You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 5 pages?
Unformatted text preview: Sylvia Sheng
English Period 2
Portfolio Essay #2 One of the biggest concerns nowadays is whether Americans should consume more
healthy green food or should they follow the traditional eating habit of consuming meat and
types of processed products as their primary diet. While three articles all acknowledge the side
effects of having processed, sugar-laden food, they each approach this problem with different
measures. While the author of Bad Food? Tax it, and Subsidize Vegetables addresses the
problem by imposing taxes on bad food, the article Attacking the Obesity Epidemic by First
Figuring Out Its Cause takes a step further, advocating healthy dietary options through education
for our younger generation. The author of No Lunch Left Behind, on the other hand, focuses
solely on students and their lunch program, suggesting a more collective cooperation among
Congress, the USDA and the Education Department.
In Bad Food? Tax it, and Subsidize Vegetables, Mark Bittman utilizes extensive
statistical information to demonstrate the benefit of imposing taxes on unhealthy food. He deems
that it is the most efficient solution to disencourage the current trend of consuming bad food.
Given the fact that the food industry is greatly propelled by profit, Bittman argues that it is the
U.S. government’s responsibility to conduct stricter regulations. However, in Attacking the
Obesity Epidemic by First Figuring Out Its Cause, Jane E. Brody also proposes that the big food corporations have to reduce “junk food” advertisements to children as well as presenting a “more
obvious nutrition labeling”. Despite the fact that both Bittman and Brody are both positive about
imposing taxes on unhealthy food, Brody suggests that a more comprehensive approach should
be adopted instead of solely depending upon taxations.
Moreover, Brody believes that school-based program should also be included in order to
“encourage healthier eating and exercise habits and to reduce television watching” among
students. This proposal was in accordance with the idea proposed in No Lunch Left Behind. In
No Lunch Left Behind article, Alice Waters and Katrina Heron believe that one of the most
important actions that the Department of Education should undertake, is a role in educating
students as to what constitutes better eating habits. Waters and Katrina put their emphasis on the
food programs in school. In their opinion, it is insufficient for schools to prepare a healthy, fresh
lunch with only $9 billion towards the program costs. In order to solve this issue, they suggest
that Congress should invest three times as much as they are spending now in the school lunch
program by “taking up the Child Nutrition and Women Infants and Children Reauthorization
Another difference among these three articles is that Bad Food? Tax it, and Subsidize
Vegetables and No Lunch Left Behind evaluate the issue of consuming bad food based upon the
current situation whereas Attacking the Obesity Epidemic by First Figuring Out Its Cause tackles
this issue retrospectively by examining the diet history of American people. Rather than directly
pointing out the eating habit issues that are currently plaguing American society as Bittman and
Waters do, Brody attempts to discover the cause of it. In her article, she portrays how women and technology’s roles have changed in society
over the past century. The technology, according to Brody, was advanced enough to not only
create “labor-saving devices and automobiles”, but it could also produce “convenience food...
rich in sugar, salt and fat” on a large scale. Moreover, Brody points out the fact that since women
were more liberated and gained more equality, they were more likely to have a job other than just
being a housewife. The lack of time for women to prepare meals at home, to some extent,
contributed to the popularity of processed food. In these cases, she argues that both technology
and social change have encouraged people to exercise less while eat more conveniently. This
change in social dynamic has made the foundation of America's current unhealthy eating culture.
With this realization in mind, instead of solely using taxes and subsidies as means of incentives
for the general public, Brody’s additional proposal of starting school based programs not only
wants to solve the problem of eating unhealthy food, but more importantly, she implies that it is
a food culture that we should be working hard to break. In order to reverse this culture, the
government should put more focuse on the younger generation in hope that their education
would change their stereotype about “green and healthy food” and start a brand new eating habit.
These three articles all have the same consent that the government should play a key role
in preventing Americans from consuming unhealthy food. However, they do have different
measures and evaluations regarding this issue. While Brittman is a firm advocator for taxing
unhealthy food and subsidising healthier food choices as a strong incentive, Brody on the other
hand, thinks that in order to diminish such long-established habits, education and cooperation
with the food industry are also warranted. Last but not least, Waters and Katrina, in their article
No Lunch Left Behind, believe that the U.S. government should pass laws and improve school lunch programs in order to cope with the rise in childhood diabetes, as well as other health
disorders related to poor dietary choices. ...
View Full Document
- Spring '17