Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Food, Inc

I've seen this trailer a couple times at the local art house, but did not have the sense that it would likely become a cultural docu-event a la Super Size Me. If this NYTimes article about Food, Inc is any indication, though, it just may. When Martha Stewart is pushing your movie, people could pay attention. And it sounds like what they see will be fairly... uncomfortable to watch.
Viewers who haven’t thought much about how all that food in the grocery store got to be there will likely find it hard to toss a few packages of pork chops and some Froot Loops in the cart and call it a day. Some viewers will undoubtedly look away during the meat cutting and processing scenes. For parents the eye-averting moment will come during repeated slow-motion scenes of a 2-year-old’s last vacation. His mother, now a food-safety advocate, explains in a tearful voice-over the gruesome details of his death after he ate hamburger tainted with E. coli.
I understand why they want to do that, but it would be nice if we could convey a positive message of healthy, organic, locally grown, humane... without having to send viewers through a horrifingly graphic, emotional wringer to get there. Sounds like the film approaches the food problem from many different angles, so hopefully that's just one small element. Speaking for myself though, jarring disgust is not an effective long-term strategy for changing my behavior.

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