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?