Food, Inc. & Fast Food Nation (the books) giveaway!

June 12th, 2009 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
Food, Inc. movie poster Fast Food Nation (004)

Update: 6/19/09: Using the random number generator http://www.random.org – which selected the #4 – we have a winner! Sharon, I’ll contact you at the email address you provided in order to get your shipping info.

2009-06-19 - Food Inc Drawing

Thanks for playing, everyone. I’ve seen a few similar contests pop up here and there, so if you didn’t win, keep an eye on your favorite veg blogs for more chances to enter!

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We’ve all been hearing about the new documentary Food, Inc. for what seems like months now, and tonight it finally opens to limited release in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Additional screens will be added on 6/19, and every weekend thereafter – through at least mid-August, it looks like. You can view the entire list of play dates here. (Sadly, Kansas City didn’t make the cut, so I guess it’s Netflix for moi.)

In honor of the release, the kind Food, Inc. PR peoples offered me a copy of the film’s companion book, also called Food, Inc., as well as Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (the film adaptation of which is still languishing in my Netflix queue; what can I say, I’ve been on a period piece kick as of late!).

They also offered up a set of the books for a reader giveaway. My first ever, at that!

So here’s the deal: in order to win a copy each of Food, Inc. and Fast Food Nation, drop a comment on this post and name your favorite animal-friendly movie: Babe, Behind the Mask, Harry and the Hendersons, whatever. It doesn’t have to be a documentary, in fact, the more creative, the better. Entertain me! A mention of this giveaway on your blog will earn you a second entry (just make sure it shows up here as a trackback, or else leave a second comment with a link to your blog post).

[Updated to add: The PR people didn’t mention location restrictions, and I totally forgot to ask, so I’ll assume for the time being that they’ll only mail the books to U.S. residents. Mylène, if you win, I’ll personally ship you your set if need be, since that’s only fair!]

The contest ends next Friday, 6/19 at 2 AM, CDT, and I’ll announce the winner sometime that day. (Not often you see Central time, eh?)

By the way, I’m 99.9% sure that I managed to fix the comment issue I mentioned last week. Somehow, somewhere, some way, a requirement that users must be logged on to Word Press in order to comment was accidentally enabled; don’t ask me how. It should all be fixed now, but if you run into any issues (knock on sustainable wood), please email me at easyvegan [at] gmail.com. Or, if instant gratification’s your thing, tweet me @easyvegan.

In the meantime, keep reading for some additional info about Food, Inc. (which, much like Fast Food Nation, seems to be more welfare-oriented, but may still be worth checking out – if only to praise the good and refute the bad).

Firstly, the obligatory trailer:
 


 
As well as a PSA for the film featuring former NBA player and vegetarian (vegan?) All Star John Salley, who describes “how our food goes from farm (or polluting massive industrial farm) to fork!”:
 

 
(Note: Do not – I repeat, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES – read the You Tube comments thread. It will only make you despair for humanity, on multiple levels.)

For those who can’t view the videos, here’s the film’s synopsis:

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms’ Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

And a brief description of the companion book:

This unique companion book explores the challenges raised by the movie in fascinating depth through 13 essays, most of them written especially for this book, and many by experts featured in the film. Highlights include:

Eric Schlosser on the industrialization of our food supply

Michael Pollan on the benefits of locally – sourced, organic eating

Robert Kenner on the making of Food, Inc.

Marion Nestle on sorting out food facts from fictions

Anna Lappé on how the U.S. food system promotes global warming

Muhammad Yunus on the global impact of food industrialization

Joel Salatin on how to declare your independence from industrial food

Gary Hirshberg on how industrial food is going mainstream

If daily headlines about food poisoning, pollution, labor abuse, and rampant hunger have left you worried or confused about the foods you eat, Food, Inc. provides the facts behind the problems—and shows what you can do to make a difference.

The lack of mention of even animal welfare issues (let alone rights) in the above summaries makes me more than a little nervous, but I’ll withhold judgment until I see the film/read the book for myself. I don’t imagine you can film an entire movie about factory farming without the issue of animal suffering popping up at some point, so we’ll see. (On the plus side, the promise of coverage of labor issues should provide additional material for my “intersections” series.)

And in the (inevitable?) event that Food, Inc. pushes the sustainable meat/dairy line, I’ll just keep repeating the following mantra: Sustainability Isn’t About You.

And also: Meat’s Not Green.

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14 Responses to “Food, Inc. & Fast Food Nation (the books) giveaway!”

  1. Mylène Ouellet Says:

    I hadn’t heard of Food, Inc.. Thanks for posting about it! I look forward to seeing the film and to reading the book, but like you, will probably do so with a slightly arched eyebrow.

    Have you ever seen Plague Dogs? It’s about a couple of dogs who escape from an animal experimentation lab. It’s based on a book by Richard Adams, who wrote Watership Down, and was adapted to film by the same people who adapted Watership Down. The book has a much happier ending than the movie. I recommend both.

  2. Jones Says:

    Maybe the philosophy is to ignore the “elephant in the room” (animal suffering as part of food production) to make the material more appealing to those who are in denial? Who knows.

    Isn’t The Secret of N.I.M.H. a kids’ movie with an anti animal experimentation bent?

  3. Kelly G. Says:

    Mylène – I’ve never heard of Plague Dogs. Into the queue it goes – thanks!

    Jones – Yes! I loved The Secret of N.I.M.H. as a kid, way before I understood the significance of “NIMH.”

  4. sharon Says:

    Hopefully, people who THINK they eat healthy will go see this movie, and will be surprised. I’m sure it will not satisfy my desire that all people turn vegan instantly, but at least movies like this are making people a little more aware of what goes on to get food onto their plates.

    The documentary “Peaceful Kingdom” was a favorite documentary dealing with food animals, and as far as “pets” go, I liked “Marley and Me.”

  5. Philip Truax Says:

    I’ve got to say that a movie that I remember fondly was “Cheetah”. About some kids who set a cheetah free only to have it caught by poachers and need rescuing.
    Secret of NIMH was fantastic, though lately there have been a lot of good movies about animal rights. A cutesy one from a few years back that always tickles me is called “The Ugly Dacshund” it’s a great film about some dogs having a great time playing around.

  6. Michelle Says:

    The Land Before Time and The Lion King!!!!

  7. Rueben Riley Says:

    My favorite animal friendly movie is Charlotte’s Web, by far. :-)

  8. Steve Says:

    I love Twilight! Best animal friendly movie this year!

    Wow. I haven’t even heard of all these other movies. Thanks to the other people for posting. I will have to check them out. Keep them coming!

  9. Michelle Says:

    Oh, and not sure if this classifies as a movie or not…but Christian the Lion…We have all seen the clips on the internet…That one gets me teary eyed every time! I don’t know an animal lover who doesn’t love this story. Many people don’t realize the depth that animals have and this story truly opens our mind and our hearts.

  10. Cindy Cassara Says:

    I’m not going to lie…I did enjoy Fast Food Nation. I liked how it looked at the local and global influence of the United States fast food industry. It really opened my eyes.

  11. wendy Says:

    I will have to see the movie when it comes here. It looks like it shows us alot more than the average person wants to know.Hopefully it will be a wake up call! One movie that comes to mind is My Dog Skip! I cried as usual. I love my babies!

  12. christina apai Says:

    My favorite animal friendly movie was Madagascar. It think it even discloses that no animals were harmed at the very end of the movie. I know it is a cartoon, but it is a good movie, seriously.

    I do think people need to be more aware of what they put in their mouths instead of just mindlessly eating. After all…we are what we eat, right?!

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