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8 posts from June 2009

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.