Although I’ve seen various documentaries relating to food and health in America, after watching Food Inc. I decided to explore other films on the matter. In addition to Food Inc., two films that really touched me were Forks Over Knives, and Fed Up (both can be found on Netflix). The culmination of these documentaries highlight extremely important issues in our country: food insecurity, social inequality, lack of food education, lack of government transparency, and corruption. I’ve made a personal decision to cut out meat from my diet, because unfortunately it’s most likely that the meat I consume on a day-to-day basis comes from the top meat corporations that treat animals inhumanely, inject our food with hormones and antibiotics in addition to treating their laborers unfairly. I would rather cut out meat from my diet rather than research where my meat is coming from because according to the China Study, the most comprehensive study on diet and disease, found 97,000 positive correlations between meat consumption and disease. It breaks my heart that I have lost faith in our food systems, because as a nation, we’ve regressed immensely.
Yes, we may be able to efficiently feed a growing population and meet a growing demand through factory-style farming, but taking societal and environmental costs into consideration, our food systems present a backwards way of thinking. While we are increasing production, we are contaminating the environment, we are contaminating our bodies, and we are killing millions of Americans.
I find it so ironic that we spend the least on food in comparison to any industrialized nation, yet spend the most on healthcare. Trillions of dollars each year are spent on healthcare while the main diseases we see are chronic diseases that are all preventable through diet. The government may decreases costs through subsidization of commodity crops, but the implications are far more expensive.
The FDA and the USDA have proven time after time that their loyalty lies not within the people, but within the large corporations that they have financial ties to. I hope that the future of agriculture represents how agriculture should be, and I hope that people start caring about the demise of food integrity in this country.