Cincinnati—How much do Americans really know about the food they buy at local supermarkets and serve to their families?
In Food, Inc., producer-director Robert Kenner and investigative authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) lift the veil on the
U.S. food industry—an industry that the filmmakers argue has often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of American farmers, the safety of workers and the environment.
The University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Center for Environmental Genetics will host a screening of the documentary film Thursday, May 21, 2009. The movie will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the College of Medicine’s Kresge Auditorium, 231 Albert Sabin Way. The event is free and admission will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are also invited to participate in a panel discussion on the issues raised in the film after the screening event.
Barb Kowalcyk, an epidemiology and biostatistics doctoral student in UC’s environmental health department, is featured in the film. Kowalcyk lost her son in 2001 to an E. coli O157:H7 infection when he was just 2½ years old. Since then, she has been on a mission to educate others about the genesis and dangers of foodborne illnesses.
“We put faith in our government to protect us, and we’re not being protected at the most basic level,” says Kowalcyk, who advocates for food safety through her nonprofit organization, the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention. “Continuing down the current path that produced the huge assortment of recalls over the past two years defies good science and common sense.
“Ultimately, if our nation is to make meaningful progress in reducing death and disease from foodborne illness in the 21st century, we must recognize foodborne illness as a serious public health issue and work to build an environment that promotes food safety and consumer health throughout the farm to fork continuum,” she adds.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die each year from preventable foodborne disease.E. coli alone causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually.
For more information on the screening event, visit healthnews.uc.edu. For more information on the film, visit foodincmovie.com.