Food Inc.

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What were the advantages of the McDonalds restaurant switching to an assembly line type operation?

Quicker, low wages, and workers were easier to replace.

About 80% of the beef supply is controlled by only 4 companies. List them.

Tyson, Swift, Cargill, National Beef

How are the names of brands and labels placed on meat and dairy products in the supermarket misleading?

They say they are from farms, but really there are only 3-4 companies producing these products.

List two ways that chickens are physically different now that in the 1950s, before the green revolution.

Larger breasts and less time to grow

Vince Edwards, the chicken grower working for Tyson, was not given permission to allow the filmmakers inside his chicken coops. Speculate to the reason for this, after watching the segment with Carole Morison, the Purdue grower.

They don’t want to be exposed and seen for what they do.

What are some of the health issues faced by the chickens as a result of their accelerated growth and confined living conditions? What does Carole do to try to mitigate these health problems?

Muscles, bones, and internal organs can’t keep up with how fast they grow. Taking antibiotics. Living in own filth.

Explain why farmers are economically bound to the large meat companies.

The farmers are bound to debt.

About 30% of the United States land mass is used to grow corn. Explain the role that government policy plays in making corn such a dominant crop.

Paying farmers to over grow corn. It allows them to power produce corn. Corn is cheaper to produce.

Why would the large meat suppliers be interested in lobbying the government for subsidies for corn?

It is cheap and allows cows to grow fast.

List three products that are partially made of corn.

Ketchup, Coke, Motrin, Peanut Butter

What is a CAFO?

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

Cattle and other ruminants have evolved to eat grass. What problem has emerged as a result of feeding corn to cattle instead?

Cows get E. coli which leads to potential problems

There has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of food recalls in the last several years. Describe how both the industrialized food system and the government regulatory agencies are behind this problem.

FDA funding was cut. People in the government are also in the food industry. There aren’t as many health inspections.

Kevin Kowalcyk died in 2001 of hemolytic-uremic syndrome caused by eating ground beef contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. What regulatory shortcomings that contributed to his death are his mom working to raise awareness of?

Didn’t recall meat immediately. Raising awareness for clean meat and FDA has lost control.

What change would Kevin’s Law, if passed, make to the meat processing industry?

It would change it because it can shut down plants and factories that process contaminated meat. There would be more protection for the consumer.

What additive is used in some meat fillers to prevent E. coli contamination?


What kinds of foods are the cheapest? Why?

Unhealthy and sugary items. They are heavily subsidized.

Explain how obesity, diabetes, and poverty are linked.

When you are in poverty you are bound to buy junk food, which is the cheapest, which leads to obesity. When you are obese there is large chance of getting diabetes.

What is the expected rate of Type II Diabetes in people born after the year 2000? In minorities?

After year 2000, 1 out of 3. In minorities, 1 out of 2.

According to the USDA, Joel Salatin’s farm is "unsanitary". What was the basis of this opinion? What were the results of the bacterial contamination tests that were performed as comparison?

"Unsanitary" because it’s open to the air. Labs even say that these types of farms are way cleaner than factories.

How many hogs are slaughtered per day in the Smithfield processing plant in Tar Heel, NC?

32,000 per day (11,680,000 per year)

Where do the large meat packing plants get most of their workers?


How is the cheap cost of industrial food "dishonest" or misleading?

You have to pay for repercussions, medical costs, and environmental costs

Many of the smaller companies that produced organic and healthier foods have been acquired by larger conglomerate-type companies. Organic food produces are becoming available in places like Wal-Mart. Explain whether this is a good or bad thing.

Yes, more people will be buying the organic products

What is Roundup? What are Roundup-Ready soybeans?

Roundup is pesticide (weed killer). Roundup-Ready soybeans helps the plants grow and resists death of plants.

Since the Round-Up Ready crop seeds are patented by Monsanto, what happens when a farmer attempts to save his seeds at the end of the season?

Investigators from Monsanto will prosecute the farmer

If pollen from a GMO field blows into and pollinated a non-GMO field, does Monsanto have a legal claim?

He is still held accountable, but he must prove that he didn’t break the patent.

There has been little debate over the idea of patenting and controlling specific strains of food crops. What does the documentary attribute this to?

Competition in the companies. The officials on the government are same in Monsanto.

What are "Veggie Libel" laws?

Doesn’t let people criticize the food system.

What kind of changes can have huge effects on the food system?

The food consumers buy impacts companies production

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