Food for Thought: Tracing Our Food

Sometimes I think it’s important for us to sit back for a moment and think about where our food comes from. For instance, it’s interesting when we think about how we always have the same variety of produce, and all the same types of snack food, meat, and dairy products at each corner you turn in the supermarket, regardless of what time of the year it is. Besides seasonal produce and holiday food items, most everything we buy always looks the same and is grown or manufactured in the same place.

We are Industrial Eaters

With this in mind, most of us usually tend to disregard how our burger at McDonald’s got from “farm” to plate, and we don’t pause to think about how that same burger could have once, in its raw beginnings, shared a corn field in Iowa with the cup of soda we’re drinking, or with the soft-serve ice cream we’re about to have for dessert, or even with the bowl of cereal we had for breakfast. But are we okay with that? Are we okay with being unknowing, susceptible, industrial eaters?

On my flight to San Diego last December, I remember flying for a long time over seemingly endless acres of land perfectly square sections of land. Here’s a view out of the window of the plane as we flew over acres of farmland, somewhere in the Midwest.

In this way, I argue that we should, in the least, be observant of what we eat, in order to contribute to a healthy society. My intent is to thus illustrate that much of the food available to us is industrially made, manufactured, and processed. By exploring the effects of the Green Revolution, in terms of industrialized agriculture, I will use the concept of “industrial eaters” introduced in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma to extend my argument to an assessment of the current food culture here in the United States.

Are we okay with being unknowing, susceptible, industrial eaters?

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