Food, Inc.

Discussion in 'Health and Wellness' started by abcgrad94, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Yesterday I watched the documentary "Food, Inc" and now I never want to eat another McDonalds burger again, along with any commercially packed chicken or beef.

    Anybody else see this movie? It is a thought provoking documentary on where our food comes from, who controls the majority of the food chain, and how politics have corrupted our health because of greed.

    I highly recommend anyone interested in healthy eating watch this movie.
     
  2. Johnv

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    Well, unless you're going to slaughter your own steer, chicken, or swine, you're going to eat commercially packaged beef/chicken.

    I've seen the film, and it's filled with Al Gore-esque mythology, akin to something Michael Moore would put out. In short, the film is a bunch of hooey. It denomized the American farmer. The film claims that the food supply industry is dominated by corporate farms. In reality, however, 98% of farms in the US are owned and operated by family farmers (See the USDA 2007 Farm Report).

    The film falsely claims that the patenting of plants has only been happenning since the 80's. In fact, it's been happenning since the late 1800's. The film also claims that SCOTUS Judge Clarene Thomas ruled in favor of the industry due to his prior employement with Monsanto. In reality, the case heard by Thomas did not have Monsanto as a party. Further, Thomas hadn's worked for Monsanto since the 70's, which was years before Monsanto was involved in biotech agriculture.

    The film also claims that Monsanto declined to participate in the film. Yet Elise Pearlstein, L.A. based producer for the film, acknowleges that she was invited to meet with Monsanto personnel at a trade show, but that she declined after they asked questions pertaining to the film (she later claimed she was denied press credentials).
     
    #2 Johnv, Jan 5, 2010
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  3. abcgrad94

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    I am very concerned that the food we're eating has been altered in such a way as to make it unhealthy. When chickens are specifically made to grow such huge breasts that their bone structure cannot support them and they must sit in their own poop, unable to walk, I believe it's not only unhealthy for the chicken, but for us humans as well. It also speaks volumes of the companies who require such inhumane treatment of the animals in order to turn a profit.
     
  4. Johnv

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    None of that changes the fact that "Food Inc" is mostly myth. But I thought I'd address your comments regardless, because they're valid points on their own.
    As am I. But much of what we call "altered" is nothing more than the same sort of artificial selection which farmers have been doing for thousands of years.
    You're making a judgement based on perception, and not on objectivity. It's similar to claiming that pork is unhealthy because pigs wallow in mud and feces all day (which is generally true).
    Much of what we call inhumaine is again based on humanized perception, and not on objectivity. Having worked with all sorts of farm animals for years while my children were in 4H and FFA, I can tell you that many of these perceptions are not based on anything objective at all (although some are).
     
  5. abcgrad94

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    Is it not inhumane to grow chickens in an unnatural environment (dark, crowded, dirty) to unnatural proportions? It's not just the feces that bothers me. It's the fact that these animals are being abused in the name of greed. When chickens are made to grow faster than what their bones can support, it's abuse, and not taking proper care of God's creatures.

    When my family butchered chickens, we never kicked the animals around (as shown on the movie) and we let them grow naturally, with sunshine and fresh air and space to move around.
     
  6. Johnv

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    There's a lot of subjectivity in your comment resulting in humanization of the animal. One can't objectively discern humaine treatment of an animal from a subjective position. In order for something to be inhumaine, it must be shown that the animal in question is being harmed. For example, selecting chickens for their breast size isn't in and of itself unnatural, nor is it something new (domesticated chickens have had large breasts of meat for hundreds upon hundreds of years, because they were selected to do so).

    One must differentiate between that which is truly inhumaine, and that which "appears" inhumaine.
    So says the film, but in fact, the meat industry is one of the most inspected industries in the nation. As with any industry, there's occaisional abuse, but the claims of animal abuse to be the norm is very much a myth.
    They're not. That's one of those oft-claimed myths, right up there with the genetically bred headless chickens and similar nonsense.
    The movie assumes that "kicking" chickens is the norm. Given the fallacies in the rest of the film, and given the frequency and rigourousness of poultry inspections nationwide, it' can't be claimed that this is the norm. I can't speak for them, but I can speak from my own experience. A visiting parent once got mad at me for slapping a pig on the rump really hard to get it to move. What she failed to realize is that's how you get pigs to move. They have a thick hide which requires greater handling. Pigs need to be slapped and kicked to get them to move, and it causes no harm to them whatsoever.
     
    #6 Johnv, Jan 5, 2010
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  7. abcgrad94

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    Selective breeding is one thing, but when the chicken cannot even walk because her chest is to large and heavy, that appears to be abuse to me. Did you see that part of the movie, where the chickens could only walk a step or two without having to lay down? I've helped raise chickens, and I know for a fact that normal, healthy chickens do not lay down unless they are sick, laying eggs, or brooding.

    Why do you say I am subjective?
     
  8. Johnv

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    I have, and I've also been on several chicken ranches (the birds, not the other kind). Never once have I seen what the movie claims. I suspect it's selective editing on a part of the filmmakers, which would be consistent with other parts of the film.
    Because you're making a determination based on what appears humane, as opposed to what is objectively humane. I do the same thing, so it's not an abnormal human reaction. But it's not objective.
     
  9. Gina B

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    abcgrad, you are right to be concerned!

    I made some radical changes in my children's diets after one of them started maturing at a VERY young age, and I noticed other children in our area going through the same thing.

    Her pediatrician recommended putting her on some kind of weird stuff to hold off puberty.

    I chose to change her diet instead.

    My research showed me that food is laden with stuff we do NOT want in our growing kids. Hormones, antibiotics, and the quality of meats themselves were major issues...feed supplements and such that turn cows into carnivores is NOT good or healthy. Certain pesticides are horrible to ingest.

    When I changed the diet my kids were on, the signs of puberty also stopped. One of them went back to a normal weight. Mood swings weren't as apparent. Now that we no longer have as much access to organic/natural foods, the mood swings are baaaccckkk. AGH!

    So now you already have the knowledge that a lot of the stuff we buy is not as healthy and normal as we think. The next step is figuring out what to do about it!

    There are a few things. Growing and storing your own veggies is one of them. Buying from Farmer's Markets is also good, and if you ask around enough you may be able to exchange stuff instead of using cash. Maybe if you sew, you can trade some of your work for food and they can sell your work in addition to what is being sold at a stand.

    Using less of the worst products helps too. If you can't find or can't afford buying direct from a farmer (and out here the cost is crazy!) than buy less meat and serve bigger sides of stuff you trust...like maybe brown rice or flash frozen veggies. I can't imagine it being too difficult to find someone with chickens to buy eggs off of, or who sells chickens.

    Learn your local brands...ask them where they get their meat and then look up the company and/or farm on the internet. It throws the workers off when you do this, so save some time and just ask to speak to the department manager. Let them know why, and insist on getting the names (gently and kindly of course) even if they just try to verbally assure you of the quality of the products they're selling.

    Join co-ops if you can. Join Organic Valley (on Facebook) or other sites and get coupons and hook up with people locally who can help you in your quest. OV has cool recipes and coupons. Unlike what many seem to think, not all of us are sitting around in a circle eating carob chips and singing songs to Mother Earth...most of us are just looking for ways to keep excess pesticides and hormones out of the bellies of the people we're responsible for feeding.


    And thanks for the reminder...I've gotta get on top of things out here. This state STINKS for finding anything affordable that isn't loaded with trash, but I haven't tried as hard as I should either.

    A lot of stuff that happens with commercial farming is inhumane. Trust your heart. God gave man the responsibility to care for the earth and for the animals. There are ways to treat both, ways to care, ways to slaughter properly, and many don't follow it. If you see it and your conscience is pricked, there's probably a good reason. Line it up with what we're told in Scripture and in our hearts, and see how it fits.
     
  10. donnA

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    like johnv said though, unless you raise and slaughter your own, this is what your eating everyday. all farm raised animals, unless you fork over big bucks for organic, and still no guarentees, then your getting meat filled with hormones and all kinds of stuff.
     
  11. Johnv

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    The topic isn't concern over food production in general, the topic at hand is the movie "Food, Inc". The movie is mostly myth.

    On the topic of being concerned over food production, I likewise concur that all should have concer and excercise proper care and choices.
    I don't disagree, but these sort of blanket statements are a dime a dozen. I just recently completed my "burger" experiment which dispelled the "preserved burger" myth.

    You realize, don't you, that foods labeled organic aren't much different than foods that aren't labeled organic. I was an avid consumer of organic products for years, until I did some long term research than any individual can do. What I foudn out wasn't that organic foods are bad for you (they're not, they're great), but that the claims made by organic food suppliers and proponents about nonorganic foods are frequently anecdotal, typically overinflated, and often fabricated.

    For example, did you know that there is no hormone usage in the rearing and production of chickens, turkeys, ducks or swine. Yet organic food proponents often claim that these meats are laden with hormones. In beef, numerous studies (incuding numerous FDA and Cornell University studies, such as their 2000 Consumer Concern study, show that the level of hormones in beef is not significantly higher between cattle who are subject to hormones and cattle that are not, and that they are nearly identical. This has to do with the fact that the hormones in question are soluble, and not stored in the body of the slaughtered animal. Steroid hormones in food are often suspected to cause early puberty in girls, but numerous public and private studies have been conducted to see if a connection between early puberty and the use of hormones in cattle. No connection has been found to date, and exposure to higher than natural levels of steroid hormones through hormone-treated meat or poultry has never been documented.

    That's not what she said. She said it was cruel to the animal, and concluded that an animal in such a condition probably isn't good for human consumption.
    Funny you shoudl mention that. A coworker of mine has his own chicken coop, the lucky man! He sells eggs to us for $150 a carton, and they're the best eggs ever when they're new! Store-bought eggs are several days older, so some of the freshness goes away.
    The heart is fickle. Better to trust the facts. The facts indicate that the claims of inhumaine treatment of animals in farms is generally overblown. Where they are valid, of course they shoudl be addressed. But to make blanket statements of accusing industries as a whole is not only in error, it's bearing false witness, and being a bad christian example.

    The movie Food, Inc was a good movie, but it is an example of bearing false witness and being a lousy Christian example.
     
    #11 Johnv, Jan 5, 2010
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  12. Gina B

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    John, I know my own experiences and that of my children. As long as anyone is interested, I'm willing to hand out a few tips for feeding our families better and am always interested to hear how others handle the issue of providing better and healthier ingredients for our diets.

    You are a very smart guy and I respect that, but you're not my source of authority on this issue. The fact that you saved a few burgers at home and eyeballed them doesn't change my mind about the dangers of ingesting more impurities than needed or the fact that raising animals without the respect and care God directed us to have is wrong.

    As you pointed out, the topic is the movie she watched, but A-Grad wouldn't have commented if she wasn't interested in alternatives or at least considering them. Still, thank you for playing the part of Topic Guard. There are many thread hi-jackers flying the internet, and you have helped to remind me not to become one of them. Your services are valued and appreciated.

    SO, ANYONE GOT A RECIPE FOR TRIPLE FUDGE BROWNIES?! (preferably made with organic milk)

    Oops, there I go again...
     
  13. Johnv

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    I don't doubt yur experiences. I'm simply saying that your experiences are not the rule for all, because the evidence doesn't support it.
    I don't pretend to be otherwise.
    The problem is that it's easy to point to a burger and say "impurities, yuck", but no one is ever able to accurately say what said impurites are, or what they do. I'm not saying impurities don't exist, but to just say "lookie, bad bad" is like a boy pointing to a girl and saying "yuckie, cooties".

    In my experiment, I didn't find anything new. McDonald's burgers decay, just like any other burger does. Lots of people "claim" that McDonald's burgers are bad for you because they don't decay, but they in fact do. That said, anyone who males a lifetime of eating burgers for every meal (whether they're McDOnalds or homemade) is being irresponsible. Moderation, people, moderation. Read the darned labels!!!
    It's time for me to change sifts. This is actually quite and interesting topic. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would oppose knowing more about the foods they eat, but it seems there's often a trend to go to one extreme or another (eat 10lbs or ground chuck and 2 gallons of beer every day, or eat raw soy and drink hand-prufied water while singing kum ba yah).
    Moderation, people, moderation! Make it double fudge!
     
  14. abcgrad94

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    Right. Watching the movie has made me think harder about what I'm putting into my body and whether or not the commercially produced food available is the right choice for me. I'm not going to believe every single word of every documentary ever made about food, but the more research and info on the subject, the better choices I can make. I've been looking into this for a couple of years now, so it's not like I'm going to run out and buy bulk tofu just because I watched the documentary, but I do believe the movie has some very valid points to ponder.
     
  15. Benjamin

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    Yep, people need to wake up to what their putting in their bodies. It is no myth that the increasingly unnatural methods of raising and processing foods are leading to all kinds of health problems. Common sense should tell us to keep things more natural; to let the $ be our motive and guide is plain foolishness, and that is exactly what’s happening. Convenience and low cost isn't everything people! We should be willing to spend a little more $ and time on our food to keep it healthy, but unfortunately producers and consumers alike are all about the $ and to top this off being regulated by the likes and values ,or to put the kind of trust some do, in the FDA… well, whada joke!
     
  16. Johnv

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    That's a bit vague. Perhaps if you could tell us exactly what those methods are, and what specific health problems they're leading to.

    Get a kid into 4H or FFA like I did. My kid's last swine finally left my freezer this past fall.

    Even if you don't, you're still getting meat filled with hormones, because they're naturally occurring. As alread noted, poultry and pork products don't have hormones added in rearing (something people often don't realize). Hormones are most often used in beef production. There is constant testing, and the hormone levels found in beef are constantly found to be not significantly higher than hormones found in organic beef. So, yes, one can say that there are hormones in beef, but one cannot say with any regularity that introduced hormones in beef regularly contribute to adversity of one's health. If anyone is concerned, the best avenue is moderation. Lack of dietary moderation is typically the most common destructive behavior that Americans engage in. Eat less, and in moderation; move more, and more vigorously. That will result in greater health benefits many times more than switching to organic, home grown, or any other switch.
    Absolutely.
     
    #16 Johnv, Jan 6, 2010
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  17. abcgrad94

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    Anyone have a link to these tests? Who conducts them? The people profiting from the sales, or an outside objective source?
     
  18. Johnv

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    The FDA does consinuous tests. When my kids were in FFA and 4H, we got them regularly (as part of their FFA class). They'd get a new one every year. I don't recall the exact name of the publication, but I'll see if I can find it. I recall that FDA and USDA testing in the field was pretty rigorous. Cornell University has publshed several Consumer Concern studies on the subject. I dont' know if they're availeble online. I was citing a 2000 and 2005 study. The Cal Poly schools, being agriculture schools, do a sample processing study rather frequently, but they only do the industry in California (they're CA schools). The beef industries do their own studies as well, but I did not cite them, since one could consider might subjective.

    On the flip side, it would also be beneficial to see tests that support claims of "bad stuff" in processed foods.
     
  19. Gina B

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    From the USDA Website:

    Here is the link: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004446&acct=nopgeninfo

    Here is their link that talks about what organic food production means: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml#resources

    John, here are a couple questions for you:

    1. Would you prefer to eat the skin of potatoes and apples labeled organic, or ones that are not grown with organic methods? Which ones would you feel most comfortable feeding your daughter? Why?

    2. Would you rather eat meat from animals that are allowed outside and not given growth hormones (non-organic animals don't have these same standards) or from animals kept indoors and given growth hormones? (just how Jesus would want us to farm, right?) Why?

    Concerns over food do not just include what products are in the meat. Christians should be concerned with the quality, the product, AND the methods used to obtain those products.
     
  20. Johnv

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    Having done both, I can't say I have a preference either way.
    Same answer. Having done both, I can't say I have a preference either way.
    I agree completely, but those concerns should be weighed in light of objective facts, not subjective feelings.


    BTW, totally off-topic, what's wrong with ionizing radiation?
     

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