Food Inc. – post film discussion

Thank you to everyone who came to see the East Devon Green Party film screening of Food Inc. at the Broadclyst Victory Hall yesterday afternoon. We had a good turnout and lots of interesting comments afterwards. A positive reaction to the short film on local organic farming Henry commissioned which was shown beforehand.

Here’s a place to discuss the film itself, green party farming policies, the future of food production etc – please add your comments below and join in the discussion (whether you came to see the film or not).

Here’s a link to the Food Inc. website

The East Devon Green Party webpage

The Soil Association website

8 Replies to “Food Inc. – post film discussion”

  1. I would have like some discussion on farming from a vegetarian/vegan perspective. Instead of feeding all of that grain and corn to animals, feed it directly to humans.

    I realise I should have raised this topic myself !

  2. Indeed! The Green Party Animal Policy booklet states that intensive farming “leads to food shortages since food that could be eaten by people is fed to animals” and therefore advocates “a reduction in consumption of meat and dairy products”.

  3. Maybe this horror film ought to be X rated! Yet being so excellently informative it needs to reach a wider public and be shown in schools/colleges and on TV, not just to those of us who already know how fundamentally flawed the food production system can be. I did think it spent a bit too long on the e-coli issue, but I suppose that’s what might matter most to some people.
    I agree with Yvonne – it was a bit too carnivore oriented. The outrageous cruelty to animals involved in factory farming, the inefficiency of land use (10:1 crop to animal protein), methane/CO2 emissions, as well as personal health issues, are compelling incentives to become a more vegetarian society or, at least, to significantly reduce meat consumption.
    But animals do play an important role in land management: manuring, ground turning, weed or pest eating, turf cropping (enabling certain wild flower and insect habitat conditions) – and you can’t get wool off a tractor! Humanity’s dependence on our furry, feathered or finned friends is not going to go away whatever diet we choose.
    I am aware that, to gain Soil Association certification, animal welfare has to meet relatively high standards. I’m not sure how rigorous is the testing for other organic certifying bodies. As for non-organics in this country, I like to think they’re not quite as bad as some of those that we saw in USA, but I have seen some disturbingly grim indoor pig and chicken units not too far from here.
    For UK based stories of similar malpractices in the food industry, conglomerate control, the human rights/slavery issue, labeling fraud, cons and rip-offs like pre-washed salad packs, etc. read ‘Not on the Label’ by Felicity Lawrence (I could possibly lend to you by arrangement). If that doesn’t make you think twice before you buy a burger or a chicken nugget…

  4. Green Party policies will lead directly to a shift back to more veg, a shift away from feeding grain to livestock,and therefore a reduction in pig and poultry, and a reduction in housed livestock fed on grain, and transported feed. Green Party policies will also lead directly to a shift back to a local food supply. All this flows directly from shifting taxation onto pollution. In the meantime economic forces are pulling strongly in the wrong direction: local food supply lines, especially, in our region, local veg producers, and retailers, are struggling, while more and more trade is shifting to the big supermarkets, with their long supply lines. A shift to eating more veg would be a double win: less pollution, and healthier diets.

  5. I thought things were bad in America but I didn’t realise how bad they were until I saw this film.
    I should like to add a comment on Bee Warren’s view that we are dependent on animals in farming. I agree that grazing animals can be used for landscape management, but it is possible to grow crops without animals being part of the process, and also without having to resort to the use of agrochemicals.
    This system is called Stock Free Farming. It is already being used on some farms in the UK and there are many websites giving details of how it works. PLease try a web search or look up the Vegan Society website and click on Resources then Food Security.

  6. Thanks for all your comments. One of my gripes with the film, was the family who said they couldn’t afford to eat well, and that they could get two burgers for a dollar, so that’s what they lived on. As a mother of two (aged 9 and 5) I don’t think one cheap/value burger in a bun is a good enough meal, in quantity or quality for a growing child. I have been vegetarian for 25 years and I’m able to make a range of very low cost meals out of vegetables, beans, soya and pulses. The cheapest meal we have regularly is probably vegetable soup which I reckon I could do for the four of us for under £2 in total (with bread). Tomato pasta with a vegetable/tomato based sauce is very cheap too, as is veggie hotpot or vegetable bake. I understand though, as Henry pointed out to me after I mentioned this to him after the film, that a level of education is required in order to be able to know which foods to buy, how to budget & how to cook basic meals. So – education programmes in schools and communities must be the way forward (like the Halff charity in Axminster).

    It amazes me how little cooking my children do at their primary school – I think this should be on the curriculum. We need to teach kids about different foods, where they come from, how to choose seasonal foods, and how to cook with them. Investing in this kind of programme would surely reduce obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses?

    I thought the film good and feel it might have a chance of influencing people if it could be shown in schools with emphasis on peoples greed and wastefulness which is presumably at the basis of this awful practices. I have to admit I`m pretty pessimistic and negative about persuading people to change. Sorry, Best wishes from Ingrid

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