In this article the author, Honor Whiteman, analyzes how components of processed foods can raise one's risk of having certain autoimmune diseases. The types of autoimmune diseases in which she is referring to includes type one diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis. Food additives, which are almost always a part of processed foods have been proven in a variety of studies to weaken the intestines that break down food. This can cause the body to fight against it's own cells, weakening the body. In addition to autoimmune diseases processed foods can also cause obesity and forms of heart disease. This article is not only alarming, but also eye opening as almost all foods today contain some form of food additives.
This article relates to one of our class readings, Pandora's Lunchbox. In this novel Melanie Warner discusses a experiment performed by Harvey Wiley. In his experiment he collected a group of volunteers that became known as the Poison Squad, for he would feed them a variety of food additives that he believed to be harmful to the human body. He proved that a variety of the food additives he was testing were in fact dangerous for humans to consume. This shows that there has been concern surrounding food additives for a very long time and that they are almost always harmful. Also, in Pandora's Lunchbox Warner discusses the process that went into inventing Kraft cheese. Within this process, many food additives were used in order to preserve the cheese. This specific example just shows how common food additives are, and how hard they can be to avoid.
This article also relates to the documentary, Food Inc. In Food Inc. the producers focused on the diseases diabetes and obesity, showing how processed foods can be a main cause to these problems. For example, the film focused on one family in particular showing how their eating habits have affected their health. Within the family, almost all of the members were over weight and the father suffered from diabetes. This is just another example of how processed foods can affect an individual's health.
This article discusses some of the issues that farm workers face on a day-to-day basis. More specifically, farm workers who are immigrants from nearby Mexico. These farmers face a number of problems ranging from little to no break time, being exposed to toxic pesticides, having their own wages being stolen by employers, and being overworked. Most of the immigrant farmers are undocumented; creating another issue. These farmers who are undocumented are terrified to speak up against these poor conditions, pushing them into silence. In order to improve these working conditions a group of activists are trying to pass a bill of rights that will be applied to the farms in Ventura and Santa Barbara.
This article relates to the film Food Inc., in this film the documenters discuss the poor working conditions many immigrant workers face in meat packaging plants. Similar to this article, a good portion of these workers are undocumented and face the possibility of being deported. However, working in these factories is still better compared to not having a job at all in Mexico. This leaves the workers to deal with the poor conditions and to live in fear. This article also relates to Tracie McMillan's The American Way of Eating, she experienced for herself what it is like to work as a farmer. She faced some of the same issues as the California farm workers in the article I found. She also faced extremely long work days with only a thirty minute lunch break and earned a very low salary. In addition to these working conditions her home life was also unpleasant where she would live in a small trailer or share a house with other workers. All three of these resources prove that there needs to be improvements regarding migrant farmer's working conditions.
In this article, the author Max Ehrenfreund takes a closer look at some of the eating habits of Americans. As knowledge increases pertaining to health and healthy foods a variety of changes have been seen. Wealthy Americans are starting to change their eating habits, disposing of the empty calories and replacing them with whole grains and produce. However, this can't be said for poor Americans, whose diets have barely changed throughout the past couple of years. This can be due to many things, for one; healthy food is often more expensive than processed foods. Also, some Americans under the poverty line don't have access to information pertaining to their health and food. Another interesting topic that Ehrenfreund brings up is the idea to ban food stamp recipients from using their food stamps to buy empty calorie, sugary items such as soda and candy. These products provide no nutritional benefit to these indivials and buying wholesome foods instead might be a better choice. Although this seems like a good idea it is important to keep in mind one's freedoms as a individual.
However, Mark Bittman would disagree with me in the statement that healthy food is more expensive than processed foods. In his article, Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? he explains that healthy, home cooked food can actually be cheaper than fast food. Also, some argue that eating processed foods allow you to gain weight faster and are more filling. Bittman also counters this argument stating that a home cooked meal can actually contain more calories and can have more nutritional value. Pittman explains that the best way to get people to change their eating habits is to get people to want to eat real food and to make sure real food is affordable and available to everyone.
The article I found also relates to the article Do Poor People Eat Badly Because of Food Deserts or Personal Preference by Tracie McMillian. McMillan explains that there are many reasons as to why those below the poverty line often eat more unhealthy foods. In her eyes in order to fix this problem there are a variety of factors that need to be addressed. For example we need to focus on supermarkets, cooking skills, agriculture, work-life balance, and many more. This just proves that the correlation because obesity and low-income families is a complicated issue that won't be resolved over night.
In this article the author, Ray Dorsey discusses how the methods of McDonaldization are slowly changing the medical field. He relates his argument to George Ritzer's four dimensions of McDonaldization including efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control. Medicine is turning into a process based on quantity, speed, and easy solutions. Instead of being a personal, in depth experience healthcare is becoming very brief and straight to the point. In some cases it is irrelevant whether the solution made is the best one for the patient, as long as it is quick and somewhat effective. Although the medical field does need to follow the four dimensions to some extent, they need to do so in moderation. Taking care of someone can't follow the same guidelines as making a cheeseburger.
This article clearly relates to our reading, The McDonaldization of Society by George Ritzer for it is based on all of his key points. This reading showed that medicine is a main component of our everyday society, and that it is starting to follow the McDonaldization process. Ritzer explains that our society is replacing human experiences with "nonhuman technologies". These technologies are used to speed up the process of healthcare and is in return taking away the personal touch of doctors. Other than the fast food industry and medicine, entertainment, sports, pregnancy, child birth, and death are also being McDonaldized. Ritzer shows that almost everything around us in becoming a victim to McDonaldization.
This article also reminded me of the film, Fed Up. This film takes a closer look at the negative effects processed foods and lack of exercise can have on an individual. Having a poor lifestyle can lead to many consequences such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems. After reading this article I have to wonder if these individuals will be able to receive the treatment that they need. Or instead, will they be left with a quick, and easy solution that won't help them in the long run. McDonaldization can be harmful to individuals and can affect them without them even realizing it.
Food and Climate Change World Food Day Highlights Climate Change In this article, the author discusses the events that took place at World Food Day in Rome in October. One of the main topics that was discussed was the fact that climate change is affecting our food supply. One important point made by Ertharin Cousin from the World Food Program was "climate change is not waiting, neither can we." If we keep using our current methods, we will eventually run out of water and will have emitted so many greenhouse gases that the Earth won't be able to produce anymore food. One discussion topic of World Food Day was the search of finding ways to produce enough food that can feed our growing population, while doing so in a more Earth-friendly way. In addition, the world needs to find solutions pertaining to the amount of waste we produce while trying to feed the planet. All of these problems need to solved fast, as time is ticking and our actions are irreversible.
This relates to the article, How To Feed the World After Climate Change by Mark Hertsgaard. In this article Hertsgaard discusses the idea of changing the way our agriculture system works. Hertsgaard thinks we need to take using genetically modified seeds a step further. In order to feed the world we need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the air and we need to make farm land able to sustain climate impacts. Eliminating the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is not only a goal of Hertsgaard but also to the contributors of World Food Day. This seems like the most important step regarding saving our food system for these gases can't simply be taken out of the atmosphere and are multiplying at extremely fast rates.
This article also reminded me of one of Mark Bittmann's articles, Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler. Bitten analyzes the negative effects of meat consumption from health concerns to how it is one of many causes of climate change. The process of producing meat requires a lot of energy, including growing the animal feed, running slaughter houses, and transportation. In addition, raising animals requires a lot of land. More specifically, Bittmann states that 30 percent of the land on Earth is used for livestock production. Although meat consumption wasn't directly mentioned in the World Food Day article, I'm sure this was one of many pressing topics regarding climate change and our food systems.