Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Movie: The Informant & High Fructose Corn Syrup

At last the movie, The Informant with Matt Damon can be viewed for public consumption opening in theatres on September 18.

I read the book; it was immensely repetitive but still an exciting page turner. Mary Johnson who recommended the book actually went to school with Mark Whitaker, the real informant in the story.

Mark Whitaker worked at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) where he was a whistleblower on price fixing…but like all good stories it’s not that simple.

ADM is a corporation that makes billions of dollars from high fructose corn syrup, one of the prime ingredients that makes people and children fat and contributes to diabetes. HFCS is even in unlikely products like salad dressing, pop tarts, many cereals, ketchup, and more.

If you see the movie, come back and tell us what you thought especially if you read the book too.

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing it! That’s really something OUR Mary knows Mark Whitaker.

    Seeing the Informant and Moore’s new movie on Capitalism (due out Oct. 2nd) will probably blow my theater budget for awhile. Anyone else noticing rising theater prices too?

  2. I can honestly say I have not been to a movie theater for at least 5 years. I am so far behind on the movie schedule that everything at Blockbuster looks new to me.

    The Informant, of course, will be the exception. I’m going with my high school best friend – Kathy Brandenburg. It will be soooo fun.

  3. Cindy
    I think it must cost more to go to a movie in the So. Cal. area. I only go during the first matinee for $5 or the other matinee for $6.75. I don’t pay full price.

    In Tucson we have The Loft Cinema which is a 501 C 3 non-profit art movie/indie movie house and I have a membership. So when I do go I only have to pay $4.75 and members also get small bags of free popcorn. It’s a deal plus it supports my favorite type of indie movies.

    The Loft Cinema also offers 1 free movie per month to members and has special events with the director and sing-a-longs, and retro stuff. The Loft is one of Tucson’s treasures plus — bonus — it’s 5 minutes away by car from my house.

  4. Loved the movie ! the FBI should pay offer all informants a % of the fine given to crooked companies like ADM for price fixing 1 % of 500 million is 5 million ! A pardon from the President is in order and an award High Fructose Corn syrup is in almost all food and is killing our country(diabetics) making everyone fat should be banned see FOOD INC movie for further info eat organic quote from Food inc if your grandma did not eat it as a child do not eat it !chemical crap food is only about 25 years old read all labels want something sweet real bee Honey works !

  5. I was wondering how much of the storyline in the movie is accurate. Was Mark Whitacker really bi-polar and was the FBI really that stupid? My husband thinks the movie is entirely true, I think it was based on a true story ,but that the personality was a complete fabrication. Can someone shed light on this for me?

  6. I am embarrased to say I STILL have not seen the movie yet. But, having read the book and having personally known Mark Whitacre during elementary and high school, here are my comments:

    1. The book had a serious tone, so when I saw the previews of the movie and that it was being marketed as a comedy – I was in shock. I can see where they got the idea to have a comedy because the things Mark did were unbelievable — something only someone very cocky would do. To describe Mark as “cocky” would be accurate. My memories of him from school are that hewas Mr. Happy-go-lucky without a care in the world. He had high energy and was our “class clown”. He was so popular that he was elected our Senior class president. Everyone loved him. His confidence had to be very high.

    2. The FBI in the book were very professional and methodical. They, too, were in disbelief that Mark did what he did. The scene where he was checking wires in his briefcase and in the lamp were portrayed in the book and they could not believe he was “jeopardizing” the operation by being so cavalier.

    3. Whether mark is bi-polar? Who knows. I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose.

  7. Susan
    I saw the movie and I wouldn’t describe it as a comedy. Perhaps a dark or black comedy.

    I also read the book and it just seemed preposterous that Whitaker took the risks that he did and didn’t seem to realize that even though he was a whistleblower he was still not on the up and up with so many other things.

    I saw the movie with a friend who didn’t read the book and she was dumbfounded by what happened.

    I don’t think the FBI did their homework as thoroughly as they could which also made the movie unbelievable. Through the years we’ve seen the FBI make mistakes. No entity is perfect. The movie did follow the book pretty much. The author did an amazing job of research.

    Both the movie and book allude to mental illness but the movie is more blatant about it.

    I thought Matt Damon did a great acting job. After reading the book he fit the person I imagined and apparently gained 30 or 40 pounds for the role.

  8. Put short and simply I thought this movie particularly was a cesspool of Jewish criticism for us lowly feeble ,stupid, and overweight Gentiles the average American represents. (although most comedy movies follow this cookie cutter design and even share similar criticisms of the society they control and manage) Pack that on with a glorification of greed, class loyalty, and Eugenics and apparently you have the best movie of the decade. What a load of crap. What a pathetic attempt to pin the main character as the bad guy and not the Company doing the international crime. With so many good reviews I wonder if anyone out there has a brain cell left in their empty heads. I found it to be a boring tasteless mud slinging fest aimed at distorting facts.

    I think the movie and the book, which is written like a high school level persuasive essay, definitely puts many of the things corporations do to the mindless innocent masses in a positive light. It also made me want to forget all those bad things I heard about high fructose corn syrup, dangerous food additives, America’s dire health concerns and rising addiction to prescription drugs among other things, without mentioning more than a few actual facts.(this of course is sarcasm much along the lines of what you’d see if you watched the movie) The main point of the movie is about something completely fictional, The price fixing of food additives, something that does not have to be price fixed if you understand anything about the industry. Commodities can be and ARE price fixed, raw materials, like gasoline. Assembled compounds like food additives are to increase food sales. They are added regardless of foreign competition regardless of price, and trust me they consider it worth while. Additives often make the product addictive so that the body cannot satisfy it’s cravings. (many countries around the world don’t allow poisonous food additives as America and many other “Modern” societies do). Also, The lack of “co-operation” between the FBI and large corporations was appalling, the So called “mental disorder” of the main character evidenced by interjecting stupid dialogue every time he has a conversation, seems like grabbing at straws to me. It looks to me like a few corporate heads are still sore about what went on, so much that an example needed to be made, in case anything like that were to happen again. I laughed at how hard the writers/directors tried to cast the lead character as brainless and dopey but not in a good way, this movie made me truly sick to my stomach. But I’m sure it was exactly what was ordered in this time of bailouts and payoffs. In my opinion I think this movie was bought and paid for with the intention of scaring any informants which may be surfacing in our day and age. Maybe they will get the message, so long as they fear the consequence of being another Mark Whittaker.

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