Watching “Food, Inc.” in China

Friday nights are movie nights at our school. Our friend EM, who shares my interest in ethical food consumption, was hosting a screening of “Food, Inc.,” so I went. And I winced, gasped, and cringed through the entire movie. Those poor chickens! And pigs! And cows! GAHHH, why are they genetically modifying everything?! Why do we eat such disgusting crap? Why are these food companies so evvvvvil???

But the best part of movie night came after the credits and the students began discussing their impressions of the movie. My favorite comment of the night: “It seems like America has very high standards for food. Maybe the animals are not treated well, maybe it’s not healthy, but at least you know it’s food. It’s not toxic. They make yogurt from old shoes in China.”

It’s true: almost everyday, my coworkers are telling me new stories about how someone died from toxic juice, how the eggs are fake and they could kill you, how you can’t drink/eat *whatever* because it’s made from *something ungodly*. Just yesterday, they were telling me about how yogurt in China is made from the soles of old shoes or something like that (I can’t find any reports on-line about this, but I heard several different people mention it). This is very alarming, considering how much the husband and I love yogurt in this country.

Anyhoo, what I’m trying to say is: “Food, Inc.” may not have the same effect/shock value for Chinese audiences that it does for folks like me, because, well, frankly, they have more important things to worry about in their food.

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2 Responses to Watching “Food, Inc.” in China

  1. Bee says:

    I’m glad you were able to stomach the movie! (pun intended, sad trombone) I haven’t watched it because I think I would probably retch. And frankly, it would be preaching to the choir…

    It’s sad that food safety is such a big concern in China, that corporations have gone that far to allow for that to happen, that people just want to eat and not die—the opposite of the intended effect of eating, one would hope.

    But somebody needs to raise—and maintain—the bar for standards. If you’ll allow for a moment of raising awareness, please, corporations (in the US and elsewhere) have an increasing interest in commodifying nature, all for a robust bottom line, at the expense of individuals and their health. This point was probably outlined in the movie. Unless people get the word out and call their representatives and get involved somehow, it’s only going to get worse for all our natural resources—for fresh water(crisis coming, per experts), for food (prices are rising!), for energy (it’s already bad now).

    That concludes my political shpiel. I apologize for any inconvenience.

    • eunnie says:

      YES, i agree with everything you said in this comment!
      but btw, i didn’t find Food Inc. to be too disturbing. i recently read “eating animals” by JSF, and that was way more graphic.

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