Analysis of “Food Inc”
Today our food is more processed than ever before, gone are the days of vegetables coming straight off the farm, or meat fresh off the hoof. Filmmaker Robert Kenner produced “Food Inc” a documentary film in 2008 explaining how the idea of farms and ranch still exist but only in marketing. Kenner opens the movie with wide angle shots of fields and ranches but then zooms in a supermarket with the opening credits appearing on things such as a red barn, while Michael Pollan states “You go into the supermarket and you see pictures of farmers, the picket fence, the silo, the '30s farmhouse and the green grass. It's the spinning of this pastoral fantasy” (1). Kenner wants to visually stimulate Americans so they are aware that our food has been industrialized at the cost of the consumer, animals, and workers by multinational corporations with no regard of its effects as long as it is profitable. In this essay I will analyze Kenner’s use logos, pathos and ethos in the film to sustain that corporations have turned the food industry into factory based mass production plants. Kenner appeals to logos by presenting a scientific approach along with percentages, averages, and other data from various sources. Kenner films Larry Johnson, Center for Crops Utilization Research, Iowa State University in the laboratory with test tube beakers and other testing equipment running what looks to be liquefied corn as Johnson explains “You know, I would venture to guess if you go and look on the supermarket shelf, I'll bet you 90 percent of them would contain either a corn or soybean ingredient, and most of the time will contain both” (6). While Johnson is talking the screen is engulf with visions of everyday supermarket items that demonstrate how corn is in everything from Ketchup, to Motrin, and even fast food. All of this shows the many uses of corn, and why it has become the main ingredient in everything we eat from processed food, to the feed the animals are fed to make them fat for slaughter. Eric Schlosser states “In the 1970s, the top five beef-packers controlled only about 25 percent of the market. Today, the top four control more than 80 percent of the market” (2). Kenner illustrates this first by showing a steer with the top four highlighted in orange on the rear end of the steer, flashing to a new shot of the steer covered in orange from the neck back with just the four major labels on it. Kenner further demonstrates this by displaying a side by side comparison of two chickens from 1950 versus 2008 as Vince Edwards a chicken rancher comments “If you can grow a chicken in 49 days, why would you want one you gotta grow in three months? More money in your pocket” (3). All of this modern technology did not come without a cost which is shown in the movie as Kenner takes us behind the scenes to see how the animals, workers and even the consumer are affected by this industrialization of the food industry. Kenner’s film appeals to pathos by showing us several scenes of horrific abuse to animals, the distain in which workers, and ranchers are treated, to the devastating effect it has on consumers. Kenner starts with a wide shot with lush greenery and long barns popping up everywhere then in Edwards truck as he rolls down his window sticking his head to sniff the air outside stating “Smells like money to me” (3). Vince goes on to explain how the Corporations such as Tyson have saved their community by allowing them to raise chickens for them but he is unable to show us the inside of the barns as the screen goes black and in bold white lettering it states “Vince had offered to show us inside his chicken houses. But after multiple visits by Tyson representatives, he changed his mind” (3). Vince is unable to explain why he is unable to show them the barn, but would if he could. The film resumes as we meet Carole Morrison a Perdue grower as she explains why farmers will not talk to anyone as the companies can do what...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document