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    Synthesis in the Food Industry

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    Clearfield High School

    Part 1

    Fast food and processed foods, worldwide influences, have become major issues in modern society with various authors taking opposing view-points. This synthesis and response paper examines three differing opinions, focusing on three areas of concern; the food industry, individual responsibility, and the modern eating experience. Wendell Berry (2009) discusses the importance of being an active consumer in order to make eating a pleasurable act. Louise Fresco (2009) argues that the food-industry is much needed in the modern world, but reforms should be made. Finally, Michael Pollan (2007) asserts that although the food industry and food science are important, it is far more beneficial for an individual to eat a simple diet of natural food.

    Part 2

    The strongest area of concern investigates the importance of the food industry and has been discussed by those such as Wendell Berry, Louise Fresco, and Michael Pollan. Berry (1990) believes that humans are eaters, not consumers and that we should be more knowledgeable about the food that we eat. He wants his audience to question where their food is coming from, what condition it was grown or produced in, and what chemicals and nutrients it may contain. Berry argues that the food industry has blinded us to what we are eating and drinking and the effects that the ingredients can have on our health.

    Opposingly, Fresco (2009) argues that the food industry has a positive effect on consumers. Without mass-produced food, a majority of the population would be starving. She also asserts that although the industry can be reformed, it has been more beneficial than harmful, it has provided billions of individuals with food. Taking the middle ground, Pollan (2007) discusses the value of eating a simple diet but understands that the food industry is profitable and will not go away any time soon.

    Another strong area of concern discussed by Berry, Fresco, and Pollan is the modern eating experience. Berry (1990) asserts that modern individuals hurry through meals, leading them to not be pleasurable. He holds the opinion that there has been a shift from thinking that food is an agricultural act to thinking that it is an agricultural product.

    As a result of the shift, food has become an abstract idea, consumers do not think about what they are eating, which, in turn, makes eating a less pleasurable act. Berry argues that this is the fault of the modern food industry, that in order to improve their eating experience, consumers need to be a part of the agricultural experience. Fresco (2009) also believes that the food industry is an integral part of the modern food experience, but she argues that the world cannot go back to small-scale food production, as there are too many people to feed.

    Finally, some authors, such as Berry (1990) and Pollan (2007), discuss the consumers’ responsibility to make health conscious decisions. Berry believes that industrialism is a trap and the way to escape this trap is to avoid being a passive consumer. He has found that the food industries blind individuals to what they are consuming and the effect that it has on them.

    In order to avoid ignorance, the consumer must participate in the agricultural experience and obtain more knowledge about the food they eat. Berry argues that the only way to live free is to eat responsibly. Similarly, Pollan discusses the importance of consumers being knowledgeable about the food that they eat. He argues that individuals know very little about nutrition and that food science can be very deceiving. Although, taking on an opposing view to Berry, Pollan believes that food science and the industry surrounding it can be very beneficial, as long as consumers fully understand the knowledge that scientists are providing them.

    Part 3

    Berry (1990) provides a very valid point, and honestly, it might be a good idea. Although, I thought the theory itself was very idealistic and biased. Personally, I do not consider food to be a poison in my body, whether it is unhealthy or not. Although, I understand that processed food can be harmful, it is up to me to determine my relationship with food. By determining this relationship, I am doing the opposite of what Berry expects, I am taking pleasure in my food.

    The food industry has the ability to be harmful if you, the consumer, lets it be. Along with that, I also agree with Berry that consumers have become passive, but that does not mean that all of them are oblivious. Overall, I enjoyed hearing Berry’s argument and thought that parts of his theory could be beneficial, but I think he took his ideas to the extreme.

    Fresco (2009) had an interesting and refreshing argument that the food industry has many advantages. Out of the three articles discussed, I agree with Fresco’s opinion the most. Despite its downfalls, the mechanization of the food industry has allowed many to survive as the world’s population has grown.

    Along with this, the world cannot go back to small-scale farming simply because there are so many people to feed. I also agree with her point that the industry also has many downfalls and that we need other solutions. Technology can be very beneficial if we allow it to help us improve the quality of our food, not just the quantity.

    Personally, her argument was very enjoyable to me because it was an interesting twist on the idea that the food industry can only be harmful. Although I also agree that there needs to be reforms, it was pleasant to hear a more positive argument.

    Lastly, I agreed with Pollan (2007) that food should be simple, not complex. It can be very confusing trying to figure out what nutrients or fad diets are the most beneficial in the current world we live in, we are constantly being told what new vitamins to take or what new superfoods to try, it was rejuvenating to hear that all we need to do is simplify our diets.

    Although, I think his argument was idealistic. As far as I understand, it would be impossible to not have any processed foods in the world that we live in. I think that his argument was a compelling one, but it is far too impractical to execute.

    To conclude, the debate brought about by the modern era of food does not have a simple answer and involves many conflicting opinions. Most authors agree that the way society views food needs to be reformed in order to make healthy relationships with food and the food industry. Although I did not personally agree with all of the viewpoints discussed, they all made valid points.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Synthesis in the Food Industry. (2022, Dec 09). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/synthesis-in-the-food-industry/

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