Michael Pollan: There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it's kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it's the idea of a tomato.
Joel Salatin: I'm always struck by how successful we have been at hitting the bull's-eye of the wrong target. I mean we have learned- for example, in cattle we have learned how to plant, fertilize and harvest corn using global positioning satellite technology, and nobody sits back and asks, "But should we be feeding cows corn?" We've become a culture of technicians. We're all into the how of it and nobody's stepping back and saying "But why?"
Title card: In 1972, the FDA conducted approximately 50,000 food safety inspections. In 2006, the FDA conducted 9,164.
Narrator: The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000.
Title card: SB-63 passed the State Legislature. But Governor Schwarzenegger then vetoed it.
Eric Schlosser: These companies fight, tooth and nail, against labeling. The fast food industry fought against giving you the calorie information. They fought against telling you if there is trans-fat in your food. The meat packing idustry for years prevented country-of-origin labeling. They fought not to label genetically modified foods; and now 70% of processed food in the supermarket has some genetically modified ingredient.
Joel Salatin: Even if you don't eat at a fast food restaurant, you're now eating food that's produced by this system.
Joel Salatin: A culture that just uses a pig as a pile of protoplasmic inanimate structure, to be manipulated by whatever creative design the human can foist on that critter, will probably view individuals within its community, and other cultures in the community of nations, with the same type of disdain and disrespect and controlling type mentalities.
Joel Salatin: I think it's one of the most important battles for consumers to fight: the right to know what's in their food, and how it was grown.
Eric Schlosser: These companies have legions of attorneys. And they may sue, even if they know they can't win, just to send a message.
Troy Roush - Vice President, American Corn Growers Association: You have to understand that we farmers... we're gonna deliver to the marketplace what the marketplace demands. If you wanna buy $2 milk, you're going to get a factoryfarm in your backyard. It's that simple. People have got to start *demanding* good, wholesome food of us, and we'll deliver; I promise you. We're very ingenious people, we will deliver.
Michael Pollan: The idea that you would need to write a book telling people where their food came from is just a sign of how far removed we've become. It seems to me that we're entitled to know about our food: who owns it, how are they making it, can I have a look in the kitchen?
Joel Salatin: We have allowed ourselves to become so disconnected and ignorant about something that is as intimate as the food that we eat.
Himself - Union Organizer: We want to pay the cheapest price for our food. We don't understand that that comes at a price. These workers, they've been here for 10, 15 years, processing your bacon, your holiday ham. And now they are getting picked up like they are criminals. And these companies are making billions of dollars.