Food Inc: “Who knows a farmer anymore?”

1. If you do know a farmer, and you grew up in a town where feed lots and Tyson plants are normal, there is nothing particularly interesting in ‘Food Inc‘. I had to fight off falling asleep.

2. If you dont know a farmer, but you are not an idiot, you probably will learn a couple of things. Like, we need to treat farmers and people who work in meat processing plants better, and need to do better regarding the treatment of livestock. Like the financial industry, the food industry needs more oversight via FDA/USDA.

3. If you are a complete moron who thinks chickens magically appear on grocery store shelves overnight, and Cheerios are made by a little ol grandma in her farmhouse, you will learn SO MUCH from ‘Food Inc.’ It will BLOW YOUR MIND, MAN! People in groups 1 and 2 will become acutely aware of your stupidity and inch away slowly. Group 4 will happily take you in under their wing, though.

4. If you are a pretentious, upper-class, fart-sniffer from The Coasts, you will walk out of ‘Food Inc’ knowing how progressive and amazing you are for eating all organic. But you knew you were better than everyone else before you went to see the movie anyway.

If you gave a Foodie with ADHD a LOT of cocaine, and said, ‘Make a movie about food’, they would make ‘Food Inc’. Any topic youve heard a Foodie ranting about is in this movie. But its only 94 minutes, so they give about 5 minutes to each rant, and sometimes that 5 minutes is split up into 5, 1 minutes, scattered at random through the overall movie.

Non exhaustive list– Starts out like ‘EXPELLED’. This movie is gonna tell you all the secrets The Industry doesnt want you to know (I didnt learn anything)! Insiders arent allowed to say anything! Industry doesnt want farmers talking! Ooooh! Multinational corporations! Assembly lines! Oh the horrors!

Mc Donalds.

Chickens.

Corn.

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IS IN BATTERIES AND CHARCOAL!

Poor people.

Back to chicken.

Cows.

Spinach.

This womans child died from E. coli.

MONSANTO! MONSAAAAAAAAAAAAANTOOOOOO!

GMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Heres an old school farmer– grass-fed cows, cage-free chickens, seems like a nice guy. Id buy his food. But he doesnt want to expand.

Cows.

Meat packers.

Immigration.

Stonyfield Farms is in Walmart. But they dont shop at Walmart. HAHAHA. *blink*

Organic.

Walmart.

Chorus of ‘This land is your land’. The audience I was sitting in with sang along. **GAG**

94 minutes of bitching. No solutions. No evidence given for why anyone should buy organic or avoid GMOs, but, BUY ORGANIC AND AVOID GMOS OMFG!! Dont even attempt to explain what GMOs are, why companies patent them, just bitching. No explanation as to how the suggested food supply changes would work in the real world– Like ‘organic’ products cant turn into the same industrial machine (*GASP!*) this film is bitching about. I accidentally bought ‘organic’ fish from China once. I dont let Arnie eat food from China. Oh, but its ‘organic’, right? lol. And like ‘organic’ spinach cant be contaminated with E. coli? Stupid.

Stonyfield Farms acts ‘amazed’ Walmart wants them in their stores. Gee, why would Walmart want a product in their store that is identical to another product, but they can charge twice as much for because its got an ‘organic’ sticker on it? HMMM. (I buy Stonyfield Farms ‘organic’ greek yogurt, but thats because its the only brand at Walmart).

Just bitching about shit anyone who grew up in the Midwest already knows about. No divine revelations.

The few good points (how we treat immigrant meat packers, need more power in FDA/USDA for inspections and regulations) is absolutely drowned out by the sheer volume of foodie stupidity– Inspections are mixed in with ‘WE NEED LABELS ON GMO FUD!!’ ‘Food Inc’s scatter-shot approach to this topic makes me think any ‘good’ thing in this movie is an accident of numbers, and not due to any deliberate intelligence on the film makers part.

I had to watch it to review it here, but I dont recommend it to anyone whos not in Group 4. But theyve probably all already seen it anyway. Theyre so smart.

Comments

  1. #1 wazza
    September 20, 2009

    Ah, erv… have I told you lately that I love you? You suffer for our lols!

    Seriously, as a farmer’s son (from NZ, where things are inspected a little better) this film does sound rather batshit. I’d like to know who first decided GM food would be bad for people…

  2. #2 the backpacker
    September 20, 2009

    The worst part is that there is no answer. Organic is a bust; local is great but it is half the food at twice the price. I have tried ask about the details in work shops on the subject but everyone thinks we can feed the world with happy thoughts and good intentions. I just hope science can save us but then again I am middle class in a really rich country and I am not having any kids so a world wide colapse will not effect me that much. To bad I care about other people.

  3. #3 antipodean
    September 20, 2009

    All my food has carbon in it already. It’s already organic. I don’t know what the fuck everybody else think’s they’re eating…

  4. #4 Treppenwitz
    September 21, 2009

    All my food has carbon in it already. It’s already organic. I don’t know what the fuck everybody else think’s they’re eating…

    It really is the least useful word they could’ve chosen to describe whatever it is they’re trying to describe.

  5. #5 Scrabcake
    September 21, 2009

    Hahahaha. Lul. You rawk my world. I’ve always understood foodies as people who like to eat expensive and offbeat stuff, not as Gweenies. Anyway, I’m going to post this on twitter so that all my Berkeley friends can read it and have brain aneurysms.

    *Gweenie is the term I made up to describe cityfolk who spend an inordinate amt of time worrying about the evils of factory farms and how we can make just about everything under the sun “sustainable”. These people don’t generally understand much of the science or practices involved in farming, ranching, biotech, or botany, but this doesn’t stop them from buying everything at whole foods, writing treatises on “green-ness and karmic food supplies” and irritating anyone around them who knows a small or large farmer or rancher or employee of an Evil Agro Corporation.
    This bunch tends to be too tied up in idealism and hatred of industry to have much useful thought to contribute to workable environmental solutions.

  6. #6 Stephen Wells
    September 21, 2009

    @2: Local doesn’t have to be “half the food for twice the price”; if it is, it’s being run very very badly. There’s a farm four miles from our house where we buy all our veggies now; because we’re not paying for food miles or packaging our grocery bill has halved. 25 kilos of potatoes in a big sack for £7.50! And there’s a butcher shop as well where we can get an ox heart for £1. That is not a misprint, it’s just that people aren’t willing to cook with recognisable organs.

  7. #7 Ranson
    September 21, 2009

    Is this the new Michael Moore movie? I stopped paying attention to him about two decades ago. If it’s not him, it certainly sounds like his M.O.

    I know (and have known) plenty of farmers, most of them family farms. I buy food from them when I can. It’s some of the best sausage, ham, and bacon I’ve had. There’s usally a better selection of honey and preserves from them, as well, because they aren’t worried about having a big market. They just want to get by and sell what they grow.

    I even occasionally shop at my local health food store, becasue it’s a good place for bulk cereals and dried fruit. If I could find some things (some particular vegetarian stuff I have uses for) elsewhere, I would, because I can’t stand the “crunchy” mentality. I have to leave those stores before I try to smash the homeopathy displays.

  8. #8 Dan Gaston
    September 21, 2009

    When did Foodie get co-opted to refer to Organic/Anti-GMO people? I mean there is some overlap sure but as another poster pointed out, Foodie was a label which denoted someone who just really loved food. To eat, to prepare, to talk about endlessly, etc. Basically someone who wants to know all about food.

    Anyway, I grew up in the country (Canada thought and on the east coast) so I knew a lot of farmers growing up. My family kept a garden in the summer that provided a good portion of our food for several months of the year and when I was younger we also raised our own pigs. I think that the lulzing backlash against the organic food movement, while partially justified, might not be the best approach. There ARE things to be concerned with in modern agriculture, and we can do better. Pure organic isn’t the answer of course. As a molecular biologist I think GMO’s can and do do wonders. But I have personally taken to the local food movement as much as possible. There is a farmers market across the street from my apartment, prices are great, and all of the farmers are local. A lot of them are organic, but thats a trend among small scale farmers, I don’t care personally.

    But there are a lot of benefits to really thinking about food, where yours comes from, and supporting local farmers where possible, especially when they practice sustainable farming (Not necessarily organic)

  9. #9 Evan
    September 21, 2009

    Long time blag-reader, first time commenter. Keep up the awesome virology (and Behe and Luskin are dumbasses) posts.

    Everyone in the midwest knows how CAFO works? I guess my friends in the Chicago ‘burbs skipped school that day.

    I don’t know why you take such issue with the fact that the movie educates people on the issues of animal treatment, treatment of farm workers, and predatory business practices by big agribusiness (not that this is specific to this one industry). This stuff is not exactly common knowledge, not even in the apparently agriculturally literate midwest.

    With that said, I do wish the aforementioned issues were not hitched to the ZOMG! FrankenFood! wagon. It’s been a few months since I’ve seen the movie, but I do recall anti-GMO alarmism coming up a few times. I did roll my eyes at the phrase “notional tomato.”

  10. #10 Evan
    September 21, 2009

    Oops, meant CAFOs. Where’d that ‘s’ go?

  11. #11 Prometheus
    September 21, 2009

    Promethean Vignette The First

    When I was about 7 I had a friend I named Buddy. Buddy lived at Mr Adams place which was very nice. I was there when Buddy was born and visited him once a week. I talked to him and petted him and hugged him and watched him get wormed (blech). Then one day we shot buddy in the head and Mr. Adams and I emptied Buddy out and hauled Buddy’s guts to the catfish pond. My dad and I drove Buddy to the Meat plant. I watched Buddy being divided up and wrapped in neat little white paper packages. We loaded him up into the station wagon. On the way home Dad drove crazy, dancing with the steering wheel and racing trains. He turned to me and grinned, “Prometheus, I sure hope we don’t get in a bad car wreck because if we do, they are going to try and stick all that meat back in us!”

    Everybody knew I had a calf and for several months after his demise people would ask after him saying, “Hey Prometheus, How’s buddy?” to which I would respond grimly, “Delicious.”

    Promethean Vignette The Second

    When I was about 8 I got to ride the wheat in with my baby sister. Back then, you designated a whole train to Oklahoma City with open gondolas, weather permitting. It was like a day at the beach only the beach was soft and golden and moving at 35 miles an hour. I had an over sized Cain’s coffee can and over the course of three hours filled it up with grasshopper heads. Not grasshoppers, just their bright yellow heads. Three lbs. When my grandfather was helping me down he looked in the can and said “No no little demon put zose beck.” When I asked why, he said “You haf herd auf Vunder Bread? Vell, now you don’t haf to Vunder any more!”

    Aaaaaand scene.

    Dad just brought me the last big bag of tomatoes and I realize we are getting close to picking and freezing all the basil and oregano.

    The deer hunters are under instructions to murder feral pigs and return with them because I am the only one with an industrial winch and every local chef is obsessed with disassembling one while I give instructions from a comfy chair over a glass of Riesling.

    I will ponder on that occasion, when the propositions Moral and Squeamish became equivalent.

  12. #12 BeamStalk
    September 21, 2009

    Abbie did you see the recent Bullshit! episode on Organic farming? Very awesome, check it out if you haven’t.

  13. #13 Inoculated Mind
    September 21, 2009

    I thought the Notional Tomato line in the preview was a little off – I’ve been enjoying exceptionally good tomatoes in the supermarket this last year. It has probably been so long since Pollan went to a regular supermarket that he doesn’t know what’s even in them.

    The anti-GE stuff in Food, Inc is bizarre. The actually interview a guy who cleaned seeds for a living who was found by a court to be inducing farmers to breach their contracts with Monsanto,and was ordered to never again attempt to clean patented seed. He would travel from farm to farm, offering to take a portion of the crop and clean up the seeds to be planted the next year. But since 90% of soybeans are GE, he wasn’t getting a lot of business. So then he decided to distribute literature and try to convince the farmers to break their contracts (not to replant the patented seed), telling them that the contract was against the Constitution, etc. The farmers testified against him to that effect. He knew what he was doing and thought he wouldn’t get caught. So like Percy Schmeiser, the anti-GE movement made a false martyr out of him.

    Here’s the court injunction, and no damages were collected from the case.

    http://www.fr.com/DSU/Monsanto%20v.%20Parr%20(NDIN%204-07-cv-00008)%20Apr%2022,%202008.pdf

    I have not yet seen Food Inc, but I’ll bet a tidy sum that none of this information about how he was at fault made it into the film. I have not yet seen it, it is no longer in my zip code, so I may have to wait until it comes out on video to do so. It is just as well because I know I’ll have to pause it to take notes for writing a review…

  14. #14 Logan
    September 21, 2009

    Even if Food Inc doesn’t tell anyone anything they didn’t already know, it would still be valuable for just putting the valid issues like too little regulation to the fore-front of peoples’ minds. As Evan said, it is unlikely that many people who are not neighbors of a CAFO have much of an idea if they exist or how they work. A lot of them probably prefer ignorance, because it allows them to eat with a clear conscience.

  15. #15 Mary
    September 21, 2009

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Totally made my day. Thanks for that.

  16. #16 SMo
    September 21, 2009

    “Throughout history there has never been an abundance of food. All food is the product of technology. Apples, corn, tomatoes; all modified. Every food has been changed though selective breeding or grafting. For ten thousand years each attempted improvement has changed the DNA of the plant. now some people are up in arms about changes in DNA.

    “You know what? If you’re able to get up and have food, you should celebrate! We should all dance about how much food we have. Why is anyone fighting food advance? A very small percentage of the world’s population is fortunate enough to have the luxury of turning down food. The rest of the world spends most of its time trying to get any food. You know why? Technological problems. They got dirt. They got water. They got sun. They lack the technical ability to till or enrich the soil. They lack the machines to plant enough to feed their families. They lack the hybrid plants that produce more food per acre. We need to spread all the technology all we can so all people everywhere can deal with the problem of too much food. We can’t start getting picky because we’ve got enough food. That’s just self centred, and racist.

    “UNLESS YOU AND YOURS ARE STARVING, YOU NEED TO SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

    Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIvNopv9Pa8

  17. #17 Prometheus
    September 21, 2009

    According to the demented statistical basis for determining food adulteration used by the film’s website they indicate that a strict diet of beef muscle will protect you from toxins and mutagens.

    This is the problem.
    Logan remarked,

    “As Evan said, it is unlikely that many people who are not neighbors of a CAFO have much of an idea if they exist or how they work.”

    I understand what you are talking about but if we go strictly by federal definitions, pretty much every high school in America (if it has a cafeteria) is a CAFO.

  18. #18 eddie
    September 21, 2009

    I’m not sure if I prefer my Vunder bread to have more pesticides or more pests, but it seems like the only choice you’re offering. I hear locusts are quite nutricious. They’ll grow in near desert conditions, but you only get a harvest every 7 years. And as an extra step in the foodchain, ther’re concentrators of both nutrition and poisons.

    Why are people who would rather have a more direct and equitable relationship with farmers, by cutting out the corporate middlemen, labeled as anti-farmer? Is it maybe because most ‘farmers’ are not owners of their land and have to suck corporate ass to get by? I think that many family farmers fell you betray them when you go walmart.

  19. #19 eddie
    September 21, 2009

    ps – That’s some mighty tasty strawman you got there, scrabcake.

  20. #20 Michael Svihura
    September 21, 2009

    Did they mention in the movie how Soylent Green is actually people?

  21. #21 DAM10N
    September 21, 2009

    As one of ERV friends from the Chicago ‘burbs, I did indeed skip school that day. And the day before. That said, I spent at least part of every summer visiting my cousins in corn country, which is surprisingly none too far from said suburbs.

    Yes, yes, food is a grisly business but all this GMOMG! is just plain silly. If morality is determined by squeamishness then Sally Kern wins.

  22. #22 MadScientist
    September 21, 2009

    Huh? GMO is still an issue? Screw that; if the morons who hate GMO would only take a little time to find out who grew their corn etc. or that corn in their tortillas or nachos, they’d find out that it’s GMO. The ‘GMO’ label has nothing to do with the ‘organic’ label. The other thing is: why do clueless zealots get so upset if I tell them that even decorative wax and plastic fruits are organic and they’re welcome to eat my wax banana although they’ll have to replace it with a similar wax banana.

    The “natural” loonies won’t drink Beladonna tea if they’re told of the effects of this wonderful natural tea, they won’t regularly drink natural seawater, and they make the ridiculous claim that natural “sugar of arsenic” somehow isn’t natural. The only natural thing I have some confidence of being able to feed the naturotards is natural Amanita Muscaria.

  23. #23 NickS
    September 21, 2009

    All my food has carbon in it already. It’s already organic. I don’t know what the fuck everybody else think’s they’re eating…

    But teh evil khemicals!!!111!

    Yeah, I always chuckle sardonically when ever I see “natural” and “organic” in advertising, that and resist the urge to graffiti “so is cyanide” on the odd sign.

  24. #24 Shirakawasuna
    September 22, 2009

    Foodie != anti-agrobusiness hippie idiot.

  25. #25 Muzz
    September 22, 2009

    A visitor wanders by;

    I’m bummed this movie sounds like organo bait. I had thought it was going to be about the economic implications of large corporations and food.
    Is there really no major discussion of how fast food and supermarket chains monopolise produce growth and distribution? (locking producers in, causing masses of waste and generally reducing quality)
    That’s a serious problem right?
    (It’s getting to be so here in Australia. I have heard it’s very bad in some places in the US, it being much cheaper to go to Maccers than buy fresh vegetables etc. Maybe I have it all wrong)

  26. #26 Evan
    September 22, 2009

    Is there really no major discussion of how fast food and supermarket chains monopolise produce growth and distribution? (locking producers in, causing masses of waste and generally reducing quality)

    That is one of the main points of the film. It’s just not one of the main points of this discussion.

  27. #27 ERV
    September 22, 2009

    Evan– That is one of the main points of the film.

    No it wasnt. McDonalds was mentioned, seemingly in passing, at the very beginning, and then never again.

    It was like Glenn Beck ranting at his chalkboard: “MCDONALDS is connected to FAST FOOD is connected to INDUSTRY is connected to OBESITY is connected to CORN is connected to GMOS is connected to MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS is connected to THE NEW WORLD ORDER! Now we are going to talk about chicken coops.”

    There was little/no educational value to this movie. It was 94 minutes of condescending bitching.

    Inoculated Mind– The ‘seed cleaner’ was one of the more confusing parts of the film. No details, shots of cute little old man, farmers in shadows, MONSANTO IS SUING CUTE LITTLE OLD MAN OMFG SCARY! I came away from the movie thinking the man was cleaning Monsanto seeds for replanting, actually.

  28. #28 Bryan
    September 22, 2009

    I blame everything on Disney. Far too many people think that in nature animals sit around, holding hands (hooves, paws, whatever) singing “kumbya”, and not suffering one bit.

    The reality is nature is a cruel bitch who starves or infects most animals to death soon after their born. If you’re lucky enough to make it past that you get a life of infection, hunger and pain – and a life that most likely ends in the teeth of a predator, starved to death, killed by disease, or some combination thereof.

    Under natures standards, life on even the worst of farms is paradise. Yes, there is a lot of room for improvement in conventional farming in terms of animal welfare, but to pretend that being a vegetarian, or the non-carbon form of “organic” does something is just plain stupid.

  29. #29 jeffk
    September 22, 2009

    I haven’t seen the movie yet; I plan to take a look. The comments so far are entertaining, and I can imagine that it’s a movie that panders some non-science idiocy to some gullible morons.

    But I hope people here aren’t missing some important points, even if the movie doesn’t do a good job making them. We do have some BAD food and farming policies in this country. We DO subsidize corn syrup in everything and it IS bad for our health. That could stand to change. And studies do show that organic-style farming – that is, a more intelligent rotation of different crops and use of resources – is more sustainable in the long run. And there’s some pretty nasty abuse of animals that goes on in some industries.

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. A bunch of scientists should be able to take a subtle enough position to recognize problems with the system and the movie at the same time.

  30. #30 Jim Thomerson
    September 22, 2009

    Just a story. My uncle was a Federal Predator Control Agent down in the Rio Grande Valley. He would come to family reunions with a pickup load of giant vegies. Foot in diameter onions, carrots 18 in long, etc. The story was that farmers would plant what they thought would sell and sometimes would misjudge. They would leave the crop in the field as long as they could. If the price did not come up, they would eventually dig up the crop and throw it over the fence and plant something else. So he would load up and bring it to the reunion.

  31. #31 Jason
    September 22, 2009

    aww, but there is some honest-to-goodness biochemistry that delineates high-fructose corn syrup from glucose in terms of absorption / weight-gain. =(

  32. #32 MartyM
    September 22, 2009

    mmmmmm…. ammonia cleansed meat filler…. mmmmm…….

  33. #33 Furkan
    September 23, 2009

    Hey I know farmer, Now What will I be? :)

  34. #34 Prometheus
    September 23, 2009

    Jim Thomerson @30 wrote,

    “If the price did not come up, they would eventually dig up the crop and throw it over the fence and plant something else.”

    They were actually tossing end of row stuff onto fallow ground sometimes the onions walk or cucumbers and zucchini will come up. The carrots tops may seed (when they are too big they are kind of bitter and fibrous unless you cook them.

    The Payoff is when you run shy of produce during the next round you can hit the fallow ground which has been incidentally composted.

    It isn’t necessarily wasteful. Just kind of sloppy.

  35. #35 Todd
    September 24, 2009

    I thought “foodies” were people like Anthony Bourdain, who like the nasty bits and runny cheese.

  36. #36 eddie
    September 24, 2009

    Anti aggrobusiness != hippie idiot.
    I’m sorry jeffx and others, but we’re not allowed to talk about the genuine problems without being labelled with the walmart/monsanto talking point kooaid.
    That said, this movie is not so much effective criticism and more making people aware of the problem. Perhaps at some point we may get more debate on what may be done about it withut stupid cries of we’re starving the third world, or saint borlaug.

  37. #37 Funkopolis
    September 24, 2009
  38. #38 Scotlyn
    October 1, 2009

    I’d like to know who first decided GM food would be bad for people…

    Would it not at least a tenable position (I speak as a real live farmer, here) that if you substitute the phrase “people owning intellectual property rights to the food supply” for “GM Food” that – yes – it could be bad for people? I don’t want anyone cornering the market (ie being in the sole position to grant or deny access) to something as basic to all human life as seeds for sowing, especially in the context of food scarcity. I could never understand the argument for how patented food was going to solve the problem of hunger. Quite the opposite, it would seem to me.

    I agree, though, the argument that GM might be hazardous to human health has got mixed up with the argument for why food technology should remain open-source. They are two separate arguments. I’m sorry, but, as a farmer, I want my GM technology firmly in the public, open-source domain.

    Re the “organic” label, and what it means…This may be ancient history (at least for the youngsters on this site) but it may interest the real “bugz” lovers here to know that way back in the 60′s and 70′s the British pre-cursor of all things organic was known as the “Soil Society”. Their (very polite) campaign against the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers in farming was not primarily about human health, so much as about the health of the soil and its incredibly diverse population of bacteria and other earthy denizens, which they rightly thought such practices threatened. Mega-farms today are often the soil equivalent of a desert for various “bugz” in search of a living. Human self-interest being what it is, though, the argument that “organic is good for you” has become the popular one. Harder to drum up support for a bunch of soil bacteria. Still, it is probably truer to say that a healthy and diversely bio-populated soil (whatever it takes to maintain that – and there are some large-scale experiments with no-till, crop rotation, bio-diversity respecting growing methods that show promise) will be good for us all in a more indirect way and in a longer term. The more biodiversity, the more potential variability and resilience there is in an ecosystem under threat.

    Just saying.

    (Hope you don’t mind me just dropping in on this one – I’m not a scientist, although I like to try to keep up just a bit on topics of interest, but I am up to my elbows in earthy bio-diversity every day, when weeding and manually de-slugging my open-source carrots in an effort to keep my soil bugz healthy – PS, didn’t see the movie)

  39. #39 Ben
    October 8, 2009

    Haven’t seen the video, (sounds like it is really poorly done)

    A quick Google Search gave me this link

    http://www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=2989

    Small studies, with real lack of follow ups 8-P unfortunately.
    Most interesting was the presence of Bt toxin producing gene in intestinal flora.

    http://stopogm.net/files/netherwoodsurvival.pdf

    Again, small study, the Bt transferral seems to be limited to the small intestine and makes up no more than 3% of recovered stoma it seems. However, it is intriguing and worthy of further study.

    As for Penn and Teller, I call Bullshit on them. We’ve never needed GMOs, the Green revolution or massive applications of Pesticides and fertilizers on crops to adequately feed the world. To the contrary, such projects actually have _over-fed_ and increased us population-wise. Coupled with many insidious practices like high tariffs, neo-sharecropperism and still very widespread practices of inefficient farming methods; along with regional instability ensure, paradoxically, that “boom and bust” famine cycles remain with us.

    From your Food. Inc. review and from Penn and Teller, I can see two extreme points favoring alarmism with no solutions offered and “take the blue pill” mentality that completely ignores or shrugs off the realities of food production in the world today.

  40. #40 TotallyUncool
    December 22, 2009

    Hey, I eat food from China all the time, and it hasn’t killed me more than once or twice!
    (I think it must be organic — I know there have to be at least a few carbon-hydrogen bonds invovled somewhere.)

  41. #41 Becky Kelly
    May 4, 2010

    I find it really ironic that almost everyone here is mocking organic. I pay lower prices for local produce than you do at Safeway and I’ll live disease free because of it. Stop being condescending about things you have no understanding or knowledge about. I find you incredibily ignorant and I personally know farmers who disagree with everything you’ve said.

  42. #42 Prometheus
    May 5, 2010

    Becky Kelly@#41

    Did it really take you over four months to review the thread/OP and spit out that moronic little hairball of a post? If so, please do the world the courtesy of flinging yourself into the Oster meat liquefaction process at the nearest Tender Vittles plant.

    ~”I find it really ironic that almost everyone here is mocking organic.”~

    Look up the word irony. Jesus, will everyone please look up that definition just once so we can be done with dip-shit hipsters describing everything on earth as ‘ironic’.

    ~”I pay lower prices for local produce than you do at Safeway and I’ll live disease free because of it.”~

    Correlation is not causation. Have that tattooed inside your eyeballs before you comment on a science blog. If your cat has a litter in the oven do you butter the kittens and bite them like biscuits?

    ~”Stop being condescending about things you have no understanding or knowledge about.”~

    I was playing among Buckminster-fuller geodesic dome green houses, web passive alloy condensed cistern irrigation systems, dedicated apiaries and predator insect breeding stations when you were a gleam in the cable guy’s eye. We lived like an Amish Martian colony. So you can shove the greater knowledge hypotheses right up your butt.

    ~”I find you incredibily ignorant and I personally know farmers who disagree with everything you’ve said.”~

    At least we are not ignorant of the spelling of ‘incredibly’(try sounding out the words).

    As for “I personally know farmers….”

    Once more and with feeling for the kids in the cheap seats….

    NO. YOU DON’T KNOW ANY GODDAMN FARMERS!

    Farming is a business and farmers are people who operate businesses to produce product, the sale of which supports their families above the poverty line.

    Government or outside income subsidy is neato but ultimately must be deducted from the bottom line in the profitability calculation.

    The calculations are complicated, you are always at war with a cost benefit analysis bell curve but most final net profits in a banner year are around $45.00 an acre. You had better be working over 2000 acres you own free and clear or you are screwed. As a basic proposition of security, over a ten year assessment, a family of four should have 5000 acres in cash crop on outright proven production real estate.

    A nine thousand acre lawyer is sitting next to me, nodding and laughing as I type.

    Don’t let the Pennsylvania Dutch fool you. They profess 40 acre farms but one family will run ten of those on black soil with vertical integration and every parcel without a house on it is still mortgaged up to the eyeballs.

    Most of the farmers I deal with are in the fifth generation of acquisition, consolidation and siege anticipation of Malthusian Catastrophe.

    You may know truck gardeners, hobbyists, sustainability activists and historical reenactors….hell you may even know Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, but you don’t know any fucking farmers.

    Does every over privileged neo-hippie douche bag that uses the cover of “Omnivores Dilemma” to sort the seeds out of their cheap shake fancy themselves a global authority in biochemistry, law, genetics, agriculture and resource economics?

  43. #43 JohnV
    May 5, 2010

    @Becky Kelly

    “I’ll live disease free because of it.”

    True story, prior to the invention of the Haber-Bosch process humans lived forever and bacteria were all commensals.

  44. #44 Jesse
    May 5, 2010

    @42 Prometheus:

    Hahaha, I enjoyed that. I have to wonder, how many people get sick because of some bug that thrived on “organic” food.

  45. #45 Donnacha (farmer)
    April 4, 2011

    Scotlyn @ 38

    By far the most sensible post on this thread. Even though you din’t see the movie, you correctly assumed one of the main points made in it – that technology related to food production should be open-source, in particular that seeds should not be patentable. That was one of the major points of the movie – a point missed by most of the posters on this thread. They seem more concerned with pointing out that ‘cyanide is natural’. Oh how clever! About as clever as knowing how to spell ‘incredibly’.

  46. #46 Prometheus
    April 4, 2011

    Donnacha (farmer)@#45

    “technology related to food production should be open-source, in particular that seeds should not be patentable.”

    About as clever as not knowing plant patents have been granted since 1930 and that the first proprietary technology was related to agricultural production…. that is actual agricultural production and not some ren-fair slow motion theatrical production on a Berkley grant.

    Seven months late to the party and still trying for the drive by. Not on my watch hippie.

  47. #47 ERV
    April 4, 2011

    Just for lulz, why dont you try to guess what rural farm community Donnacha (farmer) posted from.

    Ill give you a hint:
    Its Boston.

    ROFL!!!