As POV warms up for its Fall 2011, it’s re-airing a couple of important documentaries. The first is this week’s Food, Inc., which opens with the story of Carole Morrison, a grower for Perdue Chicken. She runs what amounts to a factory, producing meat efficiently and inhumanely. She’s speaking out now, she says, because “I’m just to the point that it doesn’t matter anymore. Something has to be said.” The chicken factory—like so many others that produce food for corporations to sell—is premised on quantity. When the film reveals in a note that Morrison’s farm was “terminated,” you have to think: even as she’s righteous here, she’s also out of work, for not toeing a corporate-ordained line. Robert Kenner’s Academy Award-nominated documentary provides other stories to compound your sense that something is very wrong here. Tomatoes—and corn, cows, and pigs—are genetically engineered. As the camera shows rows of fat red fruits in a supermarket, the voiceover reveals, “Although it looks like a tomato, it’s kind of a notional tomato, the idea of a tomato.” Notional food. It’s as bad as it sounds.
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