Joshua JacksonFarmer in ChiefMichael PollanAuthor Notes: Michael Pollan is an American author who has written a handful of books, all pertaining to the subject of gardening or food. He is also a professor of journalism at UC Berkleygraduate school. He has both a B.A. and a M.A. degree in English. His writing qualifications are there, but I am unsure how he is fit to talk about ethics in agriculture. Content Notes:
This article was written back in October of 2008, which means that President Obama has just been elected. This is important, because this letter may look a lot different if it was written for our current President.The author points out that unless the food crisis has been improved upon, the other goals that Obama had set out during his campaign would not be reached. For example, Obama really wanted to reform health care, and whether he did or not does not matter, what matters is that people need food in order to be healthy.The author is states that the food industry uses 19% of fossil fuels. I am not sure what thisis referring too, I am not even sure where he got this number from. There are no sources located in this article. “The way we feed ourselves contributes to more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere thananything else we do.” Where is this information coming from? Simply stating “according to one study” is not enough to justify me believing you. Pollan is stating that diabetes and cancer are on the rise due to the American diet, and is also stating that Obama cannot hope to reform these health problems before dealing with the diet. Pollan also says that the food problem is not just a national problem, it is a worldwide problem, because many developing countries rely on food imported from countries like America, and if we cannot keep the prices low, people will starve. People have been paying more attention to where there food comes from. The call for more organic and locally grown produce has risen over the past couple of years, even so much, that there are stores that will only sell organic produce and products. Pollan wants to stop the use of oil when making and growing food, and go back to doing it the old fashioned way, by using the sun (photosynthesis).The author does note that the food economy of today does do one thing well, and that is to provide cheap food, as in the price is cheap, not the quality.A single corn belt farmer can feed 140 people. This is a great statistic, but how can I trust that it is true? Once again, no reference at all so I must solely trust the author is correct.Monocultures do a great job of keeping down the prices, because the government will subsidize farmers that partake in this new way of farming. This also led to monocultures of animal/livestock. With grain prices being so low, farmers could now fatten up animals for a much cheaper price tag.
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