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Food, Inc. Changed My Plate

Rarely do I see a movie that changes my life. Sure, Footloose taught me some new jammin’ dance moves and Gone with the Wind permanently put “Fiddle-dee-dee” in my vocabulary (with a heavy drawn-out Southern accent, of course), but no movie has really, really changed my life.

That was then. This is now. I can confidently say that Food, Inc. has changed much, including what’s on my plate, what’s in my shopping cart, and my mental process when it comes to grubbin’.

The movie is a documentary into the world of food, namely the big companies behind it. (You may have seen the movie talked about recently by Oprah). From how chickens and cows are treated (living conditions, hormones, other nastiness) to genetically modified crops, it was an eye opener. After watching movies like Super Size Me and reading Fast Food Nation, I wasn’t naive. I knew that I probably didn’t want to really think about where that skim milk was coming from, but it’s easy to turn a blind eye when you’re just seeing the stuff in a pretty carton. This movie quickly pulled the blindfold off though. Without going into gory details and stealing the documentary’s graphic thunder, unless you’re buying free-range meat, you’re in for a rude awakening.

And then, as if that wasn’t enough, I also was popped out of another food bubble: some of the natural, healthy-for-you foods I love aren’t owned by regular folks or small mom-and-pop businesses. Nope, they’ve been snatched up by BIG food companies, who don’t always have your best interests at heart. Sigh, Kashi, Larabar, Stonyfield Farm (and a big thanks to @SFkaty for finding that amazing flow chart). Granted, “big” doesn’t always mean bad, and if big companies like General Mills and Kellogg can bring healthy, organic food to the masses, so be it. But, I guess I’m a bit of a skeptic until proven wrong. I’m from the Show Me State after all, so you gotta show me.

If you’re interested in how what you eat affects your body, your health and the world, I highly encourage you to check out the flick. And if you’re ready to make a change now, check out the below tips, courtesy of Take Part.

  1. Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages.
  2. Eat at home instead of eating out.
  3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards.
  4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food and sports drinks.
  5. Meatless Mondays—Go without meat one day a week.
  6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides.
  7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer’s market.
  8. Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS.
  9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you.
  10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections.

Like the movie says, you get a chance to vote three times a day (unless you eat five mini-meals a day in which case you get five!), so buy, eat and request organic, free-range, healthy foods, and it’s just a matter of time before the market catches up. —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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13 Comments
  1. Yes that movie has made me re-think a lot of what I serve my family.

  2. Food Inc. was a fantastic movie. Like you I have seen Fast Food Nation and SuperSize Me. So as a vegetarian I thought I was “doing my part”. Then I saw Food Inc and all the issues with soy and grain production. So now my husband and I are trying harder. No one is perfect, but we are trying to be more aware of the soy products we buy and looking for products from local farmers. I love your list and I think everyone can do at least 3 things on it.

  3. Amanda Thebe says:

    I found this movie to be both life-altering and disturbing at the same time. I eat Chicken, I don’t always buy organic, I try to buy steriod-free grain-fed free-range if its available – and seriously never really cared much for the straggly creatures welfare until I watched this. So horrible and shocking to see the conditions they are bred in. The fact that the US only now has 3 main slaughter houses for the whole country blows my mind! Whats the world coming to?

  4. Sagan says:

    I LOVED this movie. It’s terrifying but I am so grateful that someone is out there TELLING PEOPLE about the situation. That’s very important.

  5. katrina m says:

    i have been wanting to see this movie for a long time…. but then part of me hesitates to watch it. it’s a sad truth in my and my husband’s current financial state that we just cannot afford to buy everything organic and free range…. i KNOW its better for you a lot of the times, and i KNOW i probably don’t want to know where the stuff we do buy is coming from…. but even if i saw the movie, i don’t know that i would be able to afford to make the switch right now. and i know people say, well just give up something else, what is more important in your life??? but that’s easier said than done.

  6. Karen says:

    If you think Food Inc was great (and it was!!), just wait til Forks Over Knives comes out: http://forksoverknives.com/

  7. Metroknow says:

    Heh, you just named 90% of my food values in that list. I’ve stepped away from some of the bigger “issue” topics lately on Almost Fit (for a while there it felt like it was just common knowledge, such things), but clearly it’s still not on the minds of many, many folks who have the option to make better choices.

    Thanks for the review of the movie – and for letting some of the ideas into your heart – I know they have affected me as well.

  8. Aline says:

    It changed my life too. I saw it at the end of December and read “In Defense of Food” at the same time and since then I have only been pastured meat – mostly from local farms. I live in Chicago and it’s kind of difficult to get to those farms so whenever there is a farmers market I research the farms that sell meat there and stock up and freeze it. But mostly I just don’t eat much meat anymore.

    My life really changed. My depressions went away, I have been losing weight despite cutting out all “diet foods” – low-fat, fake sugar, …

    Eating all organic and local requires more planning but I waste a lot less now and I feel absolutely great.

  9. Karen says:

    Food, Inc. is an amazing movie and I even got my husband to watch! Tomorrow morning we are headed to the farmers market which I found out is every Thursday morning! How lucky! We have a 2 year old and we just want the best for him and to improve our health. I hope more people see this movie. It’s absolutely vital.

  10. amanda says:

    free range is just as big a joke as factory farming. watch “earthlings”.

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  12. Nicole says:

    I finally watched Food, Inc. and actually just found your site because I was curious how it affected other people and searched “watched Food Inc changed my diet.” I’m mostly curious about how to eat more organic, free-range, grass-fed, hormone-free, etc. products on a tight budget.

  13. Nash says:

    I feel the same after watching this documentary..

    My plate and my shopping cart will change for the better..