Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Food Inc movie showing draws sell-out crowd

At Cornell's Willard Straight Theater last night, more than 300 people waited to buy tickets for Food Inc in a line that snaked through hallways and up the stairs.  Although many were students viewing the movie as a class requirement, the audience included community members as well.

Throughout the movie, audible sighs from the audience could be heard as images of factory farms flashed across the screen and lawsuits brought by Monsanto against small farmers were chronicled.  One lone audience member clapped when the film showed organic yogurt on Walmart shelves.

After the screening, much of the audience remained seated for a panel discussion with Professor Emeritus Davis Pimentel (Entomology, CU), Professor Phil McMichael (Development Sociology, CU), and Visiting Professor Harriet Friedmann (Sociology, University of Toronto).  

All three panelists commented on the "revolving door" between the food industry and government -- many government regulators have worked for major corporations in the food industry.  

Other points made:

Dr. McMichael said that dumping our subsidized food (as aid) onto the global south undermines farming efforts there and contributes to world hunger.

Dr. Friedmann, who worked on the International Agriculture Assessment, said "business as usual is not an option," citing estimates that current agricultural methods produce 30-40% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Pimentel said that the World Health Organization estimates that 60% of the world's population is malnourished because of unbalanced modern diets.

The following video shows an interview with the director of Food, Inc.

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