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The Great Food Speedup: From Hunter-Gatherers to Microwaves


Images courtesy Prelinger Archives

The Great Food Speedup: From Hunter-Gatherers to Microwaves

Rick Prelinger Introduces Films from the Prelinger Archives

New Documentary

Nonfiction filmmaking holds a strong appeal for many committed directors and producers. This ongoing series lets you sample wide-ranging approaches to the contemporary documentary.

Thu, Feb 11, 2010 7 PM

This compelling look at how America got used to processed, packaged food comes right from the source—government and industry.

Filled with visions of meat-production lines, supermarkets, and herbicide-withered weeds, the industry- and government-produced films packaged in The Great Food Speedup show how the American food system accelerated into hormone-fueled homogeneity. Highlights include This Is Hormel (ca. 1964), Beef Rings the Bell (ca. 1962), and Dow Chemical’s Death to Weeds (1947). Writer, filmmaker, and archivist Rick Prelinger introduces these and other films from the Prelinger Archives, a collection of 60,000 educational and industrial films he founded. The Library of Congress acquired the collection in 2002. Visit for more information about Prelinger and the collection. (app. 100 mins., video)

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