‘Food Inc. 2’ Review: An Urgent Call To Sustainable and Equity Food Practices

Kenny Miles reviews Food Inc. 2, a follow-up documentary that properly delivers insight into the urgency of the economic state of affairs when it comes to America's food and farmlands.

Robert Kenner and Melissa Robledo’s Food Inc. 2 somewhat picks up where the original documentary, Food Inc., left off, and it felt like a whole different animal with the issues plaguing our food in the 2020s. Significantly, few corporate food conglomerates have only consolidated their market shares with farmlands and store space.

This one is more direct with politicians’ involvement. Senators Cory Booker and Jon Tester (a Montana farmer) are on a mission to break up the monopolies that cause low quality and higher inflation prices to wreak havoc at the grocery store. Cory Booker talked about how the food desserts in Newark hurt Black families, while Jon Tester warned about how the corporate business model kills rural America and family farms. I admired this connection. Their relationship is great when discussing how pressing issues affect different people.

Food monopolies and antitrust buy all the food; they consolidate and make more money. The docs cite the Aboott baby formula issue of running out of baby food, which caused babies problems since they make up 40% of the US supply. I could see a few stats thrown around that could end up as Facebook memes or re-purposed for viral TikTok videos. There is a lot of information that viewers will take away.

See Also: ‘God & Country’ Review: The Defining Documentary About Christian Nationalism

Food Inc. 2 makes the case that a healthy food system is the centerpiece of a better society, from equity to food access and more livable wages for the workers at the bottom. However, it covers too many topics, which does not always work for me. Information overload overwhelms the viewers, and I need help remembering everything I want to. It also delves into worker wages and rights in the food industry.

The documentary filmmakers travel nationwide to cover multiple issues at breakneck speed. A Colombia County WI farm makes milk and cows, for example. Large farm factories move to places like Arizona with regulation-draining Colorado, and then we see an Iowa farmer make money off the industrialized food system.

Food Inc. 2 showcases the struggle between profits vs. sustainability in a food industry with its hands everywhere. A point I found striking was when a talking head said we subsidize unhealthy food that makes us sick, and then we pay for healthcare costs fueled by the bad food. There was one fascinating diet experiment with processed foods: people overrated by 500 calories. This forms a distorting relationship with food, but animals have nutritional wisdom. That is uniquely an American problem. Processed food intake is, on average, 58% in the US, while in all other countries, it is anywhere from 15-29%. A montage of sweet junk food made me hungry, and the junk food branding drives the point home.

A lot of drone shots like this for the sequel.

Food Inc. 2 has an optimistic tone about overcoming issues, which is rare for socially conscious documentaries, so I had to admire it for those reasons. Some highlights include the innovation of foods that taste like meat and the Fair Food program, plus the innovation the Iowa farmer creates where animals are contained in a solar-powered wagon that eats plants, helping with the sustainability of the land.

I am passionate about food issues since I recently discovered I have high cholesterol and am rethinking my diet. The topic and certain scenes in the documentary resonated with me, and I hope it gets other people thinking about their diet and the life they want to live.

One more thing, this doc is not serious the whole time. Stay through the credits to watch Cory Booker and Jon Tester play a fun basketball game.

Food Inc. 2 is now available on VOD and digital.

Written by
Kenny admired film criticism as a child when his mother wrote a positive review of Home Alone in his small town Arkansas newspaper and defended it against angry Letters to the Editor. Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies especially the cultural impact of a film, if something is overlooked by Hollywood, or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, specialty releases, an auteur director, a unique premise, branding, and THE much infamous "awards season." Kenny currently lives in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion working as an events marketing coordinator. He spends many Friday nights exit polling for CinemaScore (and his opinions are his own).

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