Friday, January 13, 2012

T, 5:40pm

22 comments:

Andy Westbrook said...

I think the TIME article touches on some key points about the food industry in this country, however I think it misses on some key issues as well. What about the moral responsibility of the food manufacturers to provide its consumers with a quality, healthy product? I understand we live in a free market economic system and the sole purpose of monstrous corporations is to make profits, but what about the people running these corporations? Do they have any type of obligation to us? The food industry is unique because it is essential to human survival, without food, we die, and we are way past our hunters and gatherers days, so we need food companies to provide us with food.
In todays world of healthier foods being much more expensive then processed foods, I think the food companies should practice some moral judgement in how they provide us with food. “Tyson Foods generated $26.7 billion dollars in revenue in 2009”, I completely support their ability to make money and operate as a corporation. “Tyson differentiates itself from other beef producers around the world by feeding its cattle grain, as opposed to grass. Grass is the natural diet of cattle, and has no undue effect on their gastrointestinal systems. However, grain feeding allows them to grow larger and at an accelerated rate, resulting in greater profits.”
What if Tyson foods sacrificed a few billion dollars in profit to invest in grass fed cattle farms to provide the very people giving them those huge profits with a more healthy product that was better for you in the long run and better tasting? At the same time maybe contributing more than just a bottom line to the world but actually contributing to the greater good of society, something that can benefit us as a whole in a positive way.
With that being said I believe there is a ZERO chance of that happening with any major food company or any massive corporation out there. We are to programed into our greedy little ways. The only chance is in new companies, created by younger fresher minds who see potential in thinking outside the box. I believe its up to the next generation of entrepreneurs who can blend profits and business which benefit the greater good of the people.

Elaine Reinoso said...

Andy, you have a great point and idea as to our next generation being the ones who can save their next generation from keeping our families away from dangerous foods.

This article has an enormous amount of information, its an eye opener for the consumer of these easy and inexpensive foods; and movies like Food Inc., Super size me, etc. are what we need to see more and more each day. We need advertising to help us pick whats right instead of destroy our farmers, community, animals, and health. It seems as the "eco-friendly" trend only applies to certain things in this world. These mass companies producing larger quantities of meats and dairy products which not only put consumers to risk but also the world its self with pollution and degrading the earths value by tossing waste causing an all around poor environment for everyone.

More lands for our animals, more jobs for farmers, more grass, less antibiotics, less corn, less unhealthy food choices. I was always curious about why preservatives, fertilizers, sodium, and all these ingredients were put into our food and yet these foods were cheaper. It just means these CAFO's need to buy more antibiotics, medicine, corn, machinery, fertilizer, pay more scientist for solutions to more mass production for their products, more employees, more- more- more... The owners of CAFO'S only think about money, bribing for better health insurance for employees, and who knows what else. We throw our money away by purchasing foods that are unhealthy and quite frankly WE are the reason why this is all happening. WE have become lazy, people don't want to walk miles to pick up fruits and veggies or be in a farm land in the day time catching up a sweat. Even in a daily life, getting that parking close to the entrance of the supermarket or passing through the drive-through because were to lazy, taking the elevator instead of the stairs. This is why obesity is such an epidemic.

Cooking a meal has also become a mission, the "no time to cook" seems to always slip out of our mouths. We have time to get in our car, go shopping, go to the movies, then drive to McDonalds, pick-up a happy meal, drive back home, sit in front of the TV, but no time to cook a well balanced and healthy meal for your family. Even if we make an unhealthy choice, make that into a smaller portion and instead of the happy meal, bake a potato or fries, make your own chicken tenders at home, add a salad. Simple ways to be healthier only takes one choice.

Here is when the phrase "less is more" can apply, nothing is good to the extreme. As Rebecca said in her article that Bon Appetite focuses on low carb diet, smaller portions, less meat and dairy. They provide quality and good tasting food for their employees. Conciseness means choosing healthier. Is that burger or potato chip really worth your health?

Alexander Horruitiner said...

It seems that greed is the greatest motivator mankind has. Money helps turn a blind eye to the problems that plague us, such as the horrible ways in which our food industry has grown. It is often said that the next generation will solve our problems, that they will come up with a solution. That's what our parents said, and theirs before them.
The food industry has rapidly grown to meet the demand for cheap food in our country and around the globe. Many people complain that eating healthy is too expensive, that there is no time to cook. These same people waste tons of money on electronics, entertainment, and trivialities that are all things they want, not need. The food industry continues to grow into very powerful corporations that create and handle the food we eat. I'm sure that a corporations biggest concern is anything but public health.
The fact I find most troubling is the way companies are genetically altering our food. Not to be more beneficial to our health, but to make them resistant to viruses and pesticides so that they can spray chemicals to kill bugs and leave the plants alive, thereby yielding larger crops and more profits. These companies have even patented the seeds they use so that they can monopolize the market, and are venturing into other aspects of genetic engineering, such as altering cows to produce more milk. The future of the food industry looks very troubling.
If you are interested in learning about one of the largest companies that produce genetically engineered plants, this article highlights the way they do business very well.
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/monsanto200805

Mitchell Holder said...

Personally I have seen the horrific videos and read worse articles on how animals that are raised purely for food are treated, which is the issue that concerns me the most among the problems raised in this article. Also, our government should stop subsidizing corn, but they should have stopped a long time ago. It started in the 20’s when farmers actually needed the subsidies, now its big business lobbyists who ask for the money while complaining that people getting unemployment and food stamps should stop getting hand outs. Without corn subsidies, grass fed meat may have a fighting chance to be competitively priced. As far as Americans love of bacon and the like; other people’s diet and/or obesity does not affect me. Companies are always going to do whatever is in the best interest of the company, and that is to make the most money, immorally if necessary. You almost can’t blame them for this; it’s the way they were designed. Don’t expect companies or industries to regulate themselves, including the food industry. If you want fewer antibiotics in your food, you need a regulation for it. If you want better treatment for animals, you need a regulation for it. And stiff penalties for violators. Good luck getting our government leaders to do what’s right for the American people when it goes against what’s best for big business. Your best bet is to get these two interests aligned, but that’s rare if ever.

A.T. said...

I need more comments here!!

Daniel Acero said...

I think all these articles help us to understand and to be aware of the type of cruelty done to some animals. They lived in overcrowded cages, stalls, or sheds where they are often unable to move around, deprived of any type of care, exercise, freedom or even the feeling of being outdoors.
The question is what can we actually do about it? Are we really concerned about how animals are treated when in the end we will buy the product they have become? Would you feel better if they actually had a better life? In my opinion, only if you become a vegan, you are actually helping this cause. I don’t think we will get to that point anytime soon.
Also we need to keep in mind that animal cruelty happens not only to sell food but also to test shampoos, household cleaners, cosmetics, hair sprays, and other personal care and household items.
Do we really read what products are made of? From my personal experience, I think most of us don’t.
So in the end I don’t think we can’t actually do much about helping or changing the lifestyle of these pigs or other animals for that matter. This is the society we choose to live in, unfortunately it is sad but this is the world we have created.

Georgette Dixon said...

The article discusses some very important details regarding the food industry in this country and it is obvious that America’s lack of good nutrition has created an epidemic of obesity and degenerative diseases in our society. Nutrition has become a non-factor when we outline these issues. Enhanced and highly priced foods have taken over healthier produce, which has threatened the environment and our welfare. The best way to combat this plague is to encourage good health, through Organic foods. Organic foods have fewer toxins and provide nutrients that our bodies use to defend against certain bacteria and diseases. These products are free of pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and additives; therefore maintaining their integrity. It utilizes natural soil, microorganisms, and worms that help plants absorb nutrients that naturally ward off insects and disease, and are free of pollutants. The process in which we farm now is destroying our soil and the environment. Many in the agricultural community, as well as consumers, are becoming more aware of this destruction. This is why efforts are being implemented nationally to help sustain and promote good nutrition and healthy living habits.

Erik Montes de Oca said...

My opinion on this topic is that, these large food companies have over saturated the market with big business practices and have jeopardized the quality of food we consume as Americans making low quality foods easily accessible and sold at a low price endorsed by commercials and media through aggressive advertising. Since the invention of canned foods and the frozen meal big companies slowly began to introduce lower quality, higher tasting food options that where easily accessible and prepared in addition, cheap to buy and high in fats and additives which effect our health. Not till the 80's did our society notice the epidemic that obesity is today due to these low quality foods that where put out their so we could become hooked on them like drugs. Our society eating habits are largely geared toward eating these unhealthy food options due to the accessibility and the low cost. The only way we can change things is if we teach our children to eat healthier food options and explain to them from an early age what these low cost highly addictive foods due to us and the environment. Big Companies are going to continue to do what they do as long as they make their money so we can not depend on government to help us make a change we need young people to take a stand and think outside the box and change the way we eat for the next generation and break the cycle.

Joel Sola said...

First, I must declare that that was quite an interesting article and an absolute eye opener. For the most part, we know that eating certain foods is worse for your overall health than others. What is disturbing is that those foods, namely meat and dairy, are being manufactured in a way that is turning them into even unhealthier choices than they already are. This is unacceptable. We are brought up to believe that these are staples of our everyday diet, when in fact they should be not be consumed so frequently. To paraphrase the article, they simply industrialized the entire food market and geared it in a direction that would turn in the most profit, no matter how bad it would be for us overall. I believe we absolutely have the power to combat this issue. One measure we must take is to alter our diets. Funny that I should say alter but what I really mean is to eat a normal diet. The article did say that we eat much more meat than the rest of the world. The biggest step we can take to fight this, however, is education. More eyes have to be opened to see what is really going on right under their noses. Once more people know just how bad this is for you the decision to eat healthier should become that much easier. Though, another point made by TIME is the fact that eating better is actually more costly. The only way around this is to make certain changes. I don’t want to imply that everyone has to grow their own gardens or raise their own cattle (though not an awful idea), but perhaps go out and support local farmers and buy organic products exclusively. These big industrialized food corporations really hold no responsibility for our health. This is a capitalist, free market economy. Their goal is to make a profit. This much we can understand. What we have to now understand is that we have just as much right to say no to their products and try to buy what is best for us. If we all turn down what they have to offer and shop wisely, this problem would soon disappear.

Tara Tona said...

I think that Elizabeth G. (8.25am class) made a very intelligent point, stating that essentially we all cast our "vote" each time we decide to buy a certain product.

The issue of food production/consumption ultimately boils down to the collective choices of the masses. It seems apparent that the majority of Americans choose to eat cheaply and poorly, both for economic reasons ("cheap" food is.. cheap) and because many un-nutritious foods offer instant pleasure (lots of sugar, grease, sodium, and fillers). While I don't believe that food manufacturers have a moral responsibility to offer wholesome foods, I do think it should be their legal responsibility to have FAR MORE transparency regarding the methods and ingredients used to produce any type of consumable food product. In order for us to make informed decisions about what we eat, we must have access to the true and real information about our food. We make choices every day, and shouldn't what we fuel our bodies with be one of the most critical choices we make?

Additionally, animals which are raised for consumption deserve more respect and much, much, MUCH better treatment. Quite frankly I think that the all of the Big Food Companies have such abhorrent animal-handling practices that they should be shut down on the basis of inhumanity. The way we as individuals can improve the food system is exactly like Elizabeth said--we each cast our vote every time we buy an item at the store. Get informed, and buy wisely.

paola said...

As I was growing up, the worst of eating hot dogs, sometimes hamburger and other fast food was that it was processed with the leftover of the good meet and fat. However, it still came from naturally grown animals. Although it might look like this was a long time ago, it wasn’t. In some parts of the world food not so affected by chemicals can still be found. Therefore, if it wasn’t for the big corporations just thinking on getting reach, and not only brainwashing people, but also leaving small companies with no choice but to follow their steps, things could be different. All I’m trying to say is that it seems like mankind only care about making profits. We are destroying ourselves just for the sake of making some money. Furthermore; even though we know fast food is not healthy and that animals are being treated with unthinkable cruelty, most of us still eat it. This is in part because of subliminal messages that we receive continuously through commercials, sings, among other things. This is also because people just care about practical things that seemingly make life easier.
I strongly believe that if we are willing to make the efforts and rebel against big brainwasher corporations, and that if we start asking for a healthy and better life, we can go back to those days where natural and organic food was the main thing. It is a rather complex task, but we can do it!

Daniel Saturno said...

As some of us have already mentioned, it is true that every time we make the decision of purchasing a product that lacks integrity by the way they are produced, we are somehow collaborating with the big corporations to keep on creating and providing these poor quality products and also to maintain the cruel slaughtering and the animal mistreatment that they have been applying without proper conscience through all these years. The problem is that there are a couple of issues regarding this topic. It is not that simple. We have to take in deep consideration that we are currently living in a country in which one pound of organic (that meaning unprocessed, and naturally grown in a traditional environment) ground beef, for example, is considerably more expensive than a much larger quantity of ground beef that’s full of hormones and antibiotics. The people that aren’t aware of the difference between both types wouldn’t even think about purchasing the more expensive choice. Why would you do that if the only thing you knew is that they’re both ground beef portions? A big part of this problem comes from the people's lack of awareness regarding the issue. However, another factor to take into consideration is that an important fraction of the people–regardless on their awareness level towards the problem– is not always able to afford buying the higher quality food all the time. They are somewhat obliged to choose the cheaper option because that’s what fits their budgets better.

I believe that there’s no way to turn this around a whole 180 degrees. As of now, what each of us can do is to try and create awareness on this topic. Spread the word and do what’s within our reach to open other people’s eyes regarding this wrongful pandemic that won’t stop growing. By changing our habits; choosing natural, choosing unprocessed, and supporting the smaller, organic farms we will be able to make a change. This is currently an emerging trend; people are already starting to grow some conscience about all of this. It is now more than ever when we must try and do our part to create something better.

Yisleny Vazquez said...

This article is an eye opener. I would have never thought that the food that I would eat would be tortured beforehand. I guess that since the pigs are being overfed corn then we are not getting the regular nutrients out of our meat products. The insanity that these companies are causing will affect us in the long run because they are polluting the air, our water supply, and the excessive amount of antibiotics will probably change the quality of the meat that we are eating. I understand that we are responsible as much as these companies because we are the ones that get to decide what we eat, and the knowledge on such foods is out there but most of us decide to satisfy our hunger with these quick fixes without realizing of all the damages that we are causing to our health such as obesity. Also there should be a control on the condition that these food industries produce these meat products to better the environment's atmosphere and the quality of such foods.

Yisleny Rodriguez
T, 5:40pm

danny giraldo said...

Just recently I saw food inc. and know I read this article. It’s as if something wants me to stop eating this dangerous and harmful food. It was not until I saw food inc. that I realized how badly I eat. Not only me, but most Americans eat this food because it is cheaper. Really it is not hard to believe why the United States has an obesity epidemic with the kind of food we are getting from our local supermarkets. To my eyes it was really sad to see how these companies keep these animals. Our future does not look appealing with the type of food that we are buying. We have to start today changing our ways, and we must open our eyes and take action.
Obesity is a big problem in the United States. This will remain a big problem unless we don’t change our way of eating. My opinion is that when it comes down to it we decide what we put in our mouths. We all have choices and we decide if we make the right decision or not. It is a matter of the individual balancing out what is more important. The question is what is more important for the individual? One has to choose if saving a little money is more important than your own health.
We all must modify our diets by buying organic food. Not only is our meats processed, but our fruits and vegetables are being grown with chemical fertilizers. Our future does not look appealing at all if we don’t take action now. Our future generations will keep on eating these harmful foods if we don’t put a stop to it. This is a difficult change because of the price difference. As we know organic foods is way more expensive than what we find in our local supermarkets.
In the article I read that the pigs were confined in really small spaces. It is not only the pigs, but chicken, cows, etc. just by looking at the cruel environment these animals are kept makes me think. Every living thing deserves to be in a good environment. Even if at the end we will consume that animal. The consequences of this cruel environment are the formation of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
My opinion is that government should come up with an idea to make organic food more affordable. Government should make organic food more available for the minority. We as humans should teach our future generations to eat more organic foods. I mean I rather be healthy and with a little less money, then unhealthy, obese and with more money in the savings account.

Ale said...

Hola

Maria A Martinez said...

Meanwhile I was reading this article from the magazine I've found many issues and problematics that people from United States and around the world are suffering from the food industry.The majority of the people in America tend to consume large amounts of fast food instead of eating healthy. The problem is where this food comes from and who many animals are being killed everyday in order for a person fulfill their necessities in just a hamburger and fries from Mac Donalds.

I'm complety disagree in how the industry works here in America. Since, I am not agree I'll like to give advices for those who want to change their eating habits. First of all, try to avoid fast food. Make right choices such as: eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and drinking water. Don't forget to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy life style..Say not to ' fast food '....

Jp said...

Before we can even start to address the entire conceptual idea of food as form of nutrition we must first understand "Capitalist Economics" and the fundamental driving force behind any market which is the law of supply and demand. So long as poverty continues its massive global predominance we will continue to see food used as a method to generate income for hedge funds and capital investors. I use the following example to state my case. McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) when you pull up a five year chart it continues to generate positive earnings on its 10k/quarterly report. When you take the time to breakdown there financials you see that the majority of the profit which is driving up there shareholders price/derivatives is obviously coming from what they call "URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECTORS"...in other words low income neighborhoods. For this I applaud COO's and CEO's because this is why they get paid the big bucks. How genius! Increase the visibility of cheap fast food because since 2001 the markets have been in a death rattle and people are losing money in this bear market! This means they cannot afford to feed their families "proper food" but, you can't let your kids starve right! So let's go to the dollar menu at McDonald!!! Now don't assume that I am one of these "Occupy Wall Street Fans" because I am not! I make a living on capitalizing on these types of situations as a day-trader and that is where the problem stems from, the root of all evil which is of course "GREED". The article talks about moral responsibility? There is no such thing as moral responsibility in a free market and if you believe that there is then YOU are living a fairytale land where market makers have feelings and in this day and age they DONT! There was a time when farmers in America cared about the product they produced because they knew that it was their responsibility to provide all things living with the proper and correct source of nutrition. There was a time in this country when the cattle farmers wanted to have the best cows and there was a competition among them to provide the best meat. There was a time in this country when the cooperation cared about what it provided to its customer, but sadly that sentiment has forever changed and the ones who end up paying for that lack of moral responsibility don’t have a voice. If animals, lands, oceans and the air we breathe could speak it would say F*@& off. The abuse greed has generated to earth is beyond repairable. The abuse an animal undergoes so that we can have our burgers is beyond any video you can see or imagine but it doesn’t start and end with that animal. The land they use to imprison them is virtually destroyed do to the amount of feces. They are going to get killed anyway so what is the point of implementing that fallacy we call “Humane”….It is sad to think that this is what we have become but ,we have and then we dare call the ones who think that we are slowly destroying everything around us “Crazy Liberals”. I am all about people making money but we have to be responsible for our actions and sadly I do not see that happening anytime soon.

Brittany Lamb said...

I have to disagree with the fact that several classmates have said we would have to wait until the next generation to start making a difference in the way we take care of ourselves and the types of foods we consume. We can make a difference today if we start a trend ourselves then the following generation will be able to link onto our ideas and good habits which will only make things easier. An easy, convenient good habit we can start is by creating a little garden in the back of our houses which could consist of our favorite fruits and vegetables. This could also create a hobby that we can enjoy with our family and friends. A lot of people use the excuse about how there isn’t enough time in the day but we are also the ones that make the choices and plans we do on a daily basis. Also, Americans spend far more for the convenience of the product rather than what we actually pay for the food itself. According to John Ikerd, nearly eighty cents of each dollar goes to pay for processing, packaging, transportation, storage and advertising. We can change the way we live if we start now.

Philip Werlau said...

We live in a capitalist country, and just as in any capitalist country, companies function to make money. By reducing their expenses by making cheap food they increase their profits. The only reason they would change their methods is if they were to stand to gain money by a new process, or lose money by staying with their current process. As has been seen in modern times, even though in a very minor capacity, concerns over the nutritional value of food has forced companies to offer “healthy” alternatives, such as salads or grilled rather than fried chicken. Although their “healthy” alternatives are not quite so health in reality, they demonstrate that public opinion and outcry can have a large effect on how companies work. I believe the only way to change these companies is to educate consumers about the importance of nutrition. Educating people on what they are really eating and the harmful effect it has on their body will force companies to offer truly healthy alternatives.

Darnell Jean-Marie said...

Its important for parents to educate their children on eating healthy. Children at an early age don't have much choose when it comes to food selection because they eat what their parents give to them. Many cultures in society may be accustom to eating pork from their tradition. It should be parents responsibility to learn about nutrition and teach their children the right things to eat at an early age to prevent obesity and diseases from eating unhealthy foods. When i look at the pigs being slaughtered I think about supply and demand. People want to eat pork because its cheap and they like the taste of it. Many don't know how the processing takes place and if they see that than that could be something for them to think about. Companies like this don't care about the consumers health. Its all about them making a profit. People all over the world can start developing the knowledge for nutrition so that they can teach others with their experience.

Eddy Ballester said...

Upon reading the article on Time magazine I must admit, I was far more surprised with the impact the food industry has on the environment than it does with humans. Ultimately, we cannot blame the government for a certain percentage of the nation being fat. We all have a choice on what to eat and what not to eat. I decided to stop eating all fast foods about three years ago and prefer to spend a portion of my money into organic food. It wouldn’t make sense to blame the government if my neighbor decides to do the opposite. On the other hand, I feel that it’s the government’s responsibility to assure us that the food we buy at the grocery store is safe to eat. Taking that into consideration, even if the government did resolve this issue it will ultimately be up to each and every human to educate themselves and choose what to eat. Its that simple. It can be a lot more complicated but it’s not.

Alfredo Zingg said...

Greetings,

It seams that we all agree with the idea of upgrading the actual American nutrition standards to a new level, for the sake of the people and other forms of live on earth. It´s not worth spending so many resources to raise animal food, when doing so is more detrimental in the long run, because it´s not sustainable. It´s like taking pieces of your wooden house every night in order to feed the fire and keep you warm. In the long run you end up without a house and you die of hypothermia, that´s why we have to change the system. We have to change the destructive human food cycle for a sustainable one, that doesn´t destroy to create. And that´s what some new trends like the organic and vegan trends like other bloggers said seem to be doing. There are some candidates already, are there anymore?

The destructive food system doesn’t work for the animals, environment and people who participate in it, and it negatively affects other systems, unbalancing the equations of the planet. This actual, unethical and far from sustainable system that is lead by big and irresponsible food companies is, as Tara tona quotes, supported by the end-consumer at the time he ´´votes´´ at the market place. So the root of this entire problem starts with ignorant consumers, unethical governments and opportunists of ignorance.

The solution to this matter depends on the people. It must come from the ones that are seeking the truth, those who are supported by knowledge and, most important, by those who are motivated to spread this important and vital truth to the masses. Education is one main solution. It cuts one of the principal roots of the destructive system, ignorant consumers. But are we going to leader this matter? Is some one else is going to do it? The fact is that we are the only ones that can do the change to the new system. Every time that we buy at the supermarket we defend or contradict the system. The more people contradict it, the less power it will have and the easier it will be to eliminate. Education starts leading young minds into the right nutrition system and making old ones understand the issues. It is a matter of enthusiasm and time.

It’s a shame for the ones who have opened their eyes, to see that we destroy the rivers that quench our thirst, the soil were our food grow, the air that we breathe, and the oceans were other species live. The people are blinded by ignorance and big companies don’t care because they are irresponsible. We are those few who have opened the eyes and we must represent what we believe. Are there any other solutions beside education? Is it regulation a faster and most effective way of changing the system?