This documentary delves into the process of producing meat behind the advertising of the delicious, pink and juicy meal staple so many of us enjoy. The central point is that the ham and some other meats are injected with sodium nitrite which might have adverse incremental effects on the body. We get to see the processing of the meat and hear the perspective of scientists who have studied the effects and who have even protested the use of this substance, but we also get to hear from those who have publicly supported its continued use.
Some companies are able to produce sterile meat without including harmful nitrites in the process. So what motivates some of the meat producers to process the meet the way they do, despite the fact that research shows that consumption of nitrites might lead to different forms of cancer?
Expert studies are available in some countries like Denmark and even court rulings, but regulations are not implemented to prevent producers from prioritizing public health over profits.
Information presented in the documentary spans different countries and institutions. But It seems no matter how close governments come to creating policies to ban nitrites they somehow always fall short of the mark.
Researchers who find links between these meats and cancer usually end up discredited or somehow discouraged from continuing along the path of discovery. Looking further into that trend reveals the reasons why some of the industry players have an interest in keeping the meat full of nitrites on the market.
It is interesting to see how media collaborates in this process pushing someone's agenda using doubt as a powerful weapon. They show how the very persons who were supposed to look out for the public were somehow convinced to go against their own best interest.
It is a comprehensive look at a complex issue, done in a way that sparks insight into a problem that seemingly has a simple solution on the level of the individual buyer, but weighing the individual consumer power against the big media and meat industry shows that it might not be so simple after all.
Directed by: Guillaume Coudray, Sandrine Rigaud