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Food Inc Essay

How is the text you have studied in class constructed to portray certain ideas? Documentaries are usually constructed to portray one point of view, whether it is a negative or positive point of view. Food Inc directed by Robert Kenner, presents a many ideas about how the fast food industry is affecting the ways in which Americans eat. They do this by showing one perspective instead of both. Food Inc doesn’t explore in to detail the positive aspects of fast food; they are just focusing on the negative.

They construct the documentary using techniques such as expert opinions, Interviews and statistics to present certain ideas throughout the documentary. The main idea explored throughout the documentary was the animal cruelty caused by humans due to modifying the development of animals. They ways in which they present this ideas is mainly through footage of the animals suffering and the juxtaposition of the animals before they were modified and how the animals are now.

The footage of the crowded cows helpless and unable to move creates a setting which portrays a negative feel and creatively making us feel sympathetic towards the animals. The shots of the chickens not being able to walk due to the genetic modifications of the animal, creates the idea of humans purposely provoking animal cruelty. They are changing the ways in which an animal develops for their own needs and generally to make more money. This is clearly shown through the juxtaposition of the “old” chicken and the “new” chicken.

This Juxtaposition makes us question how it is possible to grow a chicken in half the time yet be double the size? It therefore makes the documentary more engaging as we are starting to question the farmers ourselves and therefore are dragged into believing what the documentary is trying to portray. Another idea explored in the documentary Food Inc is the constant conflict of the prices of healthy foods compared to the prices in fast food restaurants.

The ways in which Robert Kenner has constructed the documentary to perceive the fast food outlets being cheaper is through an interview with the Gonzalez family. They are an average sized American family who eat fast food due to their financial status. Kenner used the juxtaposition of the price of a meal at McDonalds to buying a meal at the supermarkets. At McDonalds the Gonzalez family can buy a burger and drink each for 11$, they then show you the Gonzalez family inside a grocery store struggling to buy a lettuce for under 2$ which worked out to be the cost of their whole meal at McDonalds.

This makes believe what Kenner is trying to portray and are drawn into believing that fast food is always cheaper than the groceries. However we are not given any cheap healthy displays in the supermarket, instead given with cheap unhealthy items such as 99 cent cokes. Kenner has purposely portrayed the unhealthy items in a negative way to create an opinion that we are being “forced” in to fast food rather than having the choice of fast food.


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