Shocking Insights from Food Inc. Movie Review on Organic, Healthy Foods


West: We’re here at the Northey Street Market.
I’m here with Fran. Welcome, Fran. Fran: Thanks! West: We’re going to get some awesome insights
on the movie Food, Inc. which we recently saw just a couple of days ago. And I wanted
to get Fran because I think she’s great in the area and she has some awesome, awesome
insights on any topic to do with health, you know, living an organic life. So Fran, why don’t you give us a little
overall impression of the movie? And if you haven’t seen it, we’re going to share
some insights and hopefully we’ll get you to see it. But Fran, tell us what you thought
of the movie? Fran: I thought the movie was really, really
great. It was excellent. It’s definitely one that I think and feel that everyone should
see. The biggest thing, I think, the movie tried to portray was where our food actually
comes from because often we’re completely unaware. We get our food from the grocery
store or the supermarket. We buy it and we have no clue at all where the food comes from.
And often we actually think—and this is what the movie kept saying—the milk comes
straight from the dairy farmer or the milk comes straight from this very glamorous, beautiful
barn where the cows are happy and the chickens are happy. And the movie was telling us that
that is not always true. West: Absolutely. And it was kind of like
an exposé of some of the kind of the really naughty things that the big corporations do
for profit, that they don’t necessarily care about how things were prepared or the
kind if stuff that they put into the food that they produce. Fran: Yeah. It’s really unfortunate and
it is often for profit. And unfortunately, that does come into the whole greed thing.
And it means that the animals suffer, the environment suffers and also our health as
well because we’re not getting the best food. West: So let’s talk specifics, Fran, and
in terms of some of the actual shocking images. I mean we’re talking a little bit before
about some of the things that really hit hard during the film. And what was some of the
things that you saw that you just went ‘whoa’? Fran: I’ll tell you what. I was so happy
when I was in the documentary, that I’m vegetarian. Like “Whew, I’m vegetarian.”
And I had to shut my eyes a few time as well. The images did show a lot of the factories
where the animals are killed and then processed I guess? And those images are quite shocking.
And also some of the places where the chickens are raised and bred and people going in there
and getting a chicken. Also this weird thing where the baby chickens were in a conveyor
belt so I don’t know what that was for. I think it was the one where they hatched
and they…yeah. West: Yeah. ‘Coz I mean, a lot of the chickens,
they never see daylight. That’s one of the things that are… Fran: Shocking! Absolutely shocking! West: It blew me away. I mean they’re just
sort of raised purely to be steroided up and hormoned up and… Fran: They can’t walk. West: They can’t walk. And a lot of them
have their guts falling out. It’s just… yeah. Imagine that sort of stuff being pumped
into chickens and then a lot of that stuff then just gets passed on to the consumer. Fran: It’s really important though to note
that this is not a documentary that’s trying to get everyone vegetarian even though I said,
‘Wow, I’m happy, so happy I’m vegetarian.’ You’re not vegetarian at the moment, are
you? West: I’m not at the moment but this is
exactly the kind of thing… the movie that would educate someone like me. And this is
why exactly why I’m talking to Fran and move me in that direction. Fran: But I do have a friend who isn’t vegetarian.
She has been in the past but she isn’t. And I asked her yesterday, I said, “Did
this documentary make you want to be vegetarian again?” And she said, “No.” And the
reason is because she gets her meat—she only gets very, very small amounts and she
gets it from organic farms. So she gets it where the animals are treated very well and
they’re killed in the most ethical way possible. So for her, she still understands the process
of how they’re raised and how they’re killed and she’s prepared to eat the meat
even though the meat is killed. But for me, I’m not actually prepared to do that. So
everyone’s different. I’m not saying that this documentary is not saying that you need
to be vegetarian so don’t freak out and say, “Oh, I want to give up meat!” It
just means that instead of getting your meat, say, from the grocery store, have a look and
see if there are any organic suppliers of meat or local farmers. West: Or even like a place like Northey Street
where we are right now sells organic chicken and meat that you could get. Fran: Yeah. Northey Street is the local organic
farmers market that West and I both love to go to. West: It’s a ritual for us. Fran: Definitely. West: So Fran, for people watching the movie
and wanting to take away some key things that they can start applying into their lives,
like for example, my partner was saying that when she goes to Coles now, she’s much more
aware of—well firstly, she doesn’t want to go in there; but if she has to, then she’s
much more aware of—where they’re coming from. She starts to read labels and looks
for little things that she can apply into her own life. So what was some of the takeaways
that you can give the audience to start applying…? Fran: Definitely find a local market near
you because if you find a local market, then you know you’re getting the food definitely
from the farm. Sometimes there is a middleman so you’re not actually getting it from the
farmer but it’s much closer and it’s not going through a massive corporation and you
know that the farmers are treated much better when it is from a local farmers’ market
as well. So something like this where we’re coming through today, getting the food really,
really fresh, becoming aware as well of where the food comes from if you eat meat and if
you drink milk and eat eggs. West: So educating yourself outside the movie? Fran: Yeah. Asking. Like I still eat eggs
and when I buy my eggs here at the markets, I ask how the chickens are doing. And they
tell me, you know, “They’ve been running around and they sleep in trees.” Coles, for our American viewers, is our grocery
store. We’ve got two Coles in the West. So for me, I haven’t actually shopped at
grocery stores for a good two years and there’s a good reason for that—because I can get
all my food at farmers’ markets and health stores. And I know that the big corporations
are often very unethical. I can’t give a blanket statement here because sometimes they
may have good practices. But I know that I’m definitely getting a much greener and a much
more ethical business at the farmers’ markets and health stores. West: Although I read recently, Fran, that
Walmart—which is one of the biggest chains in the States—has taken a lot more organic
lines. So they’re listening to the market. Fran: It’s difficult as well in the US in
comparison to Australia because in the US, the organic certification is not very strict
and it’s quite corrupt. We’re really lucky here in Australia that we have very strict
rules and when you buy something that’s organic—whether it’s at the grocery store
or those at the market or health store—you know you’re getting organic. So it’s much
easier for us. Not so easy in the US. West: Interesting. Interesting. So with regard
to that, it’s difficult for someone to—like how someone just off the bat who isn’t as
educated as you—it would be very difficult for them to know those kind of things. And
that’s why we’re also promoting getting educated more about your food and where it
comes from. I mean on that topic, I was going to ask you, Fran, what are some of the other
documentaries or people that you follow that people can maybe get educated? I mean you’ve
told us about some documentaries before that people can go on and learn more about the
process of how food is produced and where it’s come from. Fran: Yeah. There are a lot out there. There
are heaps and heaps. Food Matters is a great one that I absolutely love. It doesn’t particularly
tell you where the food comes from but it’s a lot about the health and I think that helps.
The Future of Food is one. There are loads. West: There are loads. Fran: Yeah. I’ll have to include a link
on to this video on my blog. If I post it somewhere I’ll give you the links as well,
the videos. There are heaps. FoodMatters.tv. They’ve got also a huge
list of documentaries on their site. There are lots and they’re all super interesting
to watch as well. And it’s great to get that education to become aware. But I also love to point out—another thing
is, the question asked before about what we can do—every single documentary, health
shows, spirituality—everything—always points to one thing: and that is to grow your
own food. Everything points to that. So we really need to start doing that. Even if it’s
just herbs, a bit of parsley, a bit of basil. Basil is so easy to grow. Just getting them
in pots if you’re in an apartment or getting them out into the garden if you own a yard.
Even things like aloe vera as well, you know. You can eat aloe vera, you can use it on your
skin. Just anything…grow it in your garden. Grow it in your garden. Even if it’s just
one thing, learn to master growing one thing. It’s really important. West: Absolutely. One of the principles we talked about as when
someone’s going to watch a movie, there are a lot of them already aware of this and
they’ve embraced living a healthy life and organics is part of their lifestyle, but for
your audience, Fran, people who are kind of just discovering this kind of thing and are
maybe a little bit too scared to go watch a movie like this because they don’t want
to get converted the other way, what kind of advise would you maybe give them to take
baby steps instead of being exposed to these massive scary images? Fran: Okay. How I went vegetarian—again,
I’m not saying you need to—but I transitioned into health over many, many years. And I stopped
buying meat at grocery stores. And my friend who still eats meat, she decided that she
wanted to only eat meat that was a bit more ethical. So she stopped buying grocery store
meat and she only bought organic meat. So that’s something you can do. You don’t
have to completely go crazy and build a veggie garden and become a vegan and just never walk
into a grocery store ever again. You can just do a little thing like only buy organic meat.
Or maybe just go to a farmers’ market once a week and have a go and see what really fresh
produce you can get there. Something like that. West: Cool. And now, I just want to ask you,
because let’s face it, organic food isn’t the cheapest food out there but it’s obviously
very high quality. Like for example, my partner again, Allie, was saying that she paid $20
for a chicken but she made it go a really long way and we actually used that for a lot
of different and beautiful recipes that just tasted delicious. So for someone who—like
yourself—who has educated themselves on how to prepare and cook beautiful fresh, organic
food, what kind of advice would you give to people who are kind of blocked by that, you
know, it’s like ten times the price mentality? Fran: Well, the amount of money I spend here
at the organic farmers’ market every week fluctuates a lot. Sometimes I will spend $40.
Sometimes I will spend $110. And it really depends on what I’m buying. And I know now
what the cheap stuff is. So if I’m buying the basics—carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and
celery—it’s going to be a lot cheaper. But if I’m buying a whole heap of berries…berries,
somewhere like Canada, is going to be quite cheap because you can get heaps there for
hardly anything. And wild berries especially. But here in Australia, very expensive. So you can really be wary of the set of organic
foods you’re buying and get the cheaper ones in comparison to the more expensive ones.
And spending $40 on an organic big bag or two big bags of organic food in a week is
not very much money at all. West: Absolutely. And if you’ve learned
how to make it last and cook recipes that you can intertwine with other foods and know
that it’s kind of like peace of mind for people to know that they’re putting good,
fresh food into their bodies—and even though, you know, you might be on a budget with regards
to food—you’re going to be sleeping well at night as opposed to some of the chemicals
that we saw in the movie, some of the hormones and estrogens. I think in one of the burgers
they’re putting ammonia? Fran: Oh yeah, yeah. West: To stop E. coli. Ammonia’s actually
a massive toxin, that you could start putting burgers in your hair and bleach it—was my
initial thought. That’s the last time I go to get my hair bleached somewhere else.
I’m just going to buy a burger and rub it through my hair. But to pay pennies on the dollar for food
that is going to poison you effectively is really a call that you’ve got to make. Fran: Yeah. It also depends on your values
as well. I just decided I wanted to buy everything organic and I just did it. And even where
I’ve had really been struggling with money, I still bought organic because that is one
of my top priorities. People spend a lot of money on their car,
a lot of money on clothes, a lot of money on going out or a really nice dinner but they’ll
put food right down low as their lowest priority. So you really need to put that priority up
higher and invest in your future and invest in your health and consider that buying this
organic food is putting much less toxins into your body, less toxins into the environment
and definitely a huge investment in the future of your health and longevity. West: Wow, beautiful. Well, Fran, it’s been
an absolute pleasure talking to you this morning. I know you’ve got to run off to another
convention to do with farming and looking at local farmers which is fantastic. And I
hope she brings the camera along and record it for us to have a look at. But thanks for
sharing your insights on Food, Inc. and I hope you enjoyed it and learned something�

  1. beaelliott

    Knowledge is power – The best thing I've done with new information regarding what I ate was to switch to a plant based diet. Going vegan was the best decision I've ever made! I'm healthier and much happier living as ethically as possible.

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