Studies have shown that many individuals everywhere in the world are unaware of the place their food comes from. When a person goes to devour a food product, he or she could presumably be utterly oblivious to the methods of manufacture, processing, packaging or transportation gone into the production of the food item. It is usually mentioned that ‘ignorance is bliss’ – maybe this rings true in the case of meals, its origins and its consumption as nicely. In such a state of affairs, eating well could look like an unlikely prospect.
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The definition of ‘eating well’ in modern instances appears to have gone from consuming healthily, to eating ethically.
The manner in which food is produced and consumed has modified extra rapidly up to now fifty years than it has within the previous ten thousand years (Pollan and Schlosser, 2008). With this swift transformation, numerous moral points got here to the fore. Food production is now accomplished giant scale in factories, somewhat than in farms. Mass manufacturing of varied forms of food, from crops and vegetables to seafood and meat, may be very much the norm.
The incontrovertible truth that food is mass produced these days is already one thing that a lot of people have no idea about. The purpose behind that is that food producing companies don’t need the consumers – their customers – to know too much in regards to the meals manufacturing industry (Pollan and Schlosser, 2008), in the worry that customer loyalty might be misplaced upon their finding out various truths. To retain their customer base, based on documentary movie ‘Food, Inc.
’, narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, the image related to food in the United States of America is that of an American farmer. Various motifs plastered throughout meals packaging and ads for food merchandise, corresponding to green pastures for grazing cattle, picket fences, the standard farmhouse, huge meadows and, most importantly, the farmer, lead shoppers to imagine that their food nonetheless comes from farms, or at least a pastoral version of small time cottage industries. With these motifs constantly pervading the sensibilities of the typical American client, it is little marvel that the consumer continues to ‘eat unethically’ – they’re merely in the dark. Because what these motifs characterize could not be further from the reality. The obvious crop central to all mass meals manufacturing, as proven on ‘Food Inc’ (Pollan and Schlosser, 2008) and alluded to in Pollan’s e-book, ‘In The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ (2006), is corn. Corn is used in an unlimited assortment of ways in the meals manufacturing trade. Besides, of course, being a food crop for direct consumption by humans, it is used to make a variety of components in processed food too, corresponding to excessive fructose corn syrup, ascorbic acid, xanthan gum, et cetera. Corn can also be a major constituent of animal fodder, and is fed to virtually all types of livestock.
These embody animals that are not meant, by evolution, to eat corn, similar to cattle and fish (Pollan and Schlosser, 2008). The huge demand for corn is just counterbalanced by the massive supply of corn in the United States. This is due to the American government subsidising the price of production of corn, encouraging corn farmers to supply greater than the quantity is actually required. Because of such heavy subsidies, corn becomes extraordinarily low cost, produced at merely a fraction of its cost of manufacturing, and ends in an unlimited scale of production of corn. This method of overproduction and consumption of corn alone raises a few ethical points. First of all, the feeding of corn to cows and fish – not the natural meals of such animals – causes immense problems to those animals, which might result in serious repercussions to humankind as nicely. Take for instance, the feeding of corn to cows. Because corn is produced extremely cheaply, meat manufacturers are inclined to use corn as their alternative of feed for their livestock, in order to minimize down on the promoting price of meat. Studies have shown that feeding corn to cows has introduced concerning the emergence of a new, acid resistant pressure of E.coli micro organism (Pollan and Schlosser, 2008). This, coupled with the horrible rearing circumstances of the cows, causes the model new pressure of E.coli to get into the meat meant to be finally offered. This strain of micro organism has proven to be dangerous, having claimed the lives of many people. Knowing this, the anticipated public reaction would be an outcry against the meals manufacturing business, demanding answers and higher, better checks of food producing companies. However, even such reactions could not yield any everlasting options. According to ‘Food Inc.’, food regulatory bodies are being led by people from the very companies they’re meant to regulate. This has appeared to cause certain food monitoring measures to turn out to be relaxed, such as a pointy decline in number of checks conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States, from 50 000 in 1972, to 9164 in 2006. One woman’s fixed lobbying for higher checks and regulation after her son, Kevin, passed away due to contaminated meals led to a ‘Kevin’s Law’, which, six years into her efforts, still had not been handed (Pollan and Schlosser, 2008).
There is little surprise that the meals produced nowadays is getting increasingly more harmful for consumption. Given these circumstances, ‘eating well’ has turn into even more unlikely – the general public’s efforts to control the standard of their food gets constantly thwarted by highly effective corporate and political institutions. Still, all doesn’t seem to be misplaced. Some farmers are recognising the need to ‘de-industrialise’ the production of foodstuff. Michael Pollan’s ‘All Flesh is Grass’ talks about a ‘grass farmer’, Joel Salatin, who is a non industrial producer of meals, and whose strategies of manufacturing revolve around grass. (2006). ‘Big Organic’, another article by the identical author, describes how meals products in the whole meals aisle are correctly farmed, as opposed to mass manufactured, due to this fact being processed or refined as little as potential. There are two downsides to be famous in both instances. For one, Joel Salatin produces foodstuff just for the local inhabitants, and expressly refuses to provide meat and different animal by-products from his relatively more healthy cattle all over the nation. As a outcome, his ideas of rearing animals, versus manufacturing them, by feeding them what they are meant to as an alternative of cheaply obtained corn, are restricted to the borders of Swoope, Virginia (Pollan, 2008). On the other hand, to produce such merchandise to numerous components of the nation, or the world, would fly within the face of the idea of sustainable food production practices. This presents fairly a paradox. Another downside can be the added expense of consuming whole foods within the place of processed and mass produced food.
One of the core causes for choosing to malnourish animals by blanket feeding them corn, regardless of the adverse implications, was the resultant driving down of cost of manufacturing of meat. This is how the common American shopper is ready to put away 200 pounds of meat every year (Pollan and Schlosser, 2008), otherwise such large quantities of meat may not be as simply produced. People nowadays have the choice of buying meat and animal by-products derived from ‘freerange animals’ – referring to animals that are left to roam freely to feed, as an alternative of limiting their motion in enclosures – for barely more cash. In economic terms, shoppers seek merchandise that minimises prices whereas maximising benefit. In this case, consumers are ostensibly unmoved by the prospect of consuming meat and other merchandise from ethically raised animals, favouring as an alternative, the cheaper, corn fed, mass produced alternate options. With this mentality to start with, ethical eating habits would be difficult to foster. Completely giving up consumption of animal products and by-products completely (i.e. becoming vegan) has changing into a rising phenomenon all round the world. It seems, to many vegan converts, to be the move that might galvanise the promotion of sustainable agriculture and animal welfare into action. However, based on an article on The Conversation, ‘Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s extra animal blood on your hands’, turning vegan, or even merely vegetarian, could be extra detrimental than useful (The Conversation, 2011). To provide the additional vegetation required to feed the altering diets of Australians alone would imply clearing native flora and fauna off arable land ‘the dimension of Victoria plus Tasmania’ (The Conversation, 2011) – already killing off a vast amount of animals and native plants to make means for plant based meals. The above scenarios only serve to confuse the patron even additional. Most customers don’t have any method around purchasing food off the supermarket shelves which might be, as a rule, tainted by ethical quandaries similar to animal welfare issues etc. They additionally don’t exactly have the choice of adjusting their diets to spare the lives of animals, as the result might be more damaging that the present scenario. As such, an ostensible deadlock seems to present itself regarding this problem. In my opinion, ‘eating well’ – ethically, and with as little animal blood on consumers’ palms – will never truly be viable in fashionable society.
Bibliography: Pollan, M. (2006), ‘All Flesh is Grass’, In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Penguin Press: New York, pp. 123-133 Pollan, M., Schlosser, E., 2008, ‘Food Inc.’,
Available at: [Accessed nineteenth May, 2013] Pollan, M. (2006) ‘Big Organic’, In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Penguin Press: New York, pp. 134-184. The Conversation, 2011, ‘Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands’ [online] Available at: [Accessed nineteenth May, 2013]