Food, Inc. 2 (2023) Movie Script

It's a set of relationships.
It connects you to
the farmer who grew it.
It connects you to
the animals or the plants.
It connects you to the soil.
It connects you to the workers
who prepared it.
So there's a lot at stake
when you sit down to eat.
Over the last two decades,
thanks to some books
and movies,
like the first "Food Inc.,"
something called
the Food Movement got started.
People became keenly interested
in where their food comes from,
how is it produced.
Today, farmers markets
are everywhere.
And even in the supermarket
you can buy organic food,
grass-fed, GMO-free.
So, we thought we could
create a food system
aligned with our values.
But the food industry
is dominated by a small handful
of very large
and very powerful companies.
In normal times,
the power of the food industry,
of the monopolies
that dominate it,
is invisible to most of us.
But when the pandemic hit,
the curtain was peeled back...
...and you began to see that
this highly efficient,
consolidated food system
is a very brittle system.
There were whole crops
being buried,
hogs being euthanized 'cause
they couldn't be processed.
Farmers disposing
a flood of milk.
At the same time there were
shortages in the supermarket
and then people were lining up
for miles
because they were hungry.
So this consolidated
food system
could not adapt to
the changes coming so fast.
We have built a system
that depends on predictability
and the one thing
we can't count on,
is predictability anymore.
We need a system
that is more resilient
than the one we have.
You know, we really thought
we could change the food system
one bite at a time.
And as important as that is,
it's not enough,
there's more we have to do.
I have been
working in the fields
since I was a kid
harvesting different crops.
I heard about Immokalee
back in Mexico.
People were talking about
if you go to Immokalee
you are going
to earn $70 a day.
And that was just
a flat-out lie
of recruiters trying to,
uh, just bring people,
uh, with those,
uh, false pretenses.
Working in the fields,
it's mainly Latino workers
and Haitian workers.
The industry wants
immigrant workers
because they feel that
they can take advantage of us.
If you eat fresh fruits
and vegetables,
you're connected to immigrants
who are being paid poor wages
and being mistreated.
My whole entry into the world
of food and food systems
was in trying to understand how
in the 20th
and the 21st century,
we could be abusing
and exploiting
the poorest workers
in the United States
who are responsible for the
healthiest foods that we eat.
In Immokalee, at the height
of the pandemic,
state government
did absolutely nothing
to protect these workers.
In fact,
the state government in Florida
even prevented contact tracing
because if they found people
who had COVID,
they'd have to remove them
from the workforce.
The idea was,
let's not know who's sick
and get as much harvested
as possible.
You know we're feeding
the country,
so our work is essential
but we as people,
we're treated as disposable.
Iowa's always recognized
as a flyover state.
Those of us that live here
understand that
there's security in that.
Good morning.
I can take that country omelet
on for you.
How are you guys?
It's my job
to protect 135,000 citizens
in Black Hawk County.
We very much appreciate your
support for the college...
You bet.
hardworking, blue-collar,
good, honest,
people here.
Here we go,
ham and cheese omelet.
-Thank you.
-Any hot sauce for you?
-No, this is great.
-All right.
-Appreciate it, thank you.
At the beginning
of the pandemic,
we were fearful
what we were gonna face.
And all of a sudden,
we had people
testing positive
in our clinics here.
Almost all of our
contact tracing pointed back
to the Tyson meatpacking plant.
So this is the Tyson plant.
Tyson's is one of
the larger employers here.
They bring income
and they provide jobs.
You don't want
to alienate them.
But our disease
surveillance officer,
public health director
and myself went into
that plant.
We saw people working
elbow to elbow,
and reaching over the top
of each other.
And no masks, no regulation,
no... no real concerted policy
on how to protect each other.
And then we're hearing
from people that, you know,
they're-they're stepping back
off the line,
puking on the floor,
going right back to work.
We walked out of there,
all of us, just going,
"Oh, my God, this is horrible.
We are, we are in
so much trouble."
By the end of the month,
they had 1,300 positives
out of 2,500 employees.
And then it started to seep
out of the plant
into our community.
You know, we had
exponential increases
in the numbers of deaths,
um, by day.
Not by week, not by month,
but by day.
We wanted the ten-to-14-day
shutdown of the plant,
but Tyson made it
very clear to us
that it just wasn't
going to happen.
The meatpacking industry
was worried
that local public authorities
were going to shut down
their slaughterhouses.
So John Tyson wrote a letter
that was published
in newspapers across
the United States
raising a fear that we might
start running out of meat.
And then the meatpacking
companies went to the president
to keep their
slaughterhouses open.
-We're working with Tyson...
-Should we
-ban exports?
-We are.
We're gonna sign an executive
order today I believe.
Two days
after the Tyson letter,
the Trump administration
issued an order
the Defense Production Act
to ensure that the plants
would keep running.
So the industry got the
president of the United States
to do exactly what it wanted.
It even helped write the
executive order that he issued.
It's a total perversion of
the Defense Production Act
to use it to allow a company
to do what it wants to do.
The whole point of the act is
to force companies to do things
they might not want to do,
to serve the American public.
Tyson says
that they were doing this
to feed America, but we know
that a lot of their meat
goes to China and overseas.
We also know that Tyson
had a banner year.
That's blood money.
They didn't care
about our citizens
and way too many people
paid the price for that.
I am Agriculture USA,
born in freedom.
I have become the greatest
provider in all history.
I'm the spirit of progress.
I'm a way of life,
the American way.
During the Cold War,
we talked about why our system
was so much superior
to that of the Soviet Union.
And it was the free market
that was supposedly responsible
for the greatness
of this country.
The 1950s into the early 1960s
was a period of rising wages
for American workers.
It's the greatest period of
the growth of the middle class
in American history.
And those things are connected
to having real competition
and strict antitrust
The basic idea behind
antitrust policy
is that no one company,
that no two companies
should dominate an entire
sector of our economy.
There was strict antitrust
enforcement for decades
under both Democratic
and Republican administrations.
In the 1940s, there was
an antitrust suit against A&P.
Their 14% of the market
for groceries
was considered
a threat to competition.
But one of the big monopolies
that endured was AT&T.
It was argued
that we couldn't break it up
because we needed
one company to control
all the phone lines.
Uh, the country,
in the long run, will be sorry,
and I find it difficult
to believe that things
will work as well, uh,
in the, in the future
as they have worked
in the past.
But then AT&T was broken up,
and pretty soon,
there were huge reductions
in the cost of making
a long-distance call.
That opened the way
for cellular phones,
modems, and the whole
Internet economy we have today.
So, breaking up monopolies
is directly linked
to creating innovation.
Around 1980,
antitrust enforcement
was greatly reduced.
It was argued
that if prices were low,
then it didn't matter
how much control
over a market one company had.
Those views came to be
government policy.
Corporations began to buy up
their competitors.
And they got bigger
and bigger and bigger.
Back then, the four largest
beef companies
controlled only 25%
of the market.
Today, the four largest
beef companies
control 85% of the market.
Three companies control
83% of the cold cereal market.
Two companies control 70%
of the carbonated
soft drink market.
Two companies control 80%
of the baby formula market.
Why do companies buy up
their competitors?
It's because they don't
want to compete.
And when they don't
have to compete,
consumers have to pay more,
farmers and ranchers
get paid less,
and the difference goes
to those corporations
as higher profits.
But that's not
the only problem.
A highly consolidated market
becomes a fragile market.
In 2022,
when Abbott had to shut down
a single factory,
43% of the nation's
baby formula
was suddenly off the shelves,
and mothers had
to start scrambling
to find food for infants.
There is no formula
within, like,
three hours of where we live.
I haven't been able to find
formula for, like, a month.
I've been going
to stores, like,
almost every day,
every other day.
What are our options here?
What do y'all want
people to do,
'cause I don't know
about y'all...
...but this is scary.
When you have monopoly power
over baby formula,
and one company has a problem
at one factory,
suddenly, some infants
don't get to eat.
Wisconsin is the dairy state.
It's not an accident.
It makes sense that we're
producing dairy here.
We have good access to water.
We have good growing seasons.
So, this is
a really great place
to have animals
and produce milk.
Hello, there, ladies.
Dairy is really in the blood
of Wisconsin farmers,
but it's crushing us right now.
We've just had
continually low prices
paid to us for our milk.
We are considered
a medium-sized farm
by Wisconsin standards.
When I married my husband
in 2007,
we were only milking 250 cows,
and now we're at 450.
And that's because we're just
trying to run faster
to keep our head above water.
Farmers are overproducing,
which is leading
to a lower price.
And what people do,
and what the bank
tells me to do,
is to just keep trying
to produce more.
We kind of create
a vicious cycle,
because then we're producing
more and more
and then the price
is going down
and then we're producing
more to try to stay afloat.
It's really a disaster.
Well, I think that we're huge,
at 450 cows,
and then we're
trying to compete
with these
thousand-cow dairies.
And they're looking at
the 5,000 cow dairies
and then the 5,000-cow dairy
is trying to compete
with the 10,000.
And now you hear about
20,000-cow dairies,
30,000-cow dairies.
Where does it stop?
Now there are fewer
and fewer processers
because they've all merged
with each other.
So it used to be that
if I didn't like the price,
I could find other processers
to buy my milk.
But now,
because of consolidation,
I can't move my milk to another
place with a better price.
We've lost half of our dairy
farms in Wisconsin since 2007.
Lots of people going bankrupt.
The corporate control
pushing folks like us
to just throw up their hands
and say, "I'm done."
The food system is often at war
with nature.
And one of the great examples
is when you watch
the dairy industry
move from wet, grassy places
like Wisconsin and Vermont
to deserts like
California and Arizona.
How could this
possibly make sense?
Well, as dairies get bigger,
they move to places where
there are very few regulations,
where land is cheap
and you can grow crops
to feed your cattle
all year round.
But the environmental cost
to this is insane.
The rain will oblige you
in Wisconsin
and grow the grass for you.
But in the desert,
this is water that must be
pumped deep out of the aquifers
to irrigate the crops
and hydrate the cattle.
These mega-dairies are rapidly
draining the water table
in the Colorado River
and leaving
neighboring communities
without drinking water.
So the logic of capitalism
and the logic of nature
are at war.
It's a classic example
of profits over sustainability.
My great-great-grandfather,
he settled here in 1894.
My dad came in 1975 and farmed
for the next 40 years.
And then, uh,
I took over the operation.
Things have really changed,
just from my father's time
to mine.
In Iowa, we used to grow
a multitude of crops.
You know, 100 years ago,
we used to have apple orchards,
and every farm had livestock.
But when you drive
across Iowa now,
you see nothing
but commodity crops:
corn and soybeans,
because those are the crops
the government subsidizes.
And that's why, that's why
farmers do what they do,
is they follow the policy,
because they're in business
to make money
just like everyone else.
But the thing that
is not factored into that
is what is the result
to the land?
Our best resource here in Iowa
is the richest soil
in the world.
But because of the intensive
farming that we've done,
half of our topsoil
is already gone.
We're losing soil faster
than we're making it.
And I get reminded of this
every year
as I'm farming next
to the fence lines.
And you can see a drop-off
between the fence line
and your field level,
and that tells you exactly
how much soil you've lost.
I-I think any Iowa farm boy
growing up
wants to farm full-time.
But I farm about 300 acres,
and 300 acres is not enough
to feed a family comfortably.
So I work off the farm,
as do a lot of folks.
How's, uh, a load of seeds
sound here,
uh, later this morning?
Stop by and, uh,
drop that off...
I sell seed
and I sell farm inputs,
chemicals to help
eliminate pests and weeds.
So let's look
at this field here.
You got a lot
of potential value...
I make recommendations
to use synthetic fertilizers
to get the highest return
off of their land.
So, I make my living
from what a lot of people
would call the industrialized
food system.
However, I have big concerns
about the future.
-That's 40 bags.
If we stay on this path
where we continue
to subsidize commodity crops,
that's not good
for the long-term
of our farming communities,
our soils, our water quality.
So, I'm trying to come up with
a whole new system
so farmers like myself
can grow things in a way
that changes
the rules of the game.
-Senator, how are you?
-I'm very good.
-Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you as well.
Farmer Steve, I'm farming.
Uh, all right. All right.
-We're thrilled
to be able to have
Senator Cory Booker,
appointed earlier this year
to the Senate
Agriculture Committee.
You have no idea
how exciting it is for me
to be standing here
in a field in my own state.
It was 15 years ago this month
that I was elected
to be mayor of New Jersey's
largest city.
If you would have told me
15 years ago
that I would use every point
of leverage I had in the Senate
to become, uh,
a member of the Ag Committee,
I would have not believed you.
I want you to know
I am so excited to have
the top of my agenda right now,
uh, dealing with, uh,
America's food system,
which is savagely broken.
I-I come at this
through lived experience.
I watched what our food systems
were doing to my family members
and to my community.
Being on the ground
as a local leader,
I started seeing
that the systems within Newark
were really failing kids,
where they didn't have access
to healthy foods.
These foods were
being pushed in a way
that seemed, to me,
to prey upon low-income people.
They need the cheapest
food possible,
but they're living
in the middle of a food desert,
where a Twinkie product
is cheaper than an apple.
African American kids,
in the last decade alone,
have seen
their diabetes rates double.
So it just made me want
to drastically change
the food systems for, then,
my community,
but now, of fixing
the broken food systems
in the United States
and globally.
This part of Montana
is a place where buffalo
had a hard time surviving.
But you can actually raise
a hell of a crop here.
In fact, I was supposed to
finish seeding my peas today,
but as you can tell,
best-laid plans.
Things don't tend to work
when it gets cold,
including me.
I never felt
appreciated as a farmer.
I raise food, but food
is treated like a commodity,
it wasn't treated
like something you'd eat.
And I said to my wife,
"If we don't do something
to improve our profit margin,
w-we're gonna be selling out
just like everybody else."
I would say there's about
150 bushel in the truck.
In the late '80s,
we converted to organics...
...and we raised durum
for organic noodles.
It was the first time
since we'd been farming
that I actually felt like
I was doing something
that people appreciated,
that people wanted.
But now, we're seeing
an all-out attack
on family farm agriculture.
The corporate business model
is killing rural America,
it's killing it.
And that's not the way
it should be.
There needs to be people
living out here producing food.
But as far as changing things,
there's really only one place
you can do that,
and that's Washington, D.C.
We've seen a mass exodus
off the land.
In my small town,
as an example,
when I graduated
from high school,
there was a thousand people
in that town,
now there's about 600.
There were two hardware stores,
now there are none.
There were three grocery
stores, now there's one.
And maybe the most distressing
is there were five bars,
and now there's only two.
I'm the Senate's
only working farmer,
and I want rural America
to be vibrant again.
That's my motivation here.
How you doing, man?
Good to see you.
Jon Tester is,
he's been a mentor to me
in the Senate.
He, early on, talked to me
about the absurdities
-in the Ag world.
-And you could make...
It's this odd combination
of a guy from Montana
and a guy from New Jersey,
and yet,
we have so much common ground.
If you want to reestablish
rural America again,
if you want to have people
that are able to live there,
-y-you got to have opportunity.
And if you're gonna
have opportunity,
then you got to have
fair prices.
But when you have
now you, now you've got people
setting prices.
They go out on a golf course
and play a round of golf
and determine what you're gonna
get for a-a bushel of wheat
or, o-or whatever-whatever
you're talking about.
But as long as we're,
uh, doing nothing,
you're gonna continue
to see more consolidation
and you're gonna
continue to see
the demise of the family farm.
So, in many ways, they're
picking winners and losers.
The winners are the handful
of multinational corporations,
the losers are
all the rest of us.
We are so connected.
The challenges in my community
are directly connected
to a system
that's driving farmers
out of business,
hurting our soil
and our rivers,
hurting the food workers,
hurting the end consumers.
And as a nation,
we are dramatically
with our tax dollars, the foods
that are making us sick.
And only a small fraction
of our subsidies
go to the healthy fresh foods
that we should be eating
as a majority of our diet.
I don't want the government to
be telling someone what to eat,
but I sure as heck
don't want my tax dollars
subsidizing the things
that are making people sick,
and now we have to pay
for the health care costs
of-of the chronic disease
that we're fueling
with our food system.
So, this is a conundrum to me.
We have here
the world's largest potato.
I'll say that's a large potato.
And here's what's in it.
I've had a long career
about looking
at food and nutrition
as ways to examine really
important problems in society.
Food connects to everything.
By the 1980s,
agricultural production
had increased so much
in the United States
that the number of calories
in the food supply
increased to about 4,000
calories a day per person.
And that's twice as many
calories available
in the food supply
as anybody needs.
This puts enormous pressure
on food companies.
How are they gonna sell?
Food companies are businesses
with stockholders to please.
The profits have to get
bigger and bigger,
sales have to increase
and increase.
And food companies figured out
lots of ways to do that.
Wendy's Baconator is
the ultimate
bacon cheeseburger.
They opened up fast-food places
all over the world.
They made foods
in larger portions.
One enormous sandwich.
If you are presented
with a very large amount
of food...
Our biggest entrees ever.
...all of the research shows
that you're gonna eat more
from that portion
than you would if you were
given a small portion.
And then,
food companies made foods
available any place
that you could think of.
You go into a clothing store,
and there's candy bars
at the checkout counter.
Hot donuts
With Kentucky
Fried Chicken.
So, food companies
are doing everything they can
to get people to eat
anytime, anyplace, day
or night, in large portions.
What better way to sell foods,
whether people need it or not?
It's time for Fourthmeal.
It's a late-night meal,
between dinner and breakfast.
I think it's just very hard
to resist a food environment
that is just yelling at us
all the time,
"Eat more! Eat more! Eat more!"
In the 1980s,
I worked as a pediatrician
in the outskirts of So Paulo.
Since then, we have observed
a decline
in child malnutrition,
and an increase in obesity.
We had, in Brazil, each year,
one million new cases
of obesity.
Our research found a decline
in the purchase of salt,
cooking oils, table sugar,
and-and then I say,
"Whoa, these are supposed to be
"the determinants
of obesity, right?
"If they are declining,
this doesn't make sense."
But then we realized
that that traditional,
whole foods
like rice and beans,
were being replaced
by soft drinks,
packaged snacks, sausages,
instant noodles.
All these products
are formulations
of nutrients and additives.
Colors and flavors,
artificial sweeteners.
These are chemical compounds
totally unknown
to our metabolism.
And these foods are submitted
to intensive processing.
So we decided
to call this food group
"ultra-processed foods."
We raised the hypothesis
that the consumption
of ultra-processed food
could be the main driver
of diabetes
and other chronic diseases.
In 2019, one researcher,
Kevin Hall,
decided to test our hypothesis.
I was first
pretty skeptical of this idea.
And I would ask, "What is it
about ultra-processed foods
that causes people of overeat?"
Is it the nutrients
that's driving this,
or perhaps it's something about
the processing of these foods?
So I decided
to design two diets.
In the ultra-processed diet,
we had 80% of calories
coming from
ultra-processed foods,
whereas in the minimally
processed diet,
we had zero percent of calories
from ultra-processed foods.
But the meals were matched
for the calories,
matched for salt, sugar,
fat, fiber and protein.
We told people to eat as much
or as little as desired.
When people were exposed
to this ultra-processed diet,
they ended up eating about
500 calories per day more
compared to the mostly
unprocessed diet.
in studies of this type,
you find a difference
of 30 to 50 calories a day.
But 500?
I mean,
that's an unbelievable result.
On the ultra-processed diet,
people gained weight
and gained body fat.
And when we switched them
to the unprocessed diet,
those people spontaneously lost
weight and lost fat.
And so, this study suggests
that there's something else
about ultra-processed foods,
independent of the salt,
the sugar and the fat
and the fiber,
that's driving people
to overeat.
The easiest way to explain
the different categories
of processing is corn.
Corn on the cob, unprocessed,
it's been peeled and washed.
Canned corn, minimally
processed, salt has been added.
But Dorito chips
have color, texture
and flavoring additives.
Processed food,
you can make at home.
Ultra-processed foods,
you don't have the ingredients,
you don't have the additives,
and you don't have
the machines.
The reason you process food
is not that there's
anything wrong with it
in its natural state,
it's that you make
a lot more money.
You know, the money in the
system is not at the farm end.
The farmer's getting less
than 15% of your food dollars.
No, the money is going
to the processor
who's benefiting from the fact
that we're overproducing
and driving down
the cost of raw materials.
The food processors
buy those cheap
agricultural commodities
and then turn it
into the panoply
of ultra-processed food
products in your supermarket.
If you complicate that food
in the form of flavor
or novelty,
that's where the money is.
Ultra-processed food ensures
that a consumer will buy
more and more and more,
because these products
are made
to be consumed in excess.
Eating worked pretty well
for humans for an awfully
long time.
We ate what we needed,
our needs were in balance
with our appetite.
And it's really only recently
that something about our
relationship with food
got disturbed, distorted.
Now we find ourselves literally
eating ourselves to death.
Animals have similar
nutritional needs
to ourselves,
so what do they do?
They, on some intuitive level,
know what to eat.
It's called nutritional wisdom.
These mama cows are over
in this field eating alfalfa
because that's rich in protein
and they're supporting a fetus,
so they need the protein.
But these steers,
they're over here in this field
and they're eating rye grass
which has got sugar
and carbohydrates in it
because they're laying on fat.
And they do this on their own.
They're somehow attracted
to the food they need.
And humans are no different.
Millions of years ago,
our ancestors, walking around
the jungles of Africa,
there was no label
on the fruit that they ate,
they didn't know
about the calories.
But this experience
of just looking
for the food
that tasted the best
is what nourished them.
It's how they had
a nutritious diet.
You think of something like
a delicious peach,
that flavor that we experience
is the brain's system
of analyzing the nutrition
that's within a food.
Flavor is nature's language
of nutrition.
For decades now,
we've been manipulating
the sensory characteristics
of food.
Thanks to flavor technology,
we can make anything we want
taste like whatever we want it
to taste like.
Fake flavors but, also,
artificial sweeteners.
We haven't really questioned
what the consequences of this
has been, we just assumed
it's a good idea.
Well, now we have new research
that is showing
that this is actually
a terrible idea.
That we're actually interfering
with the brain's
and the body's ability
to metabolize food.
My interest is in how
the brain processes
food reward.
I did the first
neural imaging study,
um, of feeding in humans.
We were measuring
brain response
as they were eating
little pieces of chocolate.
I really wanted to understand
areas of the brain
that represent
the pleasure
of the, of the food.
Pepsi was interested
in our research.
I think they wanted
to try to understand
how to make healthier foods.
And so, they came to me
with a question,
"Is it possible to decrease
the amount of calories
"in a typical
sugar-sweetened beverage
without compromising reward?"
So, in the lab, we created
a series of beverages
where we manipulated
the sweetness,
independent of calories.
So that way,
we have equally sweet drinks
but drinks
of different calorie amounts.
You're gonna be
receiving liquids
through the mouthpiece, okay?
We looked at the brain's areas
that are responsible
for reward.
What we thought was that
the highest-calorie beverage
would become
the most-liked beverage,
but that's not what we found.
Instead, it was actually
the middle doses,
where sweetness and calories
are matched,
that was eliciting
the greatest brain response.
In nature, the relationship
between sweetness
and energy is-is pretty stable.
So, when you manipulate
sensory information
without regard
for the nutritional content,
you're essentially
creating mismatches.
And so, we conducted
follow-up studies
to see what was going on.
-Comfortable under there?
And what we found
was that when sweetness
matches the calories,
then the body
metabolizes that energy.
But when something
was too sweet for the amount
of calories or not sweet enough
for the amount of calories,
the body's ability
to metabolize those calories
was-was blunted.
Those calories are not
being used as a fuel.
Instead, they might be
converted into fat.
So, if you reduce calories
by adding artificial sweetener,
you could actually be doing
more harm than good.
When I saw the findings,
I shared it
with our collaborators at Pepsi
right away.
But this result, that I thought
was super exciting,
because we're gonna
learn something new--
"This is really cool"-- um,
had the opposite effect that
I thought it was gonna have.
I received a bunch of emails
from Pepsi
saying that the data
made no sense,
really saying
that they didn't believe
what we were reporting.
Uh, they-they pulled
our funding.
And it wasn't until much later
that I realized the problem
was not that they didn't
believe me,
but in fact,
that they did believe me.
And that's what
made them worried.
The moment you know that
something is bad for health,
you have to correct it.
I think they wanted
because what our research
is that their products could
negatively impact health
in unanticipated ways.
you walk into a supermarket,
it's not just
artificial sweeteners.
There is a whole arsenal
of additives
designed to mislead the brain.
There's fat replacers,
artificial flavors,
so-called natural flavors.
So how does your brain react
when it keeps getting fooled
by the food it eats?
The best way to think about it
is the fuel gauge on your car.
Imagine if you looked at it
and it said it was full,
but it might be empty,
it might be half full.
Imagine it was uncertain
in the way
that modern food
has become uncertain.
What would you do?
Well, you-you'd fill your car
up a whole lot more often.
Well, that's what
your brain does.
When it keeps getting fooled,
when one day
sweetness means calories
and the next day
it means no calories
or just some calories, it goes,
"I better eat more food
to make sure
I don't get ripped off."
We're short-circuiting
an evolutionary process
that's hundreds of thousands
of years old.
And we've learned through
the i-ingenuity of food science
to fool the human body.
Um, but you pay
a price for that,
in losing your taste
for real food.
And as we lose our taste
for eating plants,
we lose all those antioxidants,
we lose all
those protective factors.
When you have
that premade meal,
it's hard to know
that it's unhealthy,
but it's all been designed
to manipulate you.
The eye, the taste buds,
and get you to eat
as much as possible,
ideally, to addict you to it.
In the United States,
the average consumption
of ultra-processed foods
is about 58%
of total energy intake.
But in most of the world,
consumption of ultra-processed
food is much lower.
And most calories
still come from real foods.
these big food companies,
they are targeting markets
in many countries
with aggressive campaigns.
That could be you
right now.
These countries
are not prepared
to defend themselves
from the health problems
created by
ultra-processed foods.
Breakfast time
is Kellogg's time
Breakfast is Kellogg's.
I have worked in fast food
for over 20 years.
I have worked at McDonald's,
I have worked at Popeyes.
I'm currently at Taco Bell.
I have two children.
My kids are my world.
But it's been hard.
There have been times I can't
afford the heating bill,
there have been times where
I can't afford to pay my rent.
There's been times
where I couldn't afford
to put food on the table.
I have a gas bill.
A light bill. Internet bill.
Rent, $715.
If I miss a day,
one of these becomes
a shutoff notice,
a disconnect notice.
My biggest fear is winding
back up in a position
that I had to crawl out of,
and living out of my car
and living away
from my children.
This is everything we own.
Our clothes, shoes.
This is me and my family's
prized possessions.
It's all we own.
I don't ever want my family
to have to experience that
but it-it's hard, on the wages
we make, and you almost...
it's almost impossible for us
just to survive.
Most people
will say that these jobs
are for people that are
just starting out.
But the average fast-food
worker's a 30-year-old woman.
Not-not a kid.
This-this is someone's mother,
someone's sister,
trying to make it
to feed their family.
I have a cheesy sausage
toasted burrito
and a regular coffee,
$4.10 today.
The cost
of living is steadily going up,
but our wages aren't.
How can I go to work for these
billion-dollar companies
and feed all these people,
all to come home to hear
my son's stomach growl?
For-for the ones that have
all the sauce on it,
they're cheaper.
Four dollars.
Right now we have
$13.97. All right.
I do not get sick leave.
I do not get health care.
As an adult,
I've never been able
to afford to see a doctor.
I got it. 20, 40...
I'm tired.
And nobody knows how tired I am
except for those people that
go through it just like me.
Today, the federal minimum wage
is seven dollars
and 25 cents an hour.
It's been at that level
since 2009.
Adjusted for inflation,
it's almost 50% lower
than it was in the late 1960s.
So the poorest workers have
seen their pay cut in half.
The CEO of Yum! Brands,
which owns Taco Bell,
earns more in an hour than
the typical Taco Bell worker
earns in a year.
And we're paying so that
they can have cheap labor.
Walmart and McDonald's
are two of the largest
employers of workers
who are dependent
on food stamps and on Medicaid.
So it's taxpayers who are
supporting these companies,
as opposed to these companies
supporting their workers.
It's not only fast-food
and supermarket workers,
it's millions of other workers
in the food system
who are being exploited in ways
that are hidden from view.
The agricultural industry
depends on more
than three million workers.
Agriculture has always
been a place
where exploitation
has happened.
Because it emerged
out of slavery.
70 cents a day.
70... 70 cents all day job.
When slavery was abolished,
it didn't disappear,
it just changed form.
One farmer looked at this
and said,
"We used to own our slaves.
Now we just rent them."
The whole industry was still
just refusing to recognize
that the workers deserve
to be treated
as-as human beings.
Today, slavery
continues to happen,
even though it's a crime.
One case of modern-day slavery
happened in our community.
Workers escaped
from a U-Haul truck
where they were tied
with chains.
The defendants
have been accused
of threatening,
slapping and kicking
farm workers.
Chaining them to a pole,
beating them,
locking them
inside U-Haul trailers,
keeping them in debt and
forcing them to work for free.
So, as workers,
we organized to fight back.
When I got involved
with the Coalition
of Immokalee Workers,
we were focusing
on the big tomato growers,
thinking that they will have
to listen to us.
There were articles
about slavery.
Our company's name was listed
because we're one of
the largest growers
here in Florida.
We've always
heard about wage theft,
of sexual harassment,
of bad operators.
But you never think
it's going on in your house.
When you've got
labor contractors
providing workers to a farmer,
it creates an environment
where there's a step back
from any responsibility about
how they're being treated,
how they're being paid.
The growers
just closed the door
on our nose.
They didn't care
about our demands
or about anything
that we had to say.
So we need to widen
o-our understanding
on what can influence
this industry.
And then we realized
that the market power
was with the corporations
that buy millions of dollars
of tomatoes.
These companies want
to create a friendly image
towards the consumer
that buries behind
all the abuses
that are part of our lives.
And we knew that if we bring
this message that injustices
are going on behind the food
that everybody's eating,
companies would have
to respond.
The Coalition
of Immokalee Workers started
what we call the Campaign
for Fair Food.
We created alliances
all over the country.
Students were organizing
in support of the workers.
So we were able to bring
the power of consumers
to be part of this fight
for our rights.
One of the
most encouraging developments
has been the emergence
of consumers
who want to reform the system,
who want a more humane system,
a more sustainable system.
But it doesn't always work.
Because they're up against
such powerful corporations
that they can be thwarted
at every turn.
For example, one of the most
brutal conditions
under which our food animals
live are female pigs,
who spend their lives in a
"gestation crate," it's called,
that is barely bigger
than they are.
The voters of California
voted by a significant margin
to outlaw the sale of pork
from animals that were living
in gestation crates.
And the industry would not
let that stand.
So they took it
to the Supreme Court,
where they nearly succeeded
in getting this law tossed out.
So we have allowed these giant,
consolidated food companies
to accumulate so much power
that they exercise a veto
over the consumer
and over the voter.
They have also perfected
the art of obfuscating
the role of the meat industry
in climate change.
No single food
contributes as much
to global warming as cattle.
And in fact, one third
of greenhouse gasses
are produced by
the food system alone.
That's second only
to transportation.
But we're up against
a very powerful industry.
The food industry
spends more on lobbying
than the defense industry.
That has bought them
an incredible measure of power
in Congress.
But there are corporations
out there that fully recognize
that the consumer wants to see
a different kind
of meat industry.
The question is,
what are these corporations
gonna do with this?
Is this gonna drive real change
or the appearance of change?
I was a professor at Stanford.
My job was
basic biomedical research,
just trying to understand
how cells work, how genes work.
I had a sabbatical,
and I decided
to use it to try
to figure out what would be
the, uh, most impactful thing
I could do, uh, next.
And, uh, very quickly,
I came to the conclusion
that it's to completely replace
animals in the food system.
Even if we just replaced cows,
we could give ourselves
a 30-year pause
in the rise
of greenhouse gasses.
And possibly more important
is that
the total number
of living mammals,
birds, reptiles,
amphibians and fish on Earth
is less than a third
what it was 50 years ago.
The collapse
in global biodiversity
is overwhelmingly caused
by habitat destruction
to graze livestock or raise
crops to feed them.
And you see it
happening in real time,
when you watch
the Amazon burning
to expand animal agriculture.
So, I quit my job at Stanford,
a job that I loved.
I felt like,
"Okay, well, I got to do this."
You're not gonna solve
the problem
by trying to persuade
people to change their diets.
That's never worked.
You just have to realize
that people aren't gonna stop
wanting meat, we're just
making it the wrong way.
My first challenge
was to understand
what makes meat
taste like meat.
The answer was that
animal tissues
contain very high levels
of a biomolecule called heme,
and it turns on the chemistry
of meat flavor and aroma.
We've genetically engineered
a yeast cell
to make the heme directly.
Pat Brown's not making
a big health claim
for his products.
It wasn't designed
to be a health food,
it was designed to fake
the meat experience.
So this is your
not-so-secret ingredient.
You can taste it if you like.
We've done a lot of work
thinking about
how to bind
the burger together,
and we needed to make it
something so robust
that you could stick it on
a grill and flip it without...
-And it wouldn't fall apart?
-Wouldn't fall apart,
and, you know, you can
make meatballs with it...
So, what was the breakthrough?
-Can you share that?
-Um, you know, methylcellulose
was a really big improvement
for us.
Sounds like
a tree product.
-It is a tree product.
Cellulose comes from trees.
Um, it's a really abundant
molecule in the world.
-POLLAN And where do you
get it?
-I think it's a byproduct
-from a lot
of the paper industry...
-And, uh...
wood pulp?
It's cleaned up enough that it
doesn't taste like w-wood pulp.
-I'm sure not.
This is a facility
that has none of the horrors
of a slaughterhouse.
I think we have
a plant-based food,
with a fraction
of the environmental footprint
of covering
the planet with cows.
You can make a case
that the Impossible Burger
represents a good alternative
to meat as we now produce it.
It doesn't have hormones in it,
no antibiotics in it.
But make no mistake,
this is built
on commodity agriculture,
and it's
an ultra-processed food.
So there are trade-offs.
I like a burger experience
as much as the next guy,
and if I can have it
without implicating a cow
and all the problems
that come with cows,
maybe that's a good thing.
We are at
a very interesting moment.
Food science is being dedicated
to a nobler goal
than it has in the past:
to move us off
of a heavy meat diet,
onto a more plant-based diet.
The Impossible Burger is now
in every Burger King
in the country.
There's a willingness
on the part of the consumer
to experiment
with these products.
But they're... questionable.
Um, they may solve one problem
and create another.
I think the thing
that troubles me most
is the implication
that this is health food.
Because the phrase
has a, has this aura
of greenness,
of health,
and that is deceptive.
My relationship with food
is complicated.
Very complicated.
Because I have type 1 diabetes.
You know, I think
most of us love food,
but we don't have to think
about it every day, every hour.
I measure my blood sugar
before and after every meal,
and the simpler I eat,
the more level
my blood sugar is.
As a journalist,
I am very much interested
in new foods.
...been able to extract
proteins from it.
I needed to find out
how they were made,
find out what it might mean
for my own body.
Is it clean label?
Like what does it...
-As clean as it gets.
Our products are
95% mushroom roots,
with some flavoring.
We've got
this super salmon filet
made entirely out of plants,
without hurting a single fish.
I worry that
these new food companies,
um, are following
the footsteps of Big Food
with foods that
are empty calories,
high-impact on my blood sugar.
Now, what are the proteins
that you're producing?
That's something we can't talk
about it, kind of right now.
These founders of start-ups
have compelling ideas that
they're so passionate about.
So, at Sundial Foods,
we're making
plant-based chicken wings
with only eight ingredients.
And you are
the founders of the company?
We're both cofounders.
We actually met in a class
in UC Berkeley,
so all of this started
as a school project.
The new food has become
the cause
for every tech investor.
They want something
in their playbook
that speaks
to saving the world.
-We-we produce dairy
without a cow.
So, we've made
molecular coffee.
We're the first ones to make it
without coffee beans.
So, it's uh, world's first uh,
real honey made without bees.
of these start-ups are raising
hundreds of millions
of dollars.
Tyson, JBS,
Hormel, they've all invested
in alternative meat companies.
But what happens down the road?
These big companies are only
thinking about their profit.
What's it going to be like
for the everyday consumer
walking through
the supermarket?
How will they navigate
the new landscape?
So now, food made by scientists
has led to cultured meat.
Meat that is the multiplication
of actual meat cells.
This really is meat.
So this is called EPIC.
When I was practicing
as a cardiologist,
the question was,
what if I practiced
for the next 35 years?
I would likely be,
you know, involved
in saving 3,000, 4,000 lives.
But what if we could start
saving trillions
of animal lives
and also, positively affecting
billions of human lives?
When I was working
at the Mayo Clinic,
we would have patients
that would come
with a very large heart attack.
So we would take stem cells
from that patient
and we would reinject them
into the heart,
to regrow the heart muscle.
That's where my idea came from,
of growing meat
directly from animal cells.
I always want to know,
"How does this product
connect to the farmland,
"to the earth?
What's its relation to nature?"
you're not on any kind of farm.
You're back in a lab
manufacturing a broth
out of amino acids.
So, any of these
cultivators here
-can grow chicken or beef...
-...or pork or...
-The same cultivators...
-...depending, and you can put
-different things in them.
-Any species.
Essentially, we've got
a couple of tanks here
that are holding
the-the feed for the cells.
And, uh, we have recipes
of nutrients
for each type of animal
that we're making.
-There's actually chicken
in there.
-Yeah, there's chicken.
Imagine that this is outside
of the--
this is the body of an animal.
-Inside of it,
there's cells that are growing.
Those cells are doubling
every 24 hours,
and after a certain number
of doublings,
you have a lot
of cells in there.
In a, in-- for instance,
a cultivator like this,
every five days
you can have a batch of meat.
Meat of the future
could be local,
it could be regional.
Just like you go out
and see beer being made,
you can also go and see how
your meat's being made.
This is all chicken.
I was gonna ask you about
the ingredient label.
It'll be "chicken cells."
So, when we started off,
that small piece would be
a couple of thousand dollars.
And the challenge is to make it
at a cost that is affordable.
in five to ten years,
we'll be able to get the prices
that are very similar
to what people will be used
to paying for, let's say,
-an animal that is butchered.
Could've fooled me.
In fact, we were fooled.
We subsequently learned that
the chicken breast I sampled
did not come from the tanks
we were shown
but from a more costly
and labor-intensive process.
The technology to produce
whole-cut chicken at scale
is not as close as the industry
would have us believe.
If alternative meat products
can help shrink
the industrial meat system,
that'd be great.
But I think there is
a place for animals
in American agriculture,
in any agriculture.
When it's done sustainably
and animals are used
in such a way
that they're feeding the soil,
feeding the plants.
Uh, that you have
this closed loop
of animals and plants,
recycling nutrients.
That's a sustainable farm
to me.
So I don't think the goal
needs to be eliminating meat,
but we sure need to shrink
the meat system.
There's no question about that.
Last Friday,
I resigned, uh,
from my position
as a, uh, Pioneer seed rep
so that I can put
a lot more focus
into, uh, this project that's
called The Stock Cropper.
I think a lot of people
will look at it and think,
you're completely insane."
It's probably a...
probably a well-placed,
uh, criticism.
With The Stock
Cropper, we've devised
a farming system
that is truly regenerative,
good for the soil,
good for the environment... a more positive direction
for the future of agriculture
than the one
we're currently on.
This barn is mobile,
so that our animals
are always passing into
fresh ground, fresh pasture.
So we have our ruminant animals
out front,
-uh, like my friend
the sheep here,
and what their job is to do
is to be the lawn mowers
and mow down the pasture
and process that vegetation.
And then, following behind
the sheep and goats,
we have the pigs.
The pigs graze on what's left,
and their snouts
are essentially our tillers
to kind of move the soil around
and incorporate
some of the manures.
Our animals are our
manure spreaders
as we move through the field.
And then, the annual pasture
is allowed to regenerate.
What we're in right now
is only about
three weeks since it was grazed
and we already got regrowth.
So, the beauty of this system
is we're putting livestock
back on the land,
but we're doing it in a fashion
that holds nutrients in place
so they'll be available
to next year's crop.
You know, this system
is completely different
than the conventional system
I use on the rest of my farm,
where we have to replace
a lot of the things
that these animals
are doing naturally,
uh, with synthetic fertilizers
and pesticides.
And the end product
is a higher quality,
tastier meat animal.
Something that's
a premium product
to add value
to my farming operation.
Well, Zack,
until recently,
you were a Pioneer dealer.
That's correct, I was.
-But you gave it up?
-I did. I gave it up.
You gonna take a hit
on your income, then?
-Yeah, for sure.
-Why would you do that?
'Cause I wanted
to wake up in the morning
and believe in
what I was doing.
I see the path that...
what the current
commodity game is on,
and it's a path that, uh,
it doesn't do a lot of good
for the things I'm passionate
about, which is the land
and water quality
and c-communities and...
Um, I could've kept on doing
that same stuff,
uh, or I could've said,
"I've got this alternative
system and maybe
this will provide
some opportunity,"
and I s-- you know, you only
live once, take a chance.
And so, what will the old boys
think when you, when you say,
"I'm gonna have goats
in a cage...
-"...and give up
my Pioneer dealership?"
I-I'm just happy that I can
provide entertainment
and something for them to talk
about in the coffee shop.
That's my contribution
to the community.
that's good. Yeah.
It's my way to give back.
So this is what I mean
by "Iowa bullion."
You know, there's a lot of
places in the world
that would kill
to have dirt like this,
and that's why I want to keep
every inch of it here,
uh, on my family's land
where it belongs.
Not blowing in the wintertime,
into the ditch.
Or not, you know, washing off,
you know, through the low spot
into the crick.
This is, this is what,
this is--
-this is wealth right here.
-Right. Right.
Well, I mean, the corn
looks beautiful, really.
definitely an excitement
about The Stock Cropper.
I've attracted
a lot of other people
that farm weird,
uh, like myself.
We're gonna walk down
through this path here,
if you follow me.
Okay, so this is
the-the original system.
We basically did sheep and
goats out front, pigs behind.
You can barely smell
these hogs.
Outside a typical hog
confinement building,
you'd be retching right now.
When you
explain that the animals
are feeding the plants
and the plants are feeding
the animals,
and it's all happening
in this one space,
you can see the looks
in their eyes.
They got what we were doing.
So now the moment, uh,
that we've all been
waiting for.
The new Clustercluck Nano here.
In order to really,
truly be scalable,
you have to have the ability
to have autonomous movement
without being here.
This is solar-powered,
electrically driven,
on a programmable basis.
This is a big deal.
And I've got folks
that are really interested,
but they're also skeptical
because they see the challenges
to scale this up.
1898, we had a tractor.
-We could use it.
Took clear till
the '50s, 1950s,
-to get rid of the horses.
So, I mean,
you're dealing with a crowd
-that does not like change.
And that's okay,
but change comes eventually,
and we're hoping that we're...
betting on the right,
the right horse, so to speak.
The biggest issue right now
is that the big four
meat companies
have essentially
blocked the path
for independent producers
to process livestock.
And what we need is a shift
in policy that makes possible
smaller and regional
packing facilities.
That will open up
the floodgates
for farmers to get
their products to consumers.
My passion in this
is to create a system
where there's more farmers
out here like myself
being able to feed
their family with--
instead of thousands of acres,
maybe several hundred?
And produce
high-quality food products.
That's my dream.
All right.
Here we go.
I used to be a fisherman
chasing fish around the globe.
You name it I fished it:
tuna, herring,
lobster, cod.
It was great,
you know,
fishing day and night,
being in the belly of a boat
months at a time.
The problem was, I was fishing
at the height
of industrial, extractive
food production.
Huge trawlers
with half-mile nets
ripping up ecosystems.
And so, we got too good
at what we did.
The answer everybody told us
was fish farming.
I was gonna help
feed the planet
and I was still gonna be
able to work on the water.
The smell of fish was still
gonna come home with me.
So I went out to these pens,
and I'm pulling them out.
And it's neither fish nor food,
they got a grey color,
there's sea lice on them.
I swear to God, they're
stupider than regular fish.
And so, it's borrowing
all the bad practices
that are happening on land.
Heavy use of pesticides,
This was industrial pig farming
out in the ocean.
So I ended up just really
trying to figure out
how do I be
a steward of the sea
and switch from pillaging
to regeneration?
I asked the ocean,
"What does it make sense
to grow?"
And it says,
"Why don't you grow things
"that don't swim away,
"that you don't have to feed
and that breathe life
back into the ocean?"
So I decided to grow kelp.
I mean this
is an embarrassing thing
for a fisherman to do, right,
growing plants underwater?
When I first came down,
I was getting l-laughed
off the docks.
I lied to people, told them
I was growing hemp underwater,
which seemed like
it was a little better.
You can see the white buoys
out there in the distance.
That's our ten-acre farm.
Below the surface,
we're able to pack
so many crops along
that vertical water column.
We have our kelp at one level,
then we've got our mussels
and our scallops
and our oysters and clams.
The power of the ocean is that
I don't need to fertilize
like a corn farmer.
You don't need tractors,
you don't need buildings,
you don't need to buy land.
Every one of our oysters,
all our kelp,
also is restoring
our ecosystem.
An oyster filters
50 gallons of water a day.
And our kelp soaks up
five times more carbon
than land-based plants.
I really believe that kelp
is gonna be the most
sustainable food on the planet.
As a chef, I'm always looking
for new ingredients,
new flavors.
Kelp is amazing
because not only can I use it
like an herb,
but also, I can saut it really
simply the way I would spinach.
Kelp dolmades.
Trying new things just needs
to become the normal
instead of something
that's outlandish or weird.
You know, sushi wasn't even
widely accepted
until relatively recently.
Kelp is affordable,
it's nutritious,
and it will absolutely be
a part of the future of food.
The question is what kind
of industry will we have
going forward?
Is this gonna be
about thousand-acre farms
owned by a couple
global companies?
Or is it gonna be about
thousands of ten-acre farms
dotting our coastline?
that's what's powerful,
not consolidation.
There is another way here
that we can be proud of.
We got really good
at fishing, right?
Too good.
Maybe we'll really get good
at solutions this time around.
Here in Florida,
the Fair Food Program
has implemented agreements
with growers from
the agricultural industry.
Now, there is a code of conduct
that guarantees
that the abuses that happen
will not be tolerated.
Workers are protected
to speak free of retaliation,
and they receive a bonus
at the end of the week.
So it's an increase in wages.
When we
signed the Fair Food agreement,
I got some pretty nasty
phone calls
from our competitors/friends
in the industry.
"Does it impact
my bottom line?" Sure.
But doing the right thing,
running a clean business,
is always gonna cost more
than breaking the fucking law.
Today, 90% of the tomatoes
being produced in Florida
are covered
by the Fair Food agreement.
And 14 corporations
that buy from these growers
have signed onto it.
But not everybody
has come on board.
Wendy's decided
to actually cut purchases
from growers for adhering
to the Fair Food Program.
Instead, they went to Mexico
to buy from mega-farms
that do not respect
the rights of the workers.
If Wendy's were to join
the Fair Food Program
and pay an extra penny a pound
to farm workers, it would cost
maybe $500,000 a year.
It's a tiny portion
of their annual revenue
and might increase the cost
of a Wendy's hamburger
by 1/30th of a penny.
There are other corporations
that refuse to participate
on the Fair Food program.
But if they would
sign on to it,
then we would see an increase
in wages of almost double.
And now, the Fair Food Program
has become the blueprint
for labor relationships in many
other parts of the country.
In Latin America,
many countries
are making progress
to reduce consumption
of ultra-processed foods.
In Chile, they use
black warning labels
saying "too much sugar,"
"too much saturated fat,"
"too much calories."
And in Mexico,
for instance, they say,
if a product has
a warning label,
they cannot have
anything other thing
saying the product is good.
No health claims.
In Brazil,
every day,
we have 40 million meals
prepared in public schools.
The Brazilian dietary policy
is that real food is essential.
Cooking is essential.
And basically, avoiding
ultra-processed foods.
Children that
have access to this program,
really are acquiring
healthy eating habits.
This program promotes
the demand for healthy foods.
The municipalities,
they are obliged by law
to buy unprocessed
and minimally processed foods.
And they should buy 30% of food
from local family farmers.
Come on guys, get in line.
Normally, school districts
purchase food from
a distribution company.
But the Camden
city school district
is now providing food
direct from the farmers
to the table
right in our school cafeterias.
We have asparagus fries today
with Parmesan and...
It's so successful.
There are more students
selecting salads than ever.
There was a time where they're
gonna walk past it,
get a cheeseburger,
get tenders, get whatever.
To be able to serve fresh,
fresh, fresh produce,
straight from the farm,
it makes all the difference
in the world.
It makes them want
to come to school.
We're partnering with
The Common Market
to build relationships
with our local farmers.
So those were grown
on farms near here.
We saw
there needed to be a link
that connected communities
like ours with the abundance
of farmland and the abundance
of good food
that's grown in our region.
It's largely federal policy
that is supporting these large,
multinational companies
who are selling cheap
and processed food.
Programs like ours demonstrate
the kind of policy change
that we want to see.
Policy that's beneficial for
both farmers in rural places
and urban consumers.
Buenos das.
So, you feel
good about the hearing today?
The coalition around
these nutrition issues
has grown from family farmers
to civil rights activists
to environmental justice
They see this
potential coalition
that could really
make real change.
-Good luck.
-Thank you very much.
I'm now the chairperson
of a powerful subcommittee
on nutrition.
And I want to be a part
of letting people know
a lot of these pressing
realities that moved me
to want to deal with
our food system.
So it's a tremendous privilege
and responsibility
to focus Washington on an issue
that I believe is at the center
of human life, American life.
Now, let's be clear,
the majority of our food system
is being now controlled
by just a handful
of big multinational
These food companies carefully
forment-- uh, formulate
and market
nutrient-poor, addictive,
ultra-processed foods
which now comprise two-thirds
of the calories
in children and teens
in their diets
in the United States.
And these companies
want us to believe
that the resultant
diet-related diseases,
such as obesity and diabetes,
are somehow a moral failing.
That they represent
a lack of willpower,
or a failure
to get enough exercise.
That-that is just a lie.
It's a lie.
And so, I believe
we need to rethink
the way we approach food
and nutrition policy.
Our lives literally
depend upon it.
By fixing our food system,
we will create
health and well-being
in-in every aspect
of our lives.
But the forces of Washington
right now are really invested
in sustaining
these broken systems.
Because it's creating
big profit
for very powerful interests.
Tyson Foods,
in the last quarter of 2021,
their net income rose
from $469 million
to $1.2 billion,
that's one quarter, okay?
; I've got
a piece of legislation
right now to put
more transparency
on those big meatpacking
and have a special investigator
with subpoena power.
Make sure these folks aren't
doing antitrust activities.
But make no mistake,
there's gonna be a lot
of money thrown against me.
They're gonna say,
"We're not gonna let
some bigmouth senator
from Montana stop us."
And so, bring it on, guys.
How'd the hearing go?
-Really well.
Now we're being filmed
doing an illegal activity.
We're jaywalking here.
I think the light's
gonna change for us maybe?
You think so?
Sometimes the law has
to catch up to where you are.
That's right.
I really think that this is
a moment in history
where we can expand
the innovations going on
in the American food system
to show people that there's
a better way of doing this.
It's all doable,
it's all fixable.
If we tackle the big problem
of antitrust
and agricultural policy.
We need to change
the incentives,
so the government is
subsidizing healthy calories,
not unhealthy calories.
Just imagine
if the government decided
to step in on the side of
the consumer and the citizen,
rather than on the side
of the big food companies.
We had a pandemic
and saw how brittle
things were.
So let's create resiliency
by empowering the folks
that raise their food
in our local
and regional food systems.
The future doesn't have to be
cornfield after cornfield.
If we want to see
change happen,
we have to change
agricultural policy.
We get the right policy,
and we'll start taking care
of our soils,
which in turn makes
healthy food.
Like, it's not rocket science.
This is our chance
to chart a new course.
We can actually grow good food,
create good jobs,
while we're also healing
the planet.
And that's sort of the world
I-I'd love to live in.
-Stand up!
I want to see everybody
treated fairly.
We are the ones
that make this company
-Who runs this Taco Bell?
-We do!
I want to see life.
I want to see people
living life,
not just fighting to survive.
We can have a food system
that produces healthy food
for consumers,
that provides a safe workplace
and decent wages to workers,
that treats animals like
they're living beings
and not industrial commodities,
that treats the land
in a way that's sustainable
and not destructive.
We not only can do it,
we have to.
This land is your land
This land is my land
From California
to the New York island
From the redwood forest
To the Gulf Stream waters
I tell you
This land
Was made for you and me
As I went walking
Down that ribbon
of a highway
I saw above me
Oh, that endless skyway
Now, I saw below me
That golden valley
And I said
This land
Was made for you and me
As I was walking
Now, they tried to stop me
They put up a sign
that said
Oh, it said,
"Private property"
Well, on the back side
You know, it said nothing
So, it must be that side
Was made for you
and me, yeah
One bright, sunny morning
Well, in the shadow
of a steeple
Down by the welfare office
I... I saw my people
You know, now,
they stood hungry
I... I stood wondering
I was wondering
if this land
Was made for you and me
This land is your land
This land is my land
From Riverside, California
Oh, to Staten Island
Well, on down
to west of Georgia
Oh, don't forget
to say Philadelphia
Oh, we moving on down
to Mississippi
Oh, Houston, Texas
Ah, L.A.
You know,
this land is your land
Ah, this land is my land
Oh, this land
is your land
You've got to believe
Oh, it's my land
Ooh, this land was made
for you and me, yeah
Oh, this land was made
for you and me
Oh, this land
This land is your land
Ah, this land
This land is my land.