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Food Inc. - The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000

Posted May 14 2011 6:36pm
image viafood network
There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas.
Although it looks like a tomato, it's kind of a notional tomato.
I mean, it's the idea of a tomato.-  Michael Pollan
This movie was on my to watch list ever since it got out in 2008 (yeah I know, I procrastinate). So the other day I was chatting with a friend, and she mentioned that she saw it, needless to say I was determined to (finally) watch it as well. I was sad, shocked, appalled. Don't get me wrong, it's what I expected but not in this measure. I live in a small country side place. We have our own veggie garden. Cows here eat grass (not corn - like you can see in the movie). So seeing what is happening on the other side of the world, left me speechless. Here's why: There is this deliberate veil, this curtain that’s drawn between us and where our food is coming from. The industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about what you’re eating because if you knew, you might not want to eat it.
The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000, but the image that’s used to sell the food … you go into the supermarket and you see pictures of farmers. The picket fence and the silo and the 1930s farmhouse and the green grass. The reality is … it’s not a farm, it’s a factory. That meat is being processed by huge multi-national corporations that have very little to do with ranches and farmers. - Food, Inc.
image viafood network


Some facts from Food, Inc.:

★  In the 1970s, the top five beef packers controlled about 25% of the market. Today, the top four control more than 80% of the market. ★  In the 1970s, there were thousands of slaughterhouses producing the majority of beef sold. Today, we have only 13. ★  In 1998, the USDA implemented microbial testing for salmonella and E. coli 0157h7 so that if a plant repeatedly failed these tests, the USDA could shut down the plant. After being taken to court by the meat and poultry associations, the USDA no longer has that power. ★  In 1972, the FDA conducted 50,000 food safety inspections. In 2006, the FDA conducted only 9,164. During the Bush administration, the head of the FDA was the former executive VP of the National Food Processors Association. ★  During the Bush administration, the chief of staff at the USDA was the former chief lobbyist for the beef industry in Washington.
★  Prior to renaming itself an agribusiness company, Monsanto was a chemical company that produced, among other things, DDT and Agent Orange. ★  In 1996 when it introduced Round-Up Ready Soybeans, Monsanto controlled only 2% of the U.S. soybean market. Now, over 90% of soybeans in the U.S. contain Monsanto’s patented gene.
★  Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas was an attorney at Monsanto from 1976 to 1979. After his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion in a case that helped Monsanto enforce its seed patents. ★  The average chicken farmer invests over $500,000 and makes only $18,000 a year. 32,000 hogs a day are killed in Smithfield Hog Processing Plant in Tar Heel, N.C, which is the largest slaughterhouse in the world. ★  The average American eats over 200 lbs. of meat a year.
★  30% of the land in the U.S. is used for planting corn. ★  The modern supermarket now has, on average, 47,000 products, the majority of which is being produced by only a handful of food companies. ★  70% of processed foods have some genetically modified ingredient. ★  SB63 Consumer Right to Know measure requiring all food derived from cloned animals to be labeled as such passed the California state legislature before being vetoed in 2007 by Governor Schwarzenegger, who said that he couldn’t sign a bill that pre-empted federal law.
Corn products include: ketchup, cheese, Twinkies, batteries, peanut butter, Cheez-Its, salad dressings, Coke, jelly, Sweet & Low, syrup, juice, Kool-Aid, charcoal, diapers, Motrin, meat and fast food. ★  Corn, which is the main ingredient in animal feed, is also used as a food additive. Those products commonly include: Cellulose, Xylitol, Maltodextrin, Ethylene, Gluten, Fibersol-2, Citrus Cloud Emulsion, Inosital, Fructose, Calcium Stearate, Saccharin, Sucrose, Sorbital, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Di-glycerides, Semolina, Sorbic Acid, Alpha Tocopherol, Ethyl Lactate, Polydextrose, Xantham Gum, White Vinegar, Ethel Acetate, Fumaric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Baking Powder, Zein, Vanilla Extract, Margarine, and Starch.
1 in 3 Americans born after 2000 will contract early onset diabetes; Among minorities, the rate will be 1 in 2. ★  E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks have become more frequent in America, whether it be from spinach or jalapenos. In 2007, there were 73,000 people sickened from the E. coli virus. ★  Organics is the fastest growing food segment, increasing 20% annually.
Now tell me, how much of this did you know already??
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