TheFood Inc. Book Report
Thebook Food, Inc. edited by Karl Weber presents important lessons forthe world to learn. Among the major topic that Weber discussesincludes, food sustainability, animal cruelty, environmental impactsor dire health impacts of foods that are consumed on a daily scale.Food Inc. makes available important information for all those peoplewho are informed and the non-informed also. It also gives insights onhow the food industry on a global scale has become a complex and moreso regulated in a manner that demands the attention of the consumersto getting more education regarding it. Food Inc. digs deep into someof these complex food problems, but also tries to offer somesustainable solutions as well.
Iwas surprised by the details and discussion about the fast foodindustry. It was suggested that the McDonald’s brothers got rid oftheir performing waitresses in their bid to reduce the costs ofproduction to increase their profits. In this regard, they inventedthe cut through that replaced the waitresses which saw the massivegrowth of this fast food restaurant. This move was developed in otherfast food restaurants that saw their massive expansion as the demandfor standardized foods soured. This has inevitably led to so muchconcentration in standardized foods that only four companies seem tocontrol about 80% of the markets that package the beef products.However, there is a similar control as well as concentration onsimilar food sectors. In this way, if for instance, one does notconsume foods from fast food restaurants, there are high chances thatthat individual will consume products produced in the same system.This means that there are high chances that one is eating productsproduced by the same companies are they are widely out there and arecontrolling much of what the market is offering. Food Inc. cautionsthe audience to watch out for one company in particular by the nameTyson.
Thesurprising details are the actions normally done by this bigproduction company. It is a widely known fact that the world’slargest production food company is Tyson. This leverage has givenTyson the opportunity to redesign the kitchen to make it be able togrow half the time than before. In addition the Chicken farmers havealso been redesigned by Tyson to fit his particular demands. Thechicken and the whole system of Chicken farming has in turn become awhole new process that suits the particular needs of Tyson, who seemsto disregard the other significant stakeholders in this whole system,for instance the farmers (Participant Productions & Weber, 2014).The video illustrates in particular the trip to Battery farm wherethe audience is shocked to see the heinous crimes and abuses thattake place there. It is shocking to see that the chicken farmers whoproduce chicken to this company are mostly kept in debts. The reasonthat Tyson gives, is that those chicken farmers need to upgrade theirsystems. The conditions at which the chickens are kept is veryabusive and torturous, it is against animal rights.
Iliked how the book highlighted the development of fast foodrestaurants The unrealities of contemporary American supermarkets areoutlined in Food Inc. where there seems to be no seasons and he givesan example of the meat that never has bones. In this regard, the bookdiscloses that there is a deliberate veil or mask drawn over therealities in ensuring that the consumers are not informed. This isparticularly done in the production chains that are industrialsystems that have the factory systems that process these foods. Thebook explores in detail the downside or negative aspects of thesefood factories. The film gives an example of the leading fast foodrestaurant the McDonald’s where it is argued that this move ofindustrialized food products was initiated.
Idisliked the idea of where food comes from in regards to the largescale food production because of the problems highlighted. Actuallythe film depicts that there are only few companies that are involvedas well as the food products. This in essence means that much of thereadily available industrial food in the markets and stores is aresult of a clever arrangement of corn. In particular the book givessome few examples such as peanut butter, ketchups, coke and batteriesthat all essentially contain corn derivations in one way or another(Participant Productions & Weber, 2014). There is so muchimportance in the production of corn that the yields of corn haveincreased say from twenty to two hundred to satisfy the demand ofthese few companies that seem to be in control of the entire market.
Inthis regard, much of the United State’s land base is planted incorn that is usually subsidized by the government for whateverreasons. Some big production companies such as Tyson and Cargillcontrol much of the production and subsidization processes of thegovernment in particular, corn production, ensures that the two bigcompanies together with their counterparts gets corn through cheapcosts. It is therefore easy to say that the United States has itsfull attention to these big companies, which ensures their existenceis secured. Food Inc. further discloses that in these productionfarms, there is a network of transport systems that ensure that thecorn is transported to the factories.
However,during such transport, Food Inc. highlights the pathetic state ofcattle, animals that are kept in their own manure awaiting theslaughter date. In addition, the cattle are fed on corn, which hasthe hazards of contracting the E.Coli bacteria. This bacteriuminfects them and the cattle are left with no option rather thanco-habiting with it (Participant Productions & Weber, 2014). Thebook illustrates how the bacteria are passed on to the finalconsumers of cattle products. There are clear illustrations of howfood is farmed alongside their respective factory farms. The audienceis taken through the chicken farms and their respective processingplants. To elaborate further, Food Inc. shows production farms ofcorns and farm animals. Weber termed these farms as Animal FeedingOperations.
Inthese Animal Feeding operations, animals like cattle are shownstanding in concentrated areas. As though the condition was not badenough, the animals are made to stand on their own manure while theyawait their slaughter. This is in essence the animal cruelty thatFood Inc. illustrates to the audience. The main reason given to thesekinds of operations is that the company’s core objective is tomaximize in profit through cheap production methods even if it meansanimal cruelty. The key thing in these big production farms is massproduction that guarantees cheap costs and high returns. This is acommon practice that is exercised by big companies that control mostof the production chains and in most cases entire food chains.Therefore, there is a high demand for mass production in the UnitedStates for standardized food products.
Thereforeon a personal level, I will be more keen and careful before consumingsome food products. I will be careful not to promote the foodcompanies by consuming their products without a careful look at theingredients. In fact, I will demand to know how they produce theirproducts and especially the condition of animal is a vital objective.Through social media, I will be able to mobilize followers topressurize these companies to change their methods of production.
ParticipantProductions, and Karl Weber, K. (2010). FoodInc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker,Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It.New York: PublicAffairs