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05 June 2009

Food, Inc.

It seems almost inevitable that Food, Inc. is going to result in a lot of chat on the internet, so I thought I'd get in there early.

I haven't seen the film yet, but from the trailer I completely understand the concerns that this is going to be a smug self-satisfied middle class rant.  And as we've seen before, rants about food have a habit of getting tied-up in internal contradictions that become distracting from the main issue.

But - and it's a big one - the success of Supersize Me demonstrates the power of films as a medium.  I'd argue it proved a turning point for McDonald's that has stood it in good stead.  It started with McD's becoming more transparent about their food and trying to tackle head-on the criticisms in the film.  It feels to me like they have done a fairly good job in rehabilitiating themselves into polite society.  It is unthinkable that ten years ago McDonald's UK CEO would be invited on to Question Time, let alone get a warm reception as  Stephen Easterbrook did recently.

If Food, Inc. raises awareness, and does so with a modicum of sense and balance, then that has got to be a good thing. If it lacks those two qualities, it runs the risk of just being another self-satisfied, tub-thumper.

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Thanks for posting the trailer for Food, Inc., coming out in theaters June 12, in San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles (other play dates available here: http://www.magpictures.com/dates.aspx?id=3e3938d1-b785-4286-9ae0-8eb5952f1480)! There is also a book companion to the movie, Food, Inc. available at Amazon.com. The book explores topics that were discussed in the movie, such as the industrialization of our food supply and the benefits of local and organic eating. Food experts including Marion Nestle, Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, and Anna Lappé, take these topics to another level through thirteen fascinating essays, some of which have been written especially for this book. Check it out!

Shannon Matloob
Participant Media

Shannon, well you've done a great job of turning this into an advert which it's not meant to be, but such is life!

Any chance of pointing out when it will be on in the UK, given that's where I'm based and so are a large number of my readers.

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