Food for Thought

 

Film-going foodies, take note: today, Food Inc. hits screens at the Kendall Square Cinema and the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Okay, it’s not Babette’s Feast or even Mostly Martha. It’s mostly Eric Schlosser (enemy of food industrialists and author of Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (patron saint of the locavores and author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma), along with quite a few stomach-churning slaughterhouse scenes. But this exposé of the American food industry is still one movie you’ll want to see. I’ve been twice in preview. I planned to leave early the second time and couldn’t tear myself away. In a non-Fox way, it is fair and balanced. Even the guys from Stonyfield Yogurt, who purists love to bash for selling out to organic Johnny-come-latelies like Wal-Mart, get to made some important points about how you grow a business for good.

Yes, it’s a must-see movie — just make sure to eat first if you’re a thinking of a dinner-and-a-movie outing, and don’t plan on happily eating burgers anytime soon. It is an important, dialogue-changing film about our food system, sort of like An Inconvenient Truth without Power Points, and with just as much humor. Director Robert Kenner does much of the narration, but the face-to-the-camera interviews with Pollan and Schlosser are both dead-on, and only slightly hysteric. I learned a lot in this movie, and think you will too. Who knew that a sweet two-year-old kid could drop dead from eating two yummy little burgers? The film is more like an epic poem than a polemic, with good sir knights fighting the good fight against evil corporate forces. Go once, take a friend the next time, and you can both take the veggie pledge together.

—Louisa Kasdon