Position on Processed Foods
Phillip J. Harris
Advanced Composition, Professor: Jeff Martin
Reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma a theme of this book is that conventional wisdom about societal issues and challenges is often incorrect. Using processed foods as an example one can say that they have been the greatest boon for humanity, while others say it is the greatest bane. The United States today faces a problem unique to it in the world; morbid obesity which in part can be traced back to processed foods. Though the benefits have been good for feeding the population, the low cost and high unhealthiness of processed foods may be more harmful than helpful in the United ...view middle of the document...
Processed foods are generally cheap and wide available which in an economic sense makes them very popular. On the other hand because they are so widely available, and are less than what your doctor might recommend given the proverbial food pyramid, they are often overly used in large quantities especially by those who cannot afford alternatives. If getting the right food was as simple as walking out and picking it from your garden then it wouldn’t be so complicated right? In reality without land seed water and fertilizer you are at the whim of nature, and let’s face it we live today in a world going through massive weather upheaval that make food production unpredictable and therefore unsuitable for large populations. Given this information processed foods should be just like alcohol taken in moderation, but can the average individual afford unprocessed foods? Can a family afford fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to relatively speaking unprocessed meat? The answer depends on your income level and cost of living in your area.
Even if a family eats large quantities of processed foods because they cannot afford it invariable it is tax payers who will pick up the health care tab later on down the road. According to the surgeon general, obesity today is officially an epidemic; it is arguably the most pressing public health problem we face, costing the health care system an estimated $90 billion a year. Meaning that all that processed food may not be as cheap as you might think. If you were born in the year 2000 you had a one in three chance of developing diabetes ( two in five if African-American) diabetes being only one of a multitude of health problems accompanying obesity. What causes American’s to be obese when so many in the world are starving? This excerpt from The Omnivore’s Dilemma says it best. “Changes in lifestyle (we’re more sedentary; we eat out more). Affluence (more people can afford...