From the turn of the 20th century, advances in technology have changed the way we eat.
We no longer have to anticipate a certain season to purchase fruits and vegetables. The establishment of fast-food chains takes the worry out of preparing our own food. Fast food may be more affordable than organic food, but we are paying the price with our lives. Do we really know what we’re eating?
No. We simply do not know. We just know that our food is not like it used to be. It’s all processed now. Food Inc., a 2008 documentary, examines how food is made – or created – in America.
“It’s not just about food, it’s about our right to know,” said Robert Kenner, director of Food Inc., in an interview with Planet Forward, an environmentally focused organization.
Kenner believes consumers should know that they maybe at risk for contracting food-borne illnesses or eating genetically altered food.
The truth about illnesses such as Mad Cow disease and E. coli is actually quite scary.
Take our meat products for example. If there is one cow on a farm that is sick, then all the cows surrounding that cow become sick because they graze through each other’s manure.
To give you an idea of how quickly that infected meat can be distributed, the average pack of meat has parts from over ten different animals in one package.
While beef products maybe subjected to being fed hormones, it is a common misconception that the same is being done to poultry.
Chickens from some major food companies are given arsenic based drugs and antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease.
However, those additives are not required to be place on food labels by law.
Many believe that the influx in size of the average chicken is a result them being fed growth hormones; but federal laws prohibit the use of synthetic hormones in chicken production.
Even our fruits and vegetables are not exempt from harsh treatment.
Fruits and vegetables are available year-round because companies ripen produce with toxic gases, which alter their flavors.
Through my research I had to ask myself, if this information is publicly available, why is no one doing anything about this? The Food and Drug Administration, which supposedly monitors the safety of what we consume, has become ineffective over the past 40 years.
According to the FDA’s Web site, In 1972, the FDA conducted more than 50,000 food safety inspections; in 2008 they only did 15,245 due to a shortage of inspectors. In this case, money trumps the safety of the American people.
So, we are what we eat…but the truth is the majority of us don’t know what we’re shoving down our throats year after year. Food Inc. reminds us that the presence of hormones, drugs and diseases in our food should be unacceptable.