Last night I attended an advanced screening of the much talked, blogged and Twittered-about documentary Food Inc. The film opens here in Toronto on Friday, Jun. 19, just a week or two before barbecue and grilling season kicks into high gear here in Canada.
According to this New York Times article, people on the inside of food companies featured in the film think it presents misinformation. While I’m sure there are always at least two sides to every issue, I have to say that from what I saw of the movie maker’s side, I’m pretty sure that these companies have, in the oft-quoted words of TV husband Ricky Ricardo, ” a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.”
The preview screening (which Atlantis offered free to guests) was packed with adults of various ages and colours. I’d say the audience trended a bit more toward female but I didn’t do a head count. Many of the guests were, like me, professional foodies who are familiar with many of the issues the film presented.
I liked the concluding message of Food Inc very much. It was optimistic and put the burden of responsibility for forcing change in everyone’s hands by recommending that we use our purchasing power as a vote for local, sustainable and humane foods each time we shop.
My date for the movie was my 12-year old son Oliver. While having Martin Kouprie and Dana McCauley for parents automatically makes him a kid with culinary opinions and food experiences that are out of the ordinary, I was interested in his youthful response to the film.
On whether people should see this movie:
“I liked this movie a lot. I think it’s good but not as good as Shark Water. It’s probably as interesting as An Inconvenient Truth but I wouldn’t take a 10-year-old to it unless they were very sophisticated. [Dana’s note: Oliver was 10 when he asked me to take him to see An Inconvenient Truth; don’t tell him this, but he was pretty sophisticated then. I don’t think at that age he would have been ready for Food Inc. So, I’m recommending this flick as 12+ merely for pace and graphic images].
On whether Food Inc. changes his feelings about eating meat and packaged foods:
“Heck, no. You just have to make sure you keep going to the good stores and bringing home organic food.”
In other words, Oliver got the film’s concluding message. Let’s just hope that by the time he’s in charge of his own grocery shopping, that he can get a job that will allow him to afford the same kind of groceries his father and I are lucky enough to be able to feed to him now.