Food, Inc., an American documentary film, examines the industrial production of meat, grains, and vegetables. The film concludes by claiming the entirety of our food industry is inhumane, and economically and environmentally unsustainable.

The film continues to examine today’s industry by exploring the economic and legal powers large food companies have. Thus, recently, the spotlight has been centered on today’s food production. Previously, food distribution prior to the Green and Greener Revolution centered on the notion of self-sustaining farming, where families provided solely for themselves.

However, with the revolution of producing food, coincided with the advancement of agricultural technology, it reformed the method in which food is mass-produced for a mass population. Although in theory, this idea appears efficient and positive, it contains negative repercussions.

The usage of corn converted from not only human edibility, but other uses such as feeding animals corn instead of grass or wheat a creates a sequence of negative consequences. Moreover, in particular, the mass production of meat provokes a wide spectrum of ethical quandaries and questions.

Furthermore, the mass production and distribution of food emanate fallacious advertisements that conceal potentially harmful information. In essence, the three central issues affecting our current food industry includes the new utilization of corn, ethical questions regarding the inhumane treatment of animals, and false advertisement.

Corn is one of the Western World’s main vegetables. It was used simply for edible purposes until the last couple of decades. Today, surrounding issues concerning how society utilizes corn. One issue, according to the movie Food, Inc., exists in nearly all of the products in North America’s grocery stores.

Most processed foods, unless clearly stated otherwise, contains corn-based syrup. The extensive list of goods that contain corn-based material extends to other practical products, such as batteries. Besides other products, humans also ingest forms of corn through the meat. Since industries use corn to feed animals, because it is cheaper, easier to grow, and grows more, their meat inevitably contains corn nutrition.

In general, because of the abundance of food that contains corn-based syrups, it essentially provides an overdose on corn-related nutrition. The severity of overdosing on corn produces immunity to certain antibiotics, and potentially increases the risk of certain allergies. One of the central corn dilemmas exists in feeding factory-farmed animals corn.

Moreover, the mass production of corn unsurprisingly uses a vast amount of arable land. According to the movie, approximately 30% of The United States’ land is used strictly for producing corn. The land that corn utilizes could potentially be used for compensating the large population, or for producing other foods. Essentially, the new utilization of corn creates a variety of issues that concern health and land usage.


Ethical cases arise when mass production of meat occurs. Previously, animals were slaughtered purely for a family’s meat from their farm. However, according to Food, Inc., large food industries such as McDonalds and others alike control 80% of the beef industry.

With the overwhelming amount of people who eat fast food or restaurants in general, these large industries pay farmers to mass-produce animals in a shorter time, while making them bigger.

The ethical quandary exists in the method in which farmers are forced to raise them. With minimal space for the animals to move, they achieve extremely low exercise – plumping them up. Similarly, the animals are forced to eat foods they would not normally eat by nature. Corn, steroids, and other products are used to grow animals faster and larger.

Chickens are a prime example because they are grown in half the time, and with many chemicals, their breasts are significantly enlarged. The large problem with genetically modifying animals maintains that is against nature’s process. Many people in society, if they were aware of this issue, might argue conversely to what is currently happening to animals.

Moreover, the idea of factory farming in itself contains ethical difficulties. This type of new farming that appeals to the mass population, the system where animals are treated. In Food, Inc., one case of inhumane, ethical treatment of the animals prior to being slaughtered is demonstrated when the chickens are collected.

The workers are revealed kicking the chickens and shoving them in crammed cages with negligible care. In a similar case, the animals in factory farms reside in a small barn, with little than a square to move. Here, they are forced to live in layers of excrement and beside other dead animals. The ethical problem is clear in this example. Overall, the inhumane treatment of animals before being killed produces a significant amount of ethical inquiries.

In conjunction with delivering large amounts of food and creating bigger animals in a shorter span of time inevitably means companies will use potentially harmful chemicals. Of course, they will not use them in doses of fatality; however, they use smaller doses but in nearly every product. Consumers are not aware and in general, are hardly conscientious of what they eat.

This unawareness essentially allows corporations to take advantage of the consumer and use cheaper, better, but more harmful ingredients. This is concept is known as false advertising. A major issue in today’s food industry relies on the consumers’ hands as well as the corporations. On one side, consumers do not take self-responsibility and seek out what the ingredients actually are.

For example, corn-based syrups have a plethora of counterparts and offshoots that are easily disguisable in the nutrition table of products. Already, simply based on one core ingredient, companies use fallacious advertisements to promote their product as healthy. In another sense, the graphics on labels of products are in a different way, deceitful.

In Food, Inc., the image on packages of meat depicts the old-fashion, typical red barn with greenery and fields of farmland. The innocent and traditional image of what used to be the norm almost subconsciously fools the consumer. This is the façade companies use as trickery for the common consumer.

In reality, the fallaciousness maintains that the companies use unethical and inhumane factory farming to produce their meat.  Essentially, misleading advertisements and commercials are one contribution to the many issues of today’s food industry.

Overall, the three current problems facing today’s food industry are the reformed usage of corn, callous treatment of farmed animals, and false advertisement. With a rapidly growing population, more food is needed. Corn, being cheap and easier to grow, appeals to not only human consumption, but animals as well.

Connectively, factory farming, the use of corn, and general treatment of animals prior to butchery, generates ethical concerns for the public. Furthermore, companies utilize the old fashion, traditional red barn and innocent farm image as an illusion. They subliminally use this depiction to disguise the reality of mass-producing meat. Essentially, Food, Inc. exposes the unfortunate reality to the current food industry.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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