years, and lawmakers work to improve child nutrition programs by assessing what works and what doesn't. SNA is a professional organization for those who provide meals to students across the country and works to advance child nutrition programs. Parents, students and others can find information about how to improve school lunches on its website.

Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC)
This nonprofit group advocates for healthy school environments and is also working on the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. The website encourages users to contact their legislators and get involved in the campaign.

Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project
This anonymous blog features Mrs. Q, who was disheartened by what she saw kids eating at school. She is eating school lunch every day in 2010 to raise awareness about school lunch foods.

What's for School Lunch?
This blog features photographs of school lunches from around the world.

Books

School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America's Favorite Welfare Program by Susan Levine (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008)
The American school lunchroom is the stage for one of the most popular yet flawed social welfare programs in the history of the United States. School Lunch Politics covers this complex and fascinating part of American culture, from its origins in early twentieth-century nutrition science, through the establishment of the National School Lunch Program in 1946, to the transformation of school meals into a poverty program during the 1970s and 1980s. Susan Levine investigates the politics and culture of food, specifically who decides what American children should be eating, what policies develop from those decisions and how those policies might be better implemented.

Free for All: Fixing School Food in America by Janet Poppendieck (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2010)
How did children end up eating nachos, pizza and Tater Tots for lunch? Janet Poppendieck explores the deep politics of food provision from multiple perspectives — history, policy, nutrition, environmental sustainability, taste and more. Opening a window onto the culture as a whole, Poppendieck reveals the forces — the financial troubles of schools, the commercialization of childhood, the reliance on market models — that are determining how lunch is served. She concludes with a sweeping vision for change: fresh, healthy food for all children as a regular part of the school day.


Genetically Modified Foods

World Health Organization: 20 Questions on Genetically Modified (GM) Foods
This Q-and-A from the United Nations authority on health covers basic information about genetically modified foods, including what they are, whether they are safe, how they are regulated internationally, how they affect the environment and more.

USA Today: "Genetically Modified Foods Get U.S. Traction, Global Debate"
Europeans have largely rejected genetically modified foods, citing concerns about human and environmental health, while North and South American farmers have embraced them, arguing that they decrease the use of pesticides. This article provides an overview of global arguments for and against genetically modified foods. (March 17, 2010)

The New York Times: "Courts Force U.S. Reckoning With Dominance of GM Crops"
This article examines recent court decisions on the increasing dominance of genetically modified crops in the United States and the lack of legislation to regulate those crops. (October 8, 2009)

Grist: "Umbra on Genetically Modified Foods"
Green-living expert Umbra Fisk answers a reader question about whether genetically modified foods are harmful. She explains the difference between hybridization of plants, which has occurred throughout agricultural history, and genetic manipulation, which has been happening in laboratories in the last few decades, and concludes that more information, regulation and labeling are needed. (August 9, 2004)

The Center for Food Safety (CFS)
An organization that promotes organic agriculture, CFS wages campaigns against what it calls "harmful food production technologies," which include genetically engineering foods. The website for CFS includes a non-genetically modified shopper's guide.

Books

Food Fray: Inside the Controversy Over Genetically Modified Food by Lisa H. Weasel (New York: Amacom, 2008)
Lisa H. Weasel helps readers make sense of the complex, contentious issue of genetically modified food. Positioning itself directly at the intersection of food, politics and technology, Food Fray captures the real-life experiences and wide-ranging perspectives of the scientists, farmers, policy-makers and grassroots activists on the front lines of this fierce debate, teasing out the hype from the reality and uncovering the very real pros and cons of genetically modified foods.

Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds by Claire Hope Cummings (Boston: Beacon Press, 2008)
Claire Hope Cummings takes readers from the Fertile Crescent in Iraq to the island of Kaua'i in Hawaii; from Oaxaca, Mexico, to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam to demonstrate that whoever controls seeds, from the farm to the laboratory or patent office, controls the health of the planet. Uncertain Peril serves as a powerful reminder that what's at stake right now is nothing less than the nature of the future.


Farmers' Networks, Farmers Markets and Co-ops

Local Harvest
Visitors can enter a zip code on the website of Local Harvest to find organic food — including food from farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) and co-ops — in a specific area. The website also has an online store that helps small farms develop markets for some of their products beyond their local areas.

The Eat Well Guide
This free online directory for those in search of fresh, locally grown and sustainably produced food in the United States and Canada has thousands of listings of family farms, restaurants, farmers' markets, grocery stores, community supported agriculture programs, pick-your-own orchards and more. Users can search by location, keyword, category or product to find good food, download customized guides or plan a trip with a mapping tool.

Rodale Institute
A nonprofit that supports organic farming techniques, the Rodale Institute studies organic and conventional farming techniques and trains farmers all over the world. The website's Farm Locator enables visitors to find farms in their areas.

University of Missouri Extension: Starting and Operating a Farmers' Market
This Q-and-A covers the steps to starting a market.

Cooperative Grocers' Information Network: How to Start a Food Co-op
This website offers a step-by-step guide to starting a local food cooperative.


Public Health Issues Related to Industrial Food


Let's Move
This initiative, led by Michelle Obama, aims to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation. By collaborating with both the public and private sector, Let's Move aims to offer parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help kids to be more physically active and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of the United States.

USDA Food Environment Atlas
This map, created by the United States Department of Agriculture, highlights specific environment factors — such as the proximity of stores and restaurants, food prices and the availability of nutrition assistance programs — that affect a community's access to fresh, healthy foods. The data in this map is a step towards identifying causal relationships between environment and health policy interventions.

Shape Up America!
This nonprofit is committed to raising awareness of obesity as a health issue and to providing responsible information on healthy weight management. By clearly defining obesity as a major public health issue, Shape Up America! is conducting a broad-based educational initiative to encourage sensible eating and increased physical activity in all individuals and a modest weight loss that can be maintained over time in overweight individuals.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
The mission of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through research. The advocacy section of the website offers information about key issues, ways to join the foundation's key campaigns and tools to help those who wish to reach out to Congress to influence change. The section on life with diabetes also offers valuable information and practical advice for diabetics of all ages.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA)
Learn about farm-related issues through this nonprofit, public interest organization.

The New York Times: "Child Obesity Risks Death at Early Age, Study Finds"
According to this article, which underscores the long-term health effects of obesity, a recent study found that the "heaviest youngsters were more than twice as likely as the thinnest to die prematurely, before age 55, of illness or a self-inflicted injury." (February 10, 2010)

American Diabetes Association: Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Young Adults: A "New Epidemic"
American Diabetes Association president and pediatric endocrinologist Francine Ratner Kaufman examines why the pediatric population is increasingly developing this disease, how to treat it and, most importantly, how to prevent this "new epidemic" from destroying future generations of Americans.

ScienceDaily.com: "Increased Food Intake Alone Explains Rise In Obesity In United States, Study Finds"
A new study discovers that the rise in obesity in the United States since the 1970s is almost entirely due to increased food intake. The researchers emphasize that expectations regarding what can be achieved with exercise need to be lowered, and that public health policy must shift toward encouraging people to eat less. (May 8, 2009)

The Washington Post: "First Lady Michelle Obama: 'Let's Move' and Work on Childhood Obesity Problem"
This is an overview of what to expect from Let's Move, First Lady Michelle Obama's national initiative to combat childhood obesity. Details regarding the 2011 budget for the program, key partnerships and concrete changes to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports are explained. (February 10, 2010)


PBS/NPR

PBS

What Matters: Community Supported Agriculture and Farmers' Markets
Most people are paying more attention to what they consume. In the wake of health scares from spinach, tomatoes and pet food and with concerns about the economic impact of shipping food from great distances growing, many people are looking to fill their dinner tables closer to home. (August 6, 2009)

Independent Lens: King Corn
Two recent college grads discover where food in the United States comes from when they plant a single acre of corn and follow it from the seed to the dinner table. With the help of government subsidies, genetically modified seeds and powerful herbicides, the country's most subsidized crop becomes the staple of its cheapest — and most troubling — foods. On the website for the film, lean how corn farming has changed and find alternatives to high fructose corn syrup. (February, 2008)

NewsHour: Global Food Chain Leads to Food Safety Challenges
NewsHour's Jeffrey Brown interviews representatives from Congress and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the role of the food industry and the FDA in food safety, as well as current problems with food inspection. (April 26, 2007)

NewsHour: FDA Weighs Approval of Irradiating Produce
In the wake of the E. coli outbreaks in 2006, some scientists and businesses encouraged the Food and Drug Administration to approve the use of bacteria-killing radiation to treat produce such as spinach and lettuce. NewsHour correspondent Tom Bearden interviews business leaders, toxicologists and experts in the field of electron beam research to assess the radiation process and the risks and benefits involved. (February 8, 2007)

NewsHour: Pigs and Politics
A group of prominent American scientists recently wrote a report accusing the Bush administration of "misrepresenting and suppressing scientific knowledge for political purposes." Jeffrey Kaye explores the intersection of politics and science on one North Carolina pig farm. (June 3, 2004)

Frontline: Modern Meat
Frontline goes inside the world of the modern American meat industry and shows that a once simple product, the hamburger, is no longer so simple. This website includes excerpts from various interviews with scientists and industry observers on the pros and cons of the industrialization of the beef business. Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser are among the interviewees. The "Is Your Meat Safe?" section of the website provides more information on food-borne illnesses and antibiotic resistance and additional consumer resources for food safety. (April 2002)

Frontline/Nova: Harvest of Fear
Frontline and NOVA explore the intensifying debate over genetically modified food crops. Featuring interviews with scientists, farmers, biotech and food industry representatives, government regulators and critics of biotechnology, this two-hour report presents both sides of the debate and explores the risks and benefits of this new technology. This website provides transcripts of the interviews and covers the pros and cons of genetic modification of food crops and discusses which crops are being or will be altered genetically. (April 2001)

NPR

All Things Considered: Biotech Crops Are Good For Earth, Report Finds
Over the past 14 years, three of the nation's biggest cash crops have quietly become genetically engineered crops. These days, 80 percent of the corn, cotton and soybeans are the products of biotech. A report released by the National Research Council committee finds that crops produced through genetic engineering are on the whole beneficial for farmers who plant these seeds. But the committee cautions that the technology could lose some of its power if it's not carefully managed in the future. (April 13, 2010).

Talk of the Nation: Obesity Trumps Smoking as American Health Burden
Reporting in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers write that the American obesity epidemic is eating away at gains in health and life expectancy achieved by anti-smoking campaigns. In this 2010 program, Talk of the Nation's Ira Flatow and guests Matthew Gillman and Erica Lubetkin discuss the trend and how Americans can trim fat. (January 8, 2010)

Talk of the Nation: Despite Advances, 'Diabetes Rising'
Twenty-three million people in the United States have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and if that growth continues, one-third of the American population could become affected by the disease. Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan interviews medical journalist Dan Hurley to learn more about this trend. Hurley's new book, Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It, explores why a once rare disease is exploding around the world and why doctors focus so much on treatment, rather than cures or prevention. (January 5, 2010)

Tell Me More: Nation's Obesity Problem Puts Strain On Health Care Costs
A new study published by the Journal of Health Affairs reports that obesity-related health spending has doubled in the last decade. Some economists worry that health care reform could become more costly if Americans do not start shedding those extra pounds. Michel Martin of Tell Me More interviews David Kessler, former head of the Food and Drug Administration and author of the book The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, who explains the seriousness of the obesity problem in the United States and suggests who should foot the bill. (July 29, 2009)





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The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000...”

— Michael Pollan, author of
“In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto"

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