“Food, Inc.” sequel, produced by Michael Pollan, premieres at Telluride Film Festival

The film was largely inspired by the raging COVID-19 pandemic, which transformed the food industry as we know it

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published September 6, 2023 11:30AM (EDT)

Chicken in battery cages (Getty Images/Grafissimo)
Chicken in battery cages (Getty Images/Grafissimo)

"Food, Inc. 2" — the highly anticipated sequel to the 2008 Oscar-nominated documentary "Food, Inc." — premiered at the Telluride Film Festival Monday, with new insights into the corrupt nature of our food system. In the same vein as its predecessor, the recent film, which is produced by "In Defense of Food" author Michael Pollan, examines corporate farming in the United States and how the national agribusiness continues to produce unhealthy foods — even amid a raging global pandemic. 

Per Deadline, "Food, Inc. 2" was largely inspired by COVID-19, "which exposed the vulnerabilities of a food system dominated by a handful of massive agribusiness companies including Cargill, ADM, and Tyson Foods." The film looks into how several meat packing plants transformed into Covid super spreaders, all thanks to corporate corruption coupled with Trump's blatant disregard for public health guidelines.

Additionally, there's special focus on the rapid rise of ultra-processed foods, which currently make up 73% of the U.S. food supply. The film explores several studies that show how ultra-processed foods (think sugary breakfast cereals, chips, candies and sweetened carbonated beverages) contribute to higher rates of obesity and diabetes.On a more upbeat note, the film also spotlights the growing Fair Food movement, which has seen improved working conditions and better wages for farmworkers, namely tomato harvesters in Florida.

"The interest is definitely still there among consumers," co-director Melissa Robledo told Deadline about the film. "I think there's no shortage of interest in these issues and what's going on. People have been continuously interested from the time the first film came out."