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Food on Film: Fast Food Nation

By Amanda Yates, April 22, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Amanda Yates
filmfestheader B Murray is our randomly selected winner of the $25 gift card. Thanks everyone for your entries! Have you seen Fast Food Nation? Read on for a chance to win a $25 gift card! Did you make it to one of the 151 screenings of films about food shown in our Let’s Retake Our Plates Film Series? If so, we hope you enjoyed it and learned something! To wrap up our month of reviews, Lauren Craig reviews the Richard Linklater comedy Fast Food Nation.
I had to read this novel while in culinary school to set the scene for our in depth look at 21st century consumerism and food choices. The book made a big impact on me, causing me to me think about my food choices and how I could make simple changes to be healthier and make less of an impact, to be more aware of my food choices. It also painted a much better picture of the grim reality our country faces when it comes to food, and that most of us are oblivious to our downward spiral. In his critique of contemporary American life, Richard Linklater sets the scene by using characters who have a relationship with the meat industry, attempting to make it relatable.  I feel that the movie failed to deliver on what made the book a really good read for me. The movie adaptation uses the fictional town of Cody, Colorado to show the gruesomeness and reality of our modern day food crises, but Linklater uses too many characters and too many stories to get the point across, hence losing focus by starting a lot and finishing nothing. Just when you are getting to know a character and relating to them, the movie transitions to another character in hopes that by combining all of their stores and plights, you understand the overall reality.  But all it did was confuse the issues that were communicated so clearly in the book in a way that is overly preachy for its own good . With the cow slaughter in the end, all I was left with was a feeling of nausea.  The movie would have been much more impactful if it steered clear of fiction and delved into the science – the truth behind it all – instead of getting caught up in an extensive big name cast and their fake stories.
Have you seen Fast Food NationPost your review by April 30th for a chance to win a $25 gift card!




Sharron Ogomori says ...
Wow! Everyone should see this film. They just announced in the newspaper that a city in California is now banning businesses that entice kids with free toys to eat their empty calorie laden foods. Yea...bring in the kids...and the adults will be right behind.
04/29/2010 1:51:35 AM CDT
Princess says ...
Very short and straight to the point. from cattle to table and the marketing in between. How consumers really do not know what goes into the preperation of their food. The touching point was the guy in the lab with synthetic fragrance or flavoring claiming that it was ¨perfect¨. I wonder if these guys each fast food and feed it to their families?!
04/22/2010 10:11:21 AM CDT
cynthia madrid says ...
It thought it was too gruesome! The storyline was confusing and at times I lost interest in it. The book was so much better!!!!
05/01/2010 6:05:17 AM CDT
Maggie says ...
That's great that WFM is showing these films. I have Food Inc on the DVR and can't wait to watch it.
04/22/2010 11:09:14 PM CDT
Zlatka says ...
Oh, I've read the book (like Bridget) and that's more than enough, I loved it! Especially after I watched Food, Inc. I hope more people will think about these things, because even though it seems like it does not matter, IT DOES MATTER BIG TIME! It matters to our planet, it matters to our kids, it matters to ourselves, it matters to the future (according to a study, mice fed with GMO food stop reproducting after 2-3 generations, how about that for the future of people consuming daily GMO products???). So, like Food, Inc. concluded: "you vote, 3 times a day". Make your vote a smart one, ditch the trash that big companies put in food and know what your food consists of and what impact the ingredients have on you. And the future.
04/23/2010 1:09:54 PM CDT
EricR says ...
Haven't seen 'Fast Food Nation' yet but it HAS been in my Netflix queue for some time now. I did however just watch "End of the Line" which I recommend!
04/22/2010 8:28:43 AM CDT
MayaPapaya says ...
A documentary (along the same vein as SuperSize Me or Food Inc.) might have been more impactful than a fictional portrayal.
04/22/2010 11:23:25 AM CDT
Esther says ...
I found Fast Food nation to just be gross and depressing. But it did not change my eating habits for some reason- maybe becauseit was less effective than a documentary in delivering the harmful effects the food has on our health. Watching SuperSize Me had a big effect on me though. It was gross to see what fast food can do to a very healthy person. Also- Food Inc and King Corn are the cornerstone for my newfound healthy eating habits. After reading this review though- I am encouraged to check out the book. Thanks!
04/22/2010 1:35:38 PM CDT
Bridget says ...
Haven't seen the movie, but read the book a few years ago. It's full of information that everyone who eats in the country (and the world) should know! Some other recommendations: Eat This, Not That (series of books), King Korn (documentary), and Supersize Me.
04/22/2010 3:02:23 PM CDT
screwdestiny says ...
I agree with the review posted in this blog. I haven't yet read the book. I happened to catch the movie on TV one day and thought I could watch it and get the gist of what the book was about. But the movie was really pretty lame. I would have preferred it being more documentary-style, but they tried to make it into a fiction, with a little humor thrown in here and there, and it just fell short with poor acting, dialogue, and not getting a whole lot of the very important message across.
04/22/2010 4:57:02 PM CDT
M. Clarisa says ...
Enjoyed the book, could barely put it down. There were parts of the movie that were too cliche, and so "in your face". Agree with other posts, a documentary would have been a good complement to the book.
04/22/2010 10:05:56 PM CDT
Alan Hodges says ...
I will try and see the movie but I will definitely not pursue anymore fast food meat shops.
04/28/2010 4:44:54 PM CDT
patti says ...
i need asale on meat skinless boneless chicken breast and ground turkey i could buy food with this gift card please i never win a thing please please
04/28/2010 5:10:15 PM CDT
Nancy Gardner says ...
The film certsinly made me think about never buying non-organic meat again! The slaughter house scenes were truly sickening.
04/28/2010 5:31:48 PM CDT
Sharli says ...
Interesting yet not suprising. I am eager to see the film in its entirety although I am sure that there is nothing new under the sun in this film. America is a fast food nation. It is no wonder Americans suffers from obesity more than any other group as well as leads the nation in a number of other dis-eases. This films seems to be chalk full of information BUT if you love a fat juicy burger will you even care? It is up to the indvidual to deide to take back the plate. The only way to be true to your body is to EAT RAW or eat organic. But then the government won't make that $$ the wll they? After all there will be fewer sufferers of heart dis-ease, obeisity, etc...PLUS it would lose a lot of money it receives from those fast food gurus...now who wants that? I mean everyone loses..drug companies, governmets, fast food giants, meat producers, hormone producers...The only winners are you and the animals. Now who wants that?
04/28/2010 5:44:55 PM CDT
little jacqui d says ...
I don't eat much meat but every one in a while I want a big juicy hamburger. After Fast Food Nation, I'm a lot more selctive about where that hamburger orginates. The fast food industry is frighenng!
04/28/2010 5:51:45 PM CDT
Eddy Robey says ...
The film gave a good sense of how pervasive is the culture of fast food. It's a real wake-up call for those who forget the joys of making their own dinner.
04/28/2010 6:04:26 PM CDT
Mary says ...
Very gross and difficult to even think about.
04/28/2010 6:17:20 PM CDT
Katey Moroneso says ...
The book was great but the movie was frankly awful! The fictional account was pretty cheesy which led to many of the important points of the book being lost.
04/28/2010 6:27:22 PM CDT
Give2Receive says ...
"Fast Food Nation" was too gruesome and jumped around to much for me to recommend or purchase to share with family/friends. However, "Food, Inc." is done very well and the information easy to understand and very enlightening/impactful. I have shown the movie "Food, Inc." to friends/family and purchased at least a dozen copies that I have handed out for them to share. This is my food awareness ripple effect besides voting with my dollar. I also recommend Michael Pollan's book, "Food Rules: An Eater's Manual". It is a short and powerful read.
04/28/2010 6:45:17 PM CDT
helen j hoang says ...
sen em all b 4
04/28/2010 6:49:31 PM CDT
Lisa says ...
I like the fact that Fast Food Nation pointed out the impact of our food production system on this country and people who live here in a fictional format. I got it!
04/28/2010 6:57:44 PM CDT
Donna says ...
I did see the movie and thought it was very worthwhile. The previous night I saw What's on Your Plate. Did not go over to see Food Inc as I already have that one on DVD. I appreciated Whole Foods sponsoring these movies.
04/28/2010 8:15:28 PM CDT
Stacy says ...
I wish that it would have been more like the book - documentary style. Food Inc was better, although I think that it could have provided more info for those who are already somewhat knowledgable about the subject. My husband watched both and learned alot (new for him) but unfortunately did not change his eating habits at all.
04/28/2010 8:15:57 PM CDT
Laurie Kirby says ...
Now THIS would be a great film to watch on the night before you kick off a new diet.... Better yet, before you begin a fast! I was raised on a farm in the midwest, where animals were slaughtered as a way of life. Hearing the cries of the animals as they were killed or shipped out to be, filled me with such distress and sadness that I would cry for the rest of the day. I became a vegetarian - as I am now. This film is only the truth about what is happening.
04/28/2010 8:23:35 PM CDT