Too much Ink for Food, Inc.
The controversial new film Food, Inc. won’t be in Kentucky theaters for about three more weeks, however I got to see it last week when I was in Washington. Those who saw my Twitter tweets and Facebook entry know by now that it was everything I thought it would be – claptrap and balderdash passed off as a documentary. As I noted, I found the film short on substance and long on hyperbole.
While attending the movie however, I was struck with a revelation. People seeing this film, like me, most likely had their minds made up before hand. Most of the folks joining me in the theater that evening came with an agenda, even if very few of them left feeling as I did. Most were buying into the Factory Farm myth before they came and merely went away validated.
So this begs the question; what, if any, impact is this film really having? Will Joe the Plumber see this movie? My current feeling is, probably not. It doesn’t really matter how many glib talk show hosts get the same banal ramblings from filmmaker Robert Kenner or how many pseudo-intellectual reviewers overlook the numerous flaws in the “facts” of this film, mainstream America appears to be ignoring it. The theatre where I saw it was a very nice little cineplex, but it catered more to the art house crowd. The electronic kiosk where I bought my ticket a scant 5 minutes before the screening began noted that about 84% of the seats were still available. If a tree falls in the forest… well, you know the rest.
So why do we in the ag community continue to rail against this film? Because, for the most part, it is an insult to farmers and ranchers in general. It paints with a very broad brush and that brush slaps a lot of us in the face. It’s probably time to be turning the other cheek, ignoring this annoying little self-important gnat of a movie and getting on with the business of telling our story. It’s a story of a proud few working hard to provide our country and much of the rest of the world with safe, affordable food and fiber.