It’s hard not to think we’re sliding into a nutrition-version of 1984. I saw Food Inc this weekend. Shocked and angered me. I’ve been learning a lot about nutrition and what’s healthy and what’s not over the past, year, so I don’t consider myself a newbie when it comes to these issues, but to see everything put together so lucidly and for the facts to be stated so blunty was a frightening eye opener.

Do you know how your food is made? Do you know what it is made of? Do you know who makes your food? I’m willing to bet the answer is no, and what’s worse, you don’t really care. Or, perhaps to be more fair, you simply haven’t worried about it before, assuming that the government is ensuring everything is fine and above board. Well, Food Inc is a wake up call. Not everything is as good as a Shakeology smoothie.

A couple of things I learned from this movie:

  • Your average burger is made up of the flesh of thousands of different cows, all mixed together.
  • In the 70’s, the FDA made about 50,000 investigations into food safety. In the past few years, it’s made only 7,000.
  • Fifty years ago it took 70 days to raise chickens for slaughter. Today it takes 48.
  • The nations top 4 meatpacks control 80% of the market.
  • The Smithsfield Hog Processing Plant in North Carolina slaughters 32,000 pigs/day.
  • Chickens are being bred to unnatural size and shape, so that they can’t walk, usually die young as their bodies collapse, and in the process are never see sunlight, live in their own filth and amongst their own dead.
  • Virulent strains of E. Coli are erupting, resistant to antibiotics and killing children across the nation due to farming practices.
  • There are only about 12 slaughter houses in the nation.
  • All soybean seeds are basically owned by Monsanto, who produced such wonderful goods as Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and DDT.
  • It seems like almost everything you eat has some corn derivative in it.

It’s hard to convey the impact of this film. To express the outrage that stems from understanding that these conglomerates don’t respect us as consumers, and instead simply seek to manipulate us into buying more of their increasingly cheaper products by targeting our desire for sugar, salt and fat, and in the process directly contributing to the national rise of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

One of the reasons things have spun out of control is that the very federal bodies meant to monitor such excesses has become entwined with the entities they’re meant to control. Government, regulatory bodies and these conglomerates are all in bed with each other, as money is poured into lobbying, as people with vested interests in these conglomerates are appointed to government positions and laws are changed or made stricter to protect these conglomerates from change or oversight.

Do yourself a favor, and watch Food Inc. If you’re on a journey toward health and fitness, then it begins with what you put in your mouth, and if you don’t know what that is, then you’ll never take control of your body and health.