Omnivore's Dilemma - Wiggins 1 Ryan Wiggins Professor...

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Wiggins 1 -1Ryan Wiggins Professor Jensen FS 301 24 September 2007 The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals An investigative venture into the true contents of the food humans consume on a regular basis, The Omnivore’s Dilemma exposes undesired truths to those partaking in the process of eating. Not one of the four meals is spared it’s fair deal of careful examination, down to the smallest factors, such as the methods of shipment and preservation. Ultimately, the book cycles around and probes into the depths of a single question: What should we eat? Pollan begins with probably the most difficult exploration, the enormous complex of sources (or so I initially thought) that make up the industrial food industry. Contrary to my blind perception, Pollan immediately informs that cornfields in Iowa are “the place most of our food comes from” (35). He leads a highly detailed description of the actual processes involved in industrial corn farming as well as a history to how it came to it’s current state, beginning with the conception of corn itself. Needless to say, during the transformation several changes took place. Driven by capitalism rather than the need to nourish bodies, it became a system fixated on prices and quantity rather than product quality (62). Farmers were forced to identify more with businessmen for the simple purpose of keeping their farms in existence (52). The idea that such a self-efficient person was suckered into a rather hopeless structure appears to me as an abomination. Due to government ordered regulations, an honest trade becomes an ongoing machine that isn’t
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Wiggins 2 beneficial to the consumer or the producer. Not just is the corn industry appalling, but the fact that we are so dependent upon it stirs emotions. The importance of a varied diet is not considered by major chains of food production as “calories are calories, and corn is the cheapest, most convenient source of calories on the market” (75). Another factor of industrial food includes the massive feedlots in which “large quantities of corn [are fed] to cows for the greater part of their lives” (75). This goes further to exemplify the attachment to zea mays and the lack of moral concern in the overall process. The animals
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course FS 301 taught by Professor Wood during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Omnivore's Dilemma - Wiggins 1 Ryan Wiggins Professor...

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