Documentary Blasting Big Ag Blasted by -- Guess Who? -- Big Ag

Categories: A Civil Tongue

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Food, Inc., the documentary that blasts Big Ag the way An Inconvenient Truth blasted carbon dioxide, is racking up breathless reviews. The film, which exposes the nation's industrial farming practices as ruinous, rapacious, and just plain gross, opens tomorrow at Landmark Theatres' Embarcadero Center. Producer and Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser will be on hand Saturday for the 4:50 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. screenings.

Someone not psyched about the movie's opening? The very lobbying groups and megafood coporations the film takes to task. They aren't being silent about it. Multinational biotech corporation Monsanto created a special Web page - the "Monsanto Fact Site" -- to debunk what it calls the film's bias, and a fact sheet that describes the movie as demonizing American farmers.

The Center for Consumer Freedom (funders include Wendy's, Coca-Cola, and Tyson Foods) has lobbed a more reasoned-sounding critique. Basically, it goes like this: You don't like the food system? You figure out a better way. Here's a taste.

After years of taking culinary convenience and affordable food for granted (or so the conventional wisdom goes), consumers are finally starting to think about how their meals get from farm to fork. But for all that's involved in feeding over 300 million Americans, Food Inc. made one thing clear: The rising interest in food production has generated plenty of complaints about "the system," but very few ideas on how to improve it.

And the day after last week's New York premiere, the CCF got a bit snarky describing a discussion panel featuring Alice Waters, reportiing that her "rambling monologues" were "met with polite applause and some bewildered looks."

Sounds like some of Food Inc.'s critics might be scared.

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