About five years ago, I started thinking more about what I ate. This meant eating avoiding GMOs, pesticides and any ingredient I had trouble pronouncing. Thus, I’m always interested in news about the food industry. Documentaries such as “Food Inc.” prompted me to look into industrial meat production. Yet, while “Farmed and Dangerous,” Chipotle’s Original Series, dares us to think about what we eat, it does so with a fictional storyline, engaging characters and satire. The result is about 20 minutes of amusement juxtaposed with a troubling insight into industrial agriculture.
An Original Series on Hulu
According to businesswire.com, “Chipotle and Piro, a New York-based studio” are the producers for “Farmed and Dangerous.” The “initial four-episode season” began on February 17 and will air for free on Hulu and Hulu Plus. Chipotle was also responsible for producing “Back to the Start” in 2011 and “Scarecrow” in 2013. Both “animated shorts” won awards and got people talking about food production.
The First Episode
The first episode, “Oiling the Food” begins with ominous clouds hanging over the headquarters of a big name, yet fictional, industrial agriculture company. The episode quickly reveals the plan of the corporation and the Industrial Food Image Bureau to use a “petroleum-based” feed for livestock. Then, viewers are able to see a cow munching on artificial-looking black pellets in a dark room. Two businessmen are trying to come up with a way to market these pellets as helpful rather than harmful. We soon learn that the industry will stop at nothing to promote its dangerous product.
Is it Any Good?
I was able to watch the first episode and was surprisingly engaged. I liked the witty banter between the boss’s daughter and the sustainable businessman, who is trying to expose the evils of petroleum-based feed. Although there are over the top moments, (cow-exploding anyone?), I could see these types of cover-ups happening in the real industrial agriculture world. Furthermore, I was happy to see that the comedy didn’t appear to be a long-winded advertisement for Chipotle (although it’s undoubtably advertising in disguise). For this reason, I’ll be tuning into the rest of the series.
Behind the satire, there is a more serious message. How is our food being produced? How are the animals that provide our food being treated? What are the long-term effects of industrial farming? I remember when the pink-slime in the school lunches became national news. Although pink-slime had been used for some time, the identification of this unhealthy “meat,” and its less-than-appetizing name, caused people to take action and made people think more about what they ate. Perhaps, “Farmed and Dangerous” will cause viewers be more skeptical about industrial agriculture….. or, it might simply make people want to go out and buy a Chipotle burrito.
More from Melissa:
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Why Pay for Cable? Four Reasons I Don’t
Eating Whole Foods Completes Me