Mr. Movie

'Food, Inc.' takes bite out of food

Food, Inc. contends that very large, profit-centered corporations produce almost all of the food in the nation and for most of the world.

They number under 10. Profit means short-cuts, increased chemicals to preserve food and hormones in animals and vegetables and fruits to make them grow faster, bigger and quicker. The food value in those techniques is reduced.

Director Robert Kenner says these companies have no scruples. Profit is what drives them. They don’t care if they cause cancer or other diseases, if the fast food they produce makes us horribly obese or even if they kill us all off. Profit is their only focus.

These same companies go all out to maintain their power. Bribery, threats, legal action — all are used to keep others from impacting their lust for profit. Kenner says they have deeper-than-deep pockets and can outlast and out sue anyone getting in their way.

When I was a kid, we only had one TV channel. If the TV even worked. With limited selection, I was raised on Walter Cronkite’s brilliant You Are There and his outstanding 20th Century in the 1950s and 1960s. With little else to fuel my imagination, they gave me an almost unnatural love of documentaries.

Today, I find them irresistible and much more entertaining and dramatic than an ordinary three-act movie.

Cronkite’s hourly programs also proved to be an excellent training ground. He taught me to ask questions. It is one of the life instances that drove me into journalism and to an eight-year career as a reporter. Cronkite also taught me the value of an all-important question: what is the agenda of the person giving me the information.

Following his excellent advice, I never review a documentary without wondering about the agenda of the writer/producer/director. It’s an invaluable technique when you’re hit with heavy propaganda from documentarians such as Michael Moore.

Food, Inc. is heavy propaganda. Kenner and his producers do have an agenda. It is to scare the living hell out of you. And they succeed. Kenner and crew are concerned about your food.

Unlike Moore and others, and at at time when we are seeing an alarming number of recalls because the food we pick up at the grocery store is poisoned, Kenner and crew hammer home some important — and once you see it — indisputable facts.

Add this one to your viewing menu.

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Rated PG for mature themes. It opens Friday, Sept. 11 at the Carmike 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.