No Name Professor Smith English Rhetoric in Food Inc. Michael Pollan, author and co producer said “I had no idea that a few companies change what we eat today” (Food Inc. ). Today’s food companies are so large that they control every aspect in the food industry. The company’s control who grows the crops, what crops are grown, where the crops are shipped, how the crops are utilized and who can use the new products. The farmers have no say on how to running their own farm.
The companies try to portray a good image to the consumers by having old farming equipment or old fashion barns in their labels to act as if that is how that company farms their products. The consumer is not going to investigate what actually goes into the products or how they grow. That is unneeded work for the customer. This is why it works well for the companies. This documentary tries to persuade the viewer to buy local grown foods or organic foods from Wal-Mart. The documentary uses many tactics of persuasion to portray the images that they think will get their point of view across clearly. Food Inc. hows its viewers many life experiences to show why the companies’ way of farming is wrong. Food Inc. introduces Vince Edwards, a man who owns a chicken farm in Kentucky. Edwards hates what he does but he can’t quit because the companies put him into debt. Vince wanted to show the viewers inside of his chicken coups but Tyson Chicken wouldn’t allow that to happen. He then tells stories of things that the companies have done to him that should have never. Tyson made him feed his chickens so much that they could not walk. Tyson also made him expand and have four chicken coups instead of two which put him into debt.
Similar stories happened to Carol, another chicken farmer form Kentucky. She was forced into buying so much farm equipment that she was in over her head in debt. She hated what she did because she thought it was inhumane to treat the chicken the way they did. Carol said “Companies keep farmers under their control because of all the debt there in” (Food Inc. ). Weeks later the companies asked her to buy new farm equipment and she said no because she didn’t have the budget so they dropped her from their contract. Another example comes from a family with two girls and the dad that has diabetes.
They are lower class citizens and for them it’s cheaper to buy food off of the dollar menu then it is to go to the grocery store and buy food. The family thought that they were eating healthy because the image McDonalds had established. Finally Barb Kowalcyk shares with the viewers her experiences with Ecoli. When her son was two and a half he obtained Ecoli. Then twelve days later her son died because of the meat he ate while on vacation had Ecoli in it. Kowalcyk continues to try to get Kevin’s law passed; this law allows the FDA the ability to shut down manufacturing plants because they are unable to do so now.
Food Inc. used these Life examples to emotionally connect with its viewers so they become attached. This technique is intended to help persuade its viewers into creating a sense of agreement with Food Inc. When looking at Marxist in this film there is an immediate notice. Food Inc. only talked to the poor farmers that worked for the Companies. Then when it came to the organic farmers, they chose the well off farmers that have flourished. This certainly has an effect on both sides of things because they aren’t getting the full story. This also makes you question the credibility of Food Inc. nd its producers. If they only talked to the poor farmers, then you would expect that their experience would be a negative one. Then when you talk to a farmer who has greatly profited in the past years, there experience is going to be a good one. This creates bias opinions on each side. The Rhetoric of Marxist is intended to help the film but many times it doesn’t if viewers realize what technique is attempted. This leaves viewers in question of what they are saying is true. Food Inc. has many arguments against the major food companies such as Tyson, Kraft, Nestle, and ConAgra.
Food Inc. says that the companies are unsanitary, dishonorable, treat workers crudely, corrupt the government, and unfair to their farmers. Whether these are true or not, this documentary has many points for the viewer in case many don’t agree or Food Inc. is a credible source. This is why the use of personal experiences to tap into your emotional side. An example would be when talking about the companies being unsanitary then show examples of how they had 12 major Ecoli breakouts in the past decade and all the food that the companies had to recall.
Food Inc. labels the companies as dishonorable because they aren’t farming the right way and they mass produce the crops and animals in an in humane way. Food Inc. claim that the companies treat their loyal workers unfairly because they would hire experienced workers from Mexico. Then when the immigration time period spiked they turned the illegal immigrants in so they didn’t look like the bad guys and get in trouble even if they had been working there for 10 years. These truths are some of the films main points against the four major food companies.
Food Inc. uses many sounds to depict what they are displaying as good or bad. I noticed that when they were showing the poor farmers of the companies they would play slow somber music. This would set the mood to make you sad and feel bad for the farmers. When the organic farmers were shown the film would play a faster pace country music to set the mood as a good way of doing thing. This had an effect, not because of what each farmer said but because it put you in a mood that would make you feel bad for the company farmers and get mad at the companies.
Then the narrator talked softly in somewhat of a quiet voice so you would listen closely to what he was saying during the whole movie. He seemed to talk in a monotone voice to depict that he was neutral in the story and didn’t have a bias opinion. This use of persuasion and deception was one of the many tactics Food Inc. used. This brings up the argument of credibility again. If a viewer noticed this would they think of the video? Food Inc. would say something bad about the natural way of faming that was only to create a sense of equality in their opinion to give themselves credibility.
Food Inc. tries to change the viewer’s opinion about the food industry. They try to turn its views opinions into caring, environmentalist, open minded, and even curious about what is going on in the food industry. They do this by showing examples CAFO (Concentrated animal Feeding Operations). Food Inc. shows video of the companies pushing cows with forklifts because the companies made them so obese that the cows were unable to walk by themselves. This film also showed the millions of cows standing in their own feces.
Then quickly after they show us that they don’t clean them well when in the slaughter house. This is a reason why diseases are spreading throughout many of the major company’s farms and packaging plants. These videos are intended to persuade you to change your opinion about the industry. If none of those worked the documentary tried to make the viewers opinion open minded because this could eventually turn in their favor. That was also their intentions of making the viewer curious because it could potentially research the situation.
These are logically thought out tactics to persuade the viewer to change their opinion about food companies. Food Inc. used many tactics in pursuit to persuade there viewers to steer away from company made food and buy food from local farmers from around your area. Rhetoric is a very useful part of this video in that everything they intended to show is a part of rhetoric. “The Industry doesn’t want you to know what you’re eating because if you did you might not eat it” (Food Inc. ) said by Michael Pullan, narrator.
These words make one wonder what is going on inside the food companies today. The documentary uses many tactics of persuasion to portray the images that they think will get their point of view across clearly. These tactics are all part of persuasion, to get the viewer to side with the documentary so it serves a purpose instead of just being and informational video. Do you think Food Inc. accomplished their goals? Works Cited Food Inc. Dir. Robert Kenner. Perf. Eric Schlosser and Micheal Pollan. Magnolia Pictures Alliance Films, 2008. DVD