Food Inc.

Topics: Meat, Sustainable agriculture, Beef Pages: 5 (2249 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Food Inc.
            I find that the movie Food Inc. would easily sway people/consumers away from major agriculture corporations and almost make them turn to organic and locally grown products. Some parts of this movie I can see and know from hands-on experience that this movie is true, but this movie exploits all the negatives and does not even try to reveal the positives. Food Inc. is trying to destroy the image of big cooperations by looking at their facilities, the workers at those facilities, and even the owners of the facilities. They highlight select farmers who raise organic product or locally grown products in dairy, beef, and poultry. The subject matter that I would like to discuss is the meat bird/ Cornish Rock facilities, the way the beef industry was portrayed, and a couple of the organic/ locally grown producers.             The first topic I would like to discuss is the raising of the meat birds/Cornish Rocks. In the very beginning of the movie it states that from 1950 to 2008 that the birds take half the time to be able to reach the finishing weight and they are also twice as big as they were in 1950. They also discuss that they have developed the breast to be the biggest part of the chicken which makes me question, hasn’t the breast always been the biggest part of the chicken? The Food Inc. video also takes us to two chicken farmers in Kentucky, one named Vince Edwards and the other named Carole Morison. Vince Edwards refused to let the Food Inc crew into his confinement building due to pressure from Tyson food. Carole, who is raising her chickens for the Purdue packing company, shows the Food Inc crew into her confinement buildings. The film crew takes aim at all the dead/ dying birds and Carole taking these birds and throwing them into her loading bucket. Carole goes on to display her dissatisfaction at the food packing company how the keep pushing these farmers to expand and pushing them into more debt and if they don’t they’ll threaten to cut off their contracts. She also goes on to tell the crew that these corporations don’t care about what is happening to these birds and how they can barely move. The things that I found interesting from this segment of the video is that Vince had an enclosed confinement building; which most farmers have and Carole had an open building which is considered an outdated building. I question why are they going to enclosed buildings? I found out that the reason they keep birds in these enclosed builds is to be able to control the temperature for these birds which is best around 70-75 degrees and to protect them from outside elements. They also need to enclose these buildings to help prevent the spread of diseases from one building to another. They do need to compensate for not having fresh air coming into the building by using a good ventilation system.  These animals produce their own source of body heat which can make the air in the confinement buildings very stiff and make the buildings very hot in the summer. “Ventilation to keep the hens cool is usually more of a concern than providing heat in winter” (Poultry Production). If these animals are also kept in an enclosed confinement building it makes it easier to control feeding and watering systems. I am also very curious to know if the statement the video portrayed that the average chicken farmer income is only about 18,000 dollars. From the article I have read this is partially true. The company supplies the feed, chickens, and the medication. The farmer supplies the land, housing, supplies, and the daily management. The information that I have came across for the average income for a chicken farmer is, “Depending on the size of bird produced, five to seven flocks per year may be grown per house with flock sizes ranging between 22,000 and 26,000. Gross income per house will generally range from $28,000 to $35,000 annually” (Cunningham). I believe the video did a fairly poor job on discussing the broiler industry....

Cited:  Cunningham, Dan. "Contract Broiler Production: Questions and Answers - Poultry Articles from The Poultry Site." Poultry, Poultry Health, Welfare, Diseases, Poultry News, Articles, Photos of Chickens, Poultry Photo.University of Georgia, Apr. 2004. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <>;.
 Martin, Andrew, and Kim Severson. "Sticker Shock in the Organic Aisles - New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 08 Nov. 2011. Web. 08 Nov. 2011. <>;.
 "Poultry Production | Ag 101 | Agriculture | US EPA." USEnvironmental Protection Agency. EPA 's Ag Service, 25 Sept. 2009. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <>;.
 "Sanitation of Slaughterhouses." Sanitation of Slaughterhouses. Department of Public Health, 06 Nov. 2007. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <>;.
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 Shike, Dan. "Start Cattle On Corn, Finish On Co-Products." Beef Cattle, Beef Cattle Health, Welfare, Diseases, Beef Cattle News, Articles, Photos of Beef Cattle, Beef Cattle Photo. University of Illinios, May 2010. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <>;.
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