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January 12, 2010

Comments

Kelly Buss

I am truly looking forward to your posts on this subject. The quality of our food is becoming a very important subject in my household, but as I make changes to how we spend our food budget, I also want to make sure I don't make 'whole, traditional foods' an idol of my heart.

Angela

Thank you for blogging about this, Carolyn! I first saw Food Inc. at the AFI festival in Dallas in April (I believe); I watched it again on NetFlix just last night when my sister saw it for the first time. I was amazed at some of the practices of these huge companies. You are so very right about "what is honest is done in the light and that evil deeds are hidden in the dark." I've tried to spread the word as much as possible in my community; I've been very surprised by the responses. Some are interested & want to learn more (awesome!); others strongly disregard any idea that there could be more than the eye can see in the food on the grocery store shelf ("choosing ignorance" is what I've called it). It's been very interesting to talk about this to others, to say the least. I'm excited to read more posts from you about these subjects; thanks again!

Adoption Mama

This topic is very important to me. My mom is fighting lung cancer second time around with nutrition as her armor, after the armor of God, that is. She is on a raw food protocol(www.healingcancernaturally.com) and it is working. The doctor told her that she would know by December if it did not work. You would never know she had lung cancer all over both lungs (as of Sept).

So not only is it important to not put the wrong things in your body, but it is very important to use the food God gave us to fight against things such as cancer.

My mom has done chemo with her first round of cancer...that was horrible and sure, enough, the cancer came back, even after using the most potent chemo.

Of course, I remind her daily, that even her "diet" can become an idol...for it is our Lord that does the healing. We strive to be good stewards.

I look forward to seeing this movie.

Kristina

I have not watched the documentary, but I did watch the clips you posted and briefly looked at the website. I am a little leery about what I saw. This documentary likely has a lot of good points, but documentaries in this vein often lean toward the animal activists' side regarding animal treatment. Now, I am not advocating in any way animal cruelty--far from it. However, it is important to think about if the treatment is actually cruel. For example, many people regard neutering of any kind as cruel as it takes away the animal's reproductive choice; if this is looked at from a human's standpoint, it certainly seems so, but does the animal really know? Another example is that of the chicken industry, which is accused of inhumane conditions, one of which is the crowded condition of chicken barns. However, it is rarely pointed out that since chickens are ready for slaughter within about 1.5 to 2 months, so conditions are only that crowded for the last few weeks, and are quite spacious when the chicks are brought in several weeks before. Again, I can’t base anything on this particular documentary, but it is important to remember that there are tricks to present information in order to influence public opinion. Just "consumer beware" in this sense as well!

Heather

I'm looking forward to your posts. The Lord is speaking these same things into my soul. I'm asking God to grow in me a heart of stewardship and humility...in all things (particularly our spending and how it affects others around the world.)

After reading several books about our food industry and watching Food Inc. I was overcome by how arrogant we may be as Americans. God created things to work a certain way. It seems like our food is created by refineries instead of the Creator. We too are a very "normal" family (only in the way you described yourself, ha!) trying to work our way back to humbly living on this earth. It seems overwhelming at times, but the Lord is good and gracious. We're learning more and more and making changes little by little.

My aunt and brother run a free-range, grassfed ranch in Brenham, Texas.

Their story is inspiring.

http://yonderwayfarm.com/

Trade as One is another site that has really helped me learn more about how our spending touches people I'll never see this side of heaven.

You may have heard of them, but just in case you haven't:

http://tradeasone.com/

Again...I'm looking forward to your posts. I've written a lot about our journey. As a mother, these new convictions translate into many new, tangible things in a household. What an appropriate thing for women to talk about.

Heather

Stephanie

Full disclosure, I have not yet seen Food, Inc. I am, however, an employee of an agribusiness company. As another person cautioned, beware of the highly biased nature of documentaries and books such as these. I would have to see the film to comment on the "operating in the dark" aspect of my industry, however, please know there are many hard-working, good-hearted people (and even a few of us Believers) working in science and research and business to provide alternatives in growing food for a rapidly expanding population on less and less arable land. I will concede that industry has not done as good a job as it could, garnering public understanding and support of new technologies, however, just because the squeaky wheels get all the grease doesn't mean there isn't truth in the non-squeaky silence as well. Don't believe everything you read/ see.

Vivian Saavedra

Because of my job, I’ve thought long and hard over the politics/spiritual/etc aspect of food. The River Cottage guys (http://www.rivercottage.net/) are the most balanced of all the people I’ve read so far. The firs 7 chapters of The River Cottage Meat Book are seriously the best of all the ethical statements of meat for food I’ve yet read. Also, the book has fabulous meat recipes.

I’m about to read two of Pollan’s books. Polyface Farms, mentioned, is nearby, as is a farm outside of Frederick, MD that grows heritage pigs. I have to make a road trip out there for work soon enough, if you want to tag along, I’d be happy as a clam.

The food justice/social justice movement hate the commercial meat producers, and with good reason on some things, but they also decry the “profit” in food production and believe that food is a right on a par with freedom. Which brings the whole argument into the difference between negative rights and positive rights. Negative rights are the natural rights enshrined in the Constitution – limiting the government to keeping us free FROM tyranny. The positive rights people are the ones who believe that the government should guarantee us the right TO food, jobs, certain level of pay - etc. As odd as it sounds, the approach to food is very political as well as spiritual. Figuring out what scripture says is very important before you apply your social/political world view.

I know, I know, all from food.

One of the things I’m looking at and doing research for is locally produced and seasonal foods. Which, actually, is both better for you and more economical. Organic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, most of the time organic is a tag that doesn’t mean a whole lot. Sustainable is another tag that can mean about 3000 things. Again, Polyface and the other farm are really good at what they do, which is actual sustainable and local. They are very good stewards of both the land and the animals, which I think, is a biblical model. I have no knowledge of the farm owners religious beliefs. I just think they are modeling excellent stewardship.

One of the other things I’m looking at is the significant deficit we run internationally by IMPORTING food. How crazy is it that we can grow everything we need here and yet we are running a deep deficit importing foods from all over the world. Organic from Chile or Australia? Stupid and meaningless. By the time it’s gotten here – it’s certainly not sustainable and it has to have been treated, either with gas packaging (nitrogen) or in shipping containers, to prolong freshness by limiting access to oxygen. Also, the deficit is affecting our growers and our economy.

Also, I think Stephanie has a great point: the producers/writers of this movie have a point to make. That point has to be taken into consideration when watching the film.

Mo

I am so happy that we are finally hearing Christians talk about food. I am a real health food nut and I have long thought about what food does to our bodies and our world. I was even once on a raw-food diet because I was convinced that cooking food was a bad idea. I looked and felt good but I missed the taste of other foods (buffalo wings, anyone?). Through my raw food experience, I became a voracious reader about food science and the food industry. The one thing I would like to share with people is that (if you have enough in your budget), food is the one thing you can have great control over, that affects your health immensely. I can't stress that enough! While you can't control other people smoking next to you, you can definitely make choices about what you put in your mouth. I must caveat that not everyone has the budget that allows those choices though.

I really do think though Michael Pollan is not a believer, he makes some really great points in his books. For example, the fact that the corn lobby has so influenced so much of the food industry that virtually everything we eat is corn is really compelling. There is so much we believe in society that is the fruit (no pun intended) of marketing campaigns by lobbyists/industry. We can investigate the same of the dairy industry, the food flavorings industry (yucky stuff!), the preservatives industry- there are many, many more!

My advice for everyone is to be informed. Know what you eat. Read the labels. Investigate the big corporations. For example, all registered public American companies are required to file 10Ks- see what they are investing their money in. Read scientific journals that are reputable like Science, JAMA, NEJM (learn about statistical significance, etc so that you can decipher what's true and what is junk). I know that this sounds like a lot of work but we are commanded in the bible to acquire wisdom- Prov 8. We have been blessed to live in a country where information is largely free and we have the liberty to access it.

Thanks Carolyn for opening up this exciting discussion

Ashleigh

Great post Carolyn. Food, inc., while obviously biased, is a great start for the vast majority of Americans who have NO idea how or why their food is what it is. And while I understand the comment about how there are people working in this industry and even believers who are not necessarily operating in the dark, I also think it's incredibly important to remember that just because we are dependent on chemicals and factories NOW, doesn't mean there wouldn't be jobs in an alternative food market. And BETTER jobs. Jobs that are safer and more stable. Jobs that require someone to think and feel and not just be a part of a factory line.

Melissa H.

If you read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, who is talking in these clips, it opens your eyes to the dark side of how we are such an obese nation. I will watch this film sometime soon. :)

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