“Food, Inc”: Vote with Your Checkbook and Revolutionize the Food Industry
I justified taking three years to finally watch “Food, Inc” – a well produced documentary on the meat, poultry, soy, and corn industries – because I changed how I sourced meat in my diet years ago, eating only organic, grass-fed meat. I wish I could call out the 4-5 companies this movie highlights, but I risk legal action because of some odd pro-industry laws that do not protect individuals. You would think I am protected by my right to free speech, but remember when Oprah was sued for sharing her views on hamburgers? If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it as it is quite an eye-opener.
Ultimately, “Food, Inc” is not about the disturbing dominance of GMO soy and corn, poorly raised and abused animals in unimaginable conditions, and unacceptable slaughtering and processing environments. “Food, Inc” at its core is about a lack of respect – possibly contempt – these companies have for the animals, the planet, the farmers, the workers who process the meat, and the consumers who eat this “food”. When you buy organic products like Melt®, made with EcoSocial and Fair Trade ingredients, organic meat and poultry, and or locally grown food, you are voting for respect, which translates into health and wellness. By the way, I am quite pleased to announce Melt® is now soy-free!
There was a time when I believed the highest road for combating the unethical and unhealthy beef and poultry industries was to become vegetarian. In fact, I was vegetarian for 7 years, long enough to find the smell of cooking meat to be revolting. Not only did vegetarianism not work for me nutritionally, as it turns out, I was also supporting the very companies I did not want to support through the purchase of food products containing non-organic soy and corn (and its derivatives). I wasn’t just losing a source of protein, iron, minerals, and vitamin B-12, I was replacing meat with nutritionally inferior foods, specifically soy-based foods. I was amazed at how much better I felt – almost immediately – when I began eating meat again (organic, grass-fed meat only) and practically eliminating the consumption of soy from my diet.
I respect that some feel vegetarianism and veganism are important political and economic statements against the industrialized beef and poultry sectors. However, I would argue that vegetarianism and veganism are choices that may only opt out of the discussion and are potentially very unhealthy. Purchasing sustainably and humanely raised and processed beef and chicken is far more efficient in changing a broken industry by creating demand; on the other hand, excluding meat and animal products from one’s diet is potentially passive and ineffective for initiating measurable change. I welcome you to share your views.