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NWS "Movies with a Mission" Series Examines the Impact of Fast Food on the U.S. Food Supply Chain and Developing Nations

Join Us for a Movie and Discussion about the Impact of Fast Food Corporations on the U.S. Food Supply Chain and on Local Communities Across the Globe

We're excited to invite you to the last 2021-2022 installment of the Movies with a Mission series titled “Corporate Responsibility: Local and Global Impact on Food Habits, Health and Culture.”

Now through May 18:

Watch two eye-opening films: Food Inc. and Global Junk Food. 

Food Inc. portrays the way fast food corporations have impacted the U.S. food supply chain and how profit is valued at the expense of farmers, consumers, and the environment. Global Junk Food explores how fast food corporations sell in developing countries where they have created ultra-low-cost products with higher levels of salt, sugar, and saturated fats.

We invite you to watch these films with a critical eye. Food Inc. exposes how our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations, revealing surprising, and often shocking, truths about what we eat, how it's produced, and what we have become as a nation. Filmed in Brazil, India, and France, Global Junk Food touches on some of the complex problems American fast food corporations are creating in global communities and the impacts on eating habits, health, and culture.

 As you watch the films, we would like you to consider these broader-scale questions:

  • What impact do corporations that drive the fast food industry have on consumers’ health? How do they disrupt local food traditions?
  • How can we create responsible food chains? How much responsibility do corporations have over franchises and their impact on local communities?
  • How can corporations make sure that their restorative and sustainability practices are enforced in the global supply chain?
  • As consumers, what level of influence and responsibility do we have to affect the impact fast food corporations have on the local and global community?

Wednesday, May 18, 7:00 - 8:30 pm: 

Join The Northwest School community in conversation (on Zoom) with a panel of experts who will discuss the intersections of corporate responsibility, food consumption, health, sustainability, and the impacts on communities and culture. The panelists are:

  • Bethany J.W.Y. Fong, R.D. - Director of Dining Services, The Northwest School
  • Amal Stefanos - Global Citizenship Educational Consultant
  • Parker Townley - Business Development Manager at Fair Trade Certified

Learn more about each speaker below, and join the May 18 Zoom discussion here. 
Meeting ID: 945 5578 2660  
Passcode: 25600

More About Food Inc. and Global Junk Food

Food Inc. 

The current method of raw food production is largely a response to the growth of the fast food industry since the 1950s. During the last 70 years, food production has changed more drastically than it has over the past several thousand years prior. 

Controlled primarily by a handful of multinational corporations, the global food production industry aims to produce large quantities of food with few direct inputs (most often subsidized). As a result, they enjoy enormous profits and wield considerable control over the global food supply. 

The health and safety of the food, the animals produced, assembly line workers, and consumers are often overlooked by both the companies and our government in order to provide cheap food regardless of the consequences. Many of the changes to this system over the past seven decades have been based on advancements in science and technology, but often with negative side effects.

Global Junk Food

In Europe, food manufacturers have signed pledges promising no added sugar, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and agreeing not to target children. So why are they using tactics banned in the West in the developing world, and what is the impact of this “global junk food”? 

International food brands often incorporate the local culture of these countries in their product advertisements. In Brazil, brands like Pepsi will couple their products with football. There are no laws prohibiting this type of marketing. In fact, school children can become brand ambassadors.

Since brands also sponsor school-based events in the form of “edutainment,” young children also consume these unhealthy products. When confronted with the implications of their actions, brands like McDonald's deny any wrongdoing and disregard the fact that children cannot differentiate their advertising messaging when it’s coupled with other forms of engagement.

A large portion of the population suffers from obesity, and there is no doubt that fast food consumption is a major contributing factor. An interview with a chef reveals interesting details about what fast food companies consider their priority in producing food — and it is neither nutrition, nor the customer.

This film also raises questions about who should take responsibility for these issues. Is it parents, advertisers, international brands, marketers and developers, or policymakers? Or, is it on the level of the individual consumer to decide what is most healthy for them?

Meet Our Expert Speakers

Bethany J.W.Y. Fong, R.D. - Director of Dining Services, The Northwest School

Bethany holds an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University, a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition Science from Seattle Pacific University and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). She has been the Director of Dining Services at the Northwest School for six years and held previous roles at Tilth Association as a dietitian for multiethnic senior congregate meal sites; Kapi’olani Community College as a chef and nutrition instructor; and Omeida Language College in China as an English teacher. Outside of the Northwest School kitchen, you can find her at home in the kitchen cooking for family and friends, or paddling an outrigger canoe in the waters around Seattle. 

Amal Stefanos - Global Citizenship Educational Consultant

Amal is an Eritrean researcher, writer, and educator who is passionate about exploring various themes such as politics, socioeconomics, and cultures through the prism of global citizenship. Her goal is to provide support and further insight to the global programs at educational institutions. 

She was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and has since lived in London and NYC. Her specialty and thought leadership is on the Horn and Eastern Africa. She holds a BA in Economics from Fordham University (NY, USA) and a MA in Conflict, Security & Development from the University of Sussex (Sussex, U.K.).

Parker Townley - Business Development Manager at Fair Trade Certified

A Pacific Northwest native, Parker grew up in Olympia, Washington and earned his BA in Latin American Studies and Environmental Studies at Gonzaga University (Spokane). Parker spent the next seven years working at the intersection of international development and sustainable business at Fair Trade USA in Oakland, California. He helped retailers, brands, roasters, and traders sustainably source coffee and share their stories of impact with consumers. As a result of his efforts, hundreds of thousands of coffee farmers in Latin America, Asia, and Africa were able to secure contracts yielding tens of millions of dollars in additional income.

Last summer, Parker joined Amazon's Supply Chain Execution Team as a Senior Program Manager Intern. Parker currently serves as Co-President of Net Impact at UW (main sustainability club), manages Challege4Charity/C4C's relationship with the University Food Bank, is part of the Fritzky Leadership Fellow Program, and is a Board Fellow with VillageReach. He anticipates graduating from the UW Foster MBA program in June 2022. 

He spends his free time backpacking and skiing in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and California, and home-roasting coffees from around the world.

Goal of “Movies with a Mission”

The Northwest School's movie series aims to build community and belonging by creating shared experiences to pique curiosity and inspire informed action within our community. Following a shared movie experience, we engage in informal community conversations with renowned experts working on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, and cross-cutting global perspectives. We hope to further strengthen the connections between these areas of engagement — an integral part of Northwest's mission.