The best part about the riveting new documentary "Food, Inc.," which opens in Chicago on June 19, is that it sends us all home with something important to do: Think about where your food comes from.
Then, the film urges, take small steps to change the food system.
Here's are 10 ways to start, according to the filmmakers:
1. Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages. You can lose 25 pounds in a year by replacing one 20 ounce soda a day with a no calorie beverage (preferably water).
2. Eat at home instead of eating out. Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food prepared outside the home.
3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards. Half of the leading chain restaurants provide no nutritional information to their customers.
4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks.Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years.
5. Meatless Mondays—Go without meat one day a week. An estimated 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals.
6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the U.S.
7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer's market. Farmer's markets allow farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
8. Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS. The average meal travels 1,500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate.
9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you. Each year, contaminated food causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the U.S.
10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections. Poverty among farm workers is more than twice that of all wage and salary employees.
Here's a look at the "Film, Inc." movie trailer: