If you’re someone who eats food — and I’m guessing you are — it’s worth giving a few minutes of thought to what you’re actually putting in your mouth. Because chances are you have no idea where it came from, let alone what it actually is. At least that’s the premise of the producers of Food, Inc, a new documentary that casts a hard look at commercial food producers who they claim are hiding the truth about what we’re actually eating.

Scary, right?

That’s the idea. Shocking complacent eaters into really taking a harder look at what’s going on our plates — from genetically engineered vegetables to mutant chickens that have been designed to grow breasts so enormous they can barely walk.

Titillating the audience with catch-all soundbites like, “The (food) industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about what you’re eating. Because if you knew, you might not want to eat it,” Food, Inc. has a similar feel to Al Gore’s Inconvient Truth with quick-cut,
“oh my god” urgency, and an all-star lineup (Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser
et al.). All this earnestness may exhaust some while invigorating others to extreme

Whether you’re a hard-core food purist or merely interested in hearing the other side of gloriously choreographed commercials for cheaper-than-dirt burgers, chips and soda, it’s worth considering the less-glamorous side of the food industry and making up your own mind.    

Why you need to go: The film premieres in Santa Rosa at the Rialto Cinemas Lakeside Friday, June 19, 7pm. After that showing, a panel of local food experts including Paula Downing of Santa Rosa Original Farmer’s Market; Marissa Guggiana of Sonoma Direct; Michael Moody of Oliver’s Market and Amy Rice-Jones of Petaluma Bounty will chat with movie-goers about the importance of supporting local foods.

If you miss Friday’s showing, the movie continues throughout the week.

Want more to disturbing food theater? End of the Line, a film about over-fishing also opens on June 19, but so far no word if we’ll get it here in Sonoma County. Stay tuned.