Skip to main content

Film of the week Why their profit affects your health

The Star's critic MARIA DUARTE recommends a US documentary that shines a light on the ill effects of corporate profiteering in the food industry

Food, Inc. 2 (12)
Directed by Robert Kenner and Melissa Robledo

ALMOST 16 years after their landmark Oscar-nominated 2008 film Food, Inc, the film-makers return to serve up a fresh look at the state of the food system today and the power of the multinational food corporations. 
Documentarians Robert Kenner and Melissa Robledo reunite with investigative authors Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) using the pandemic as the catalyst for their new investigation. 

When meatpacking plants became Covid hotspots in 2020 the film reports how workers were forced to continue working in dangerous conditions to keep America fed even though a lot of the products were being shipped to China. Tomato pickers were not allowed to have Covid tests as it would slow up the harvest. In the meantime Americans, from coast to coast, faced food shortages as we did here. 
The film-makers interview a wide range of experts from food specialists, academics in nutrition and farmers to politicians. What is fascinating and worrying is the rise of “ultra processed foods” and how they cause people to eat more — who can eat just one Dorito or one Pringle? — and consume more calories, and up to 500 more according to a test conducted in the documentary. In the US 58 per cent of total consumption is ultra processed foods, whereas in other countries it is much lower. 
In some Latin American countries they place a prominent black label on the front of these products to flag up the dangers to health, such as containing too many calories or too much sugar. In Mexico, if ultra processed foods have black labels they cannot promote any health claims on the packaging.
The film also explores the monopoly power of food companies and the pressure they exert on the US government to protect their interests and increase their profits. It also examines the destructive impact of animal farming on the environment and how we should all become vegan to save the planet (which isn’t new). It is the increase and effects of ultra processed foods that is the most staggering in this compelling documentary which provides much food for thought. 

Out in cinemas June 7


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.



Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 13,226
We need:£ 4,774
8 Days remaining
Donate today