The film is oriented around the idea of natural, organic farming. The film shows how companies lock farmers into growing/producing in ways that are not traditional and that are not cost effective without company support or government subsidies. The main idea overall is that people are being hurt by the commercial food system, whether it be financially, physically, mentally even, even if they are trying not to be involved. The evidence of the issues of commercial food and the benefits of local food were shown when Growing Power was featured and when the chicken and corn farming facilities were shown. The film really tries to compare growing food locally to growing food on a commercial level. it tries to explain what people are loosing in commercial food and what they have to gain from their own, local sources.
I do have doubts about some of the "secrecy" behind commercial farming. The food is more easily regulated by the FDA than local farmers and it is still getting to the consumer, so it must be safe and not toxic like the film almost makes commercial foods out to be. A big part of why many farmers do not want camera crews and people in their buildings or fields is because of the risk of disease. Many plants and animals are very susceptible to disease, so when a farmer only gets one paycheck a year, they do not want to risk it in any way. I have a friend who raises pigs commercially, the barn/building they are kept in is very self contained. No one else but him is allowed into it because of the risk of other people's sicknesses, and he does not go in if he is sick. When he does go in, he takes a shower and puts on clean clothes, he walks out to the building, inside there is an entry room, he takes off his clothes, showers again, walks through to another room and puts on a set of clothes that never leave that building. when he is done he removes the clothes, rinses off, puts back on his other clothes, and exits the building quickly. This just goes to show how both paranoid farmers are, and how risky even visiting your own animals can be.
The ideas in the film may apply to our culture in a few ways. The first being that if we each have our own small amount of food that we grow/raise, we will cut down on dependency on commercial farming in case something happens. If we need food, we will have some of our own if we cannot rely on mass supply. We can also raise our own food and try to cut down on costs at the grocery store, culturally this would help people because we could all be in a different situation than the economy slumping the way it is.