Food Inc.: a good film, that’s good for you

Food Inc.: a good film, that’s good for you

The feature-length documentary Food Inc. is scheduled to open at Kimball’s Twin Peak Theater on July 31. Local market Ranch Foods Direct is helping to promote the film, and owner Mike Callicrate supported the filmmakers in its production.

Reviewers have deemed it “a civilized horror movie for the socially conscious” and one that “nourishes your knowledge of how the world works.” Others have called it “required viewing,” describing it as the most important film ever made about American food production.

Callicrate, who saw an early screening in Denver, calls it “a gift to humanity.”

“It is extremely revealing,” he says. “It shows how a few corporations control the food supply. It shows just how unjust the food system is. It exposes how trade policy and government subsidies have driven people off of the land in Mexico, creating a flood of desperate economic refugees.”

Callicrate and other local food advocates see a silver lining, despite the fact that Colorado Springs — like towns all across America — has become dominated by fast food and national chains. “Healthier, local food alternatives exist now in our community,” he points out. Supporting local farms, stores and restaurants is a way for shoppers to vote for a healthier, more sustainable community with their pocketbook.

“A better farming and food system is possible,” Callicrate says. “We can choose to buy from farmers and ranchers in our communities and regions. We can choose to eat better and regain our health. I believe Food Inc. will awaken and motivate us like never before. What we feed grows, what we support prospers. Your fork is a powerful thing!”

A 300-plus page participant guide in soft-cover book form, available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other bookstores, includes an essay by award-winning documentary filmmaker Rob Kenner describing why and how the film was made. While the project started out with plans to represent “the multiple voices and points of view of the people who bring food to our tables,” it turned out being about “unchecked corporate power,”

“Before I began the research process, I was probably a lot like the average person who will watch Food, Inc.,” Kenner writes. “And I hope that means that the facts I learned about our food system — some of them amazing, some disturbing, and many simply fascinating — will interest moviegoers as much as they interested me.”

He collaborated closely with Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, who is no stranger to Colorado Springs. In fact, the two made a joint visit a couple of years ago when Ranch Foods Direct hosted a book-signing and talk by Schlosser. Much of the Fast Food Nation book was based in Colorado and parts of the fictionalized film version were shot locally. Callicrate consulted with Schlosser on both.

“There are a lot of things concerned citizens can do — and are already doing — in our community,” Callicrate says. “For example, the Peak to Plains Alliance was formed to provide a directory of local food providers and create opportunities to learn about the rich agricultural history of this area. Venetucci Farm is the last remaining working farm within the parameters of our city and a great treasure. Community gardens are sprouting up all over town, thanks to the Pikes Peak Urban Gardens Program. More people are now demanding to know where their food comes from. Local public and private schools and colleges are pushing initiatives to serve more locally grown food. All of these efforts are a reason to celebrate. But a movie like Food Inc. is a critical part of the public education process.”

After officially opening in June, Food Inc. has been shown in metropolitan areas around the country to rave reviews.

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity available to moviegoers right here in Colorado Springs, and it couldn’t be more timely, as our legislators in Washington work on how to stem food contamination outbreaks, improve inspection, regulate imports and make our food safer and healthier,” Callicrate says. “It is time to take back our food system from corporate interests and begin rebuilding local food networks that are safe, just, humane and mutually beneficial to the farmers who produce the food and the people who eat it. This movie explains why it is time for a local food revolution.”

Mike Callicrate can be reached at 473-2306 or

Kenner has been featured on National Public Radio, Good Morning America, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and many others. Articles about the film have appeared in magazines and newspapers from coast to coast.

Kenner writes. Despite his reputation for making appealing films about social issues through the prism of personal experience, he got a cool reception from many of the farmers and food industry people he’d hoped to interview, changing the nature of the story he started out to tell.

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