A Food Inc. Pre-Buttal

The bad news is that I’ll be out of town on business again this week. The worse news is that I’ll still be blogging anyway. However, since I won’t be able to bake at all, this week will be devoted solely to information. What sort of information? Well, for those of you who haven’t heard, a film by the name of Food Inc. is set for release this week. What is Food Inc.? Suffice to say it is a documentary about food, but no ordinary documentary about food. It is a heavily biased sermon, featuring — and this will hardly surprise you — Michael Pollan, plus a host of other food scolds and activists. Its primary goal will be to lionize organic food producers and critics of the modern food system, while demonizing conventional farmers — especially corn farmers — as collaborators with an evil faceless enemy known as “agrobusiness”.

It promises to be quite the spectacle, and will no doubt be hailed as a triumph by major media film critics, food celebrities and art house theater audiences. In other words, lots of people who have no concept of, nor any direct experience with, modern agriculture.

Though I have yet to see the film, I’ve watched the trailer and read a good deal of the pre-release press. I’m quite confident I know what the film is: Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Movie, with a healthy dose of Pollan’s political manifesto, In Defense of Food, mixed in. Therefore I’m going to spend the week launching a preemptory rebuttal, a pre-buttal if you will, of the overall Pollan perspective. It will be comprised of a broad range of material, much of which has appeared on the blog before. All together I hope it will serve as a refutation, if not of the movie per se, of the base arguments that underlie it…which to my mind aren’t really arguments so much as they are inflammatory exclamations, misleading statistics, and general bellyaching. It should be fun!

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