Food, Inc.
Upton Sinclair
• Muckraker
– He exposed social and political problems
• Working conditions of immigrants
• Chicago’s meatpacking industry
• Socialist
– Socialism: a way of organizing a society in which
major industries are owned and controlled by the
government rather than by individual people and
companies
– Inspire take action
Meat Inspection
Act of 1906
Questions
1. According to Sinclair, how was rancid
meat made to look like it was “Grade
A”?
2. How did the company “smoke” meat?
3. What went in to sausages?
4. How was meat store?
5. How did these conditions affect the
workers?
THE VEIL
Think / Pair / Share
• What kinds of foods or
ingredients are you afraid
to eat and why?
Question
• How would information about a
food raise or lower your fear of
it?
The veil
The Veil
• Food is a huge industry with
Americans spending over $1.5 trillion
a year on food.
• Food corporations do everything in
their power to maximize earnings.
The Veil
• Companies may increase profitability
by using lower-cost ingredients,
minimizing labor cost, and cutting
competition.
The Bottom Line
• Food industry influences laws and
regulations to protect their
earnings.
What is wrong with this
statement?
Food Disparagement Laws
• These laws make it illegal to
disseminate misinformation
about foods.
Do these laws protect you? Why?
Food Labeling Laws
• These laws mandate that certain
information be printed on a
product’s label.
–Ingredients, nutrition data, and
allergy information.
Do these laws protect you? Why?
Patent Laws
• These laws protect intellectual
property and have been used by
agribusinesses to defend their
ownership of genetically modified
seeds.
Do these laws protect you? Why?
Cheeseburger Law
• This law makes it illegal to sue
food companies for obesity and
other health effects of eating junk
foods.
–Personal Responsibility in Food
Consumption Act
Does this law protect you?
Question and Video Segment
• Should a company have the
power to decide what
information to give consumers
about the food it produces?
Debate
• Healthy experts recently called for warning
labels on energy drinks, pointing out the
effects of “caffeine intoxication”- a syndrome
that can cause anxiety, insomnia, and
gastrointestinal upset, tremors, rapid
heartbeat, and even death. Would a warning
label affect whether or not you buy energy
drinks? Why or why not?
Reflection
• How effective are labels in
helping consumers make
decisions about their food? What
might be more effective?
SHOCKS TO THE SYSTEM
What can you control as a
consumer?
You can be selective by…
•reading labels
•looking for specific products (organic)
•making your own garden
•stop purchasing items that are harmful for you
(have in mind your health and needs)
•advocating (health advocate groups)
rBST
• Recombinant bovine somatotropin
• Synthetic hormone to increase milk
production
• Controversial issue since 1993
– Why?
• Antibiotic resistance diseases
– Bacterial disease such as strep throat
Opener
Key Role Groups Activity
Question: What individual or collective
actions are you willing to take to improve
our food system, and what would be their
impact?
Reflection
• What are the advantages of
collective actions versus
individual actions?
Let’s Move
• Explore the website “Let’s Move”
–Read the information under “Take
Action” tab
–Click on “School”
• What can we do at school?
EXPLORING FOOD-BASED
COMMUNITIES
Activity: Food Communities
Draw map that illustrate one or more
examples from your own life of how
people come together around food.
–
–
–
–
Places, people, and food
Festivities
School
Food preferences/restrictions
Questions
1. What do you know about how the
foods that are depicted in this
illustration were prepared, grown
or harvested, and sold?
2. What else do you have in common,
looking at your lives through the
lens of food?
“Growing Together”
Muhlke examines how communities
are grown out of people’s shared
interest in food and food production
•What was the most interesting about
the article?
•Did the article inspire you?
Scavenger Hunt
1. Local v. international
2. Organic v. non-organic
3. Natural v. Processed food
WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS?