In the food industry, we have been unaware of the many secrets that are kept from us. What we see in our food is the finished product of a long process that sometimes is not exactly what we believe it to be. In the film Food Inc., we discover the many problems we could run into if we continue to consume the processed food that large food industries are selling us. Cheap, delicious meat may be something that is very appealing to the eye, but not if it has the ability to cause sickness or disease. Even though these potential consequences exist, we can all come together to find solutions to prevent them. If we all voice our opinions about the safety of our meat, then we are bound to make a difference in the food industry. There are many ways of doing this, but also slight consequences with doing each. Through our commitment to make a change, we could take down large food industries and demand to be fed healthy, disease-free food.
Over the years, we have believed that cheap meat has always been the way to go. What is not told is the underlying truth about the food we are consuming, especially the meat products. Recently, we have learned that what fast food restaurants and big businesses are doing could potentially harm us all in the long run. At the grocery store, we see meat and assume that it comes from a quality, caring farm or business. While this may sound great, this is not true at all. We fail to read the fine print or at least what we think is the fine print. We are actually seeing that many products, especially those from foreign countries, are not even labeling their products, why? Because they do not want the public to discover the truth concerning it.
This results in another large issue that is being overlooked. We are allowing foreign countries to process our meat. For example, meat-producing companies in China are so careless about their meat and the animals they have prior to slaughtering them. Sure there are places in the US where the animals are in poor living conditions, but in foreign countries, it is far more severe. The animals live in their own fecal matter, are stressed out their entire life, and are fed a diet that is not normal for animals to eat. “Packers will be able to once again deliberately deceive consumers” (CNS News, 2016). This has to do with the label laws and where our meat is coming from. Apparently, large food industries will once again be able to deceive customers by not being required to put labels on the meat we are consuming. This is a way for the corrupt food industries to be able to process meat without having to label what is in it or where it came from. This sends up red flags being that, if there were not anything wrong with the meat we eat, then why would they fight so hard to keep the labels off of the packaging? This is a problem that needs to be fought because if we do not fix it, in 20 years, who knows what we could be consuming. If we continue to let these countries send their meat overseas to us; the more people that eat it, the more of a serious problem it will become.
Moreover, another issue in the meat marketing industry is our meat being “cleansed” with ammonia and other products in an attempt to rid the meat of very dangerous diseases including E. Coli 0157 H7. It is absolutely unbelievable how many people have died from this disease and many more all because of what is in our meat. Big businesses believe that the way to fix this is by washing the meat in chemicals, which is completely absurd. While this may mask the diseases, it has still been said that there are huge amounts of contaminated meat being distributed to grocery stores and fast food restaurants throughout the country.
The last problem that should be addressed is not only are our present generations being impacted by this food problem, but our future generations must also be considered as well. With so many chemicals being used, we are not realizing that children will start developing faster, and also run into many health problems in the long run. “Consumer advocates worry that the pervasive use of growth hormones may cause health problems for children” (LIVESTRONG.COM, 2015). In this article, we are seeing that consumers are concerned about what is going in their children's bodies Many parents over the years have been concerned about what they are feeding to their children. Farmers are using growth hormones in order to produce stronger cows and more milk. They do not care of the harm this does to its consumers, and the FDA allows them to do this. They are growing cows that are twice the size they need to be way before their expected peak weight. Children have died as a result of meat contamination and the food industries are trying to counter this with chemicals. When will it be enough for there to be a change in our meat? When will the government realize that we will not be content until we are certain of the food we are eating everyday?
The first way we can possibly solve these problems are by cooking our own meals instead of going to fast food restaurants everyday. It will make a huge difference in our health, if we can safely identify what we consume. Cooking from scratch will ensure us that we have exactly what we need in our diet and to also know exactly what that might be. The problem that we see in this is how expensive it can be after a while. Depending on how big the family is can make a huge difference. Cooking for one will be a lot cheaper than cooking for six. Also, if there is no one in your family who has the skill to cook, this can also result in problems. This may lead to eating the same thing 4 or 5 times a week due to a lack of knowledge.
It is always best to shop at local markets or buy from family owned businesses. The Farmers' Market is a great resource to buy vegetables, fruits, and the food supplies you need to ensure a safe and healthy diet. “Freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak in flavor and nutrition.” (Nutrition.gov, 2016.) This article gives 10 reasons for why we should shop at Farmers Markets. Along with those reasons are credible websites that give an even further explanation. Farmers Markets are a great way to support local families and they also help to strengthen the community. On the other hand, a lot of people go to the Farmers' Market and become discouraged by the high prices they see. This could be the case for many people who are very motivated to become healthier, yet they fall short when faced with the expenses of it. Little do they know that we don't need nearly as much meat as we consume. If we all eat less, it will actually be healthier for us in the long run. Being a healthy person results in less doctor visits and less medical bills. If we can avoid the health problems earlier, it will make for a longer life.
Many of us think that contacting the people in charge is too risky or will not make an impact on them. One voice may not make them fight for a change, but if they see consistent concerns amongst us, it will open their eyes and see that there really should be a change in what we are eating. We have a right to be entitled to healthy foods that do not cost a fortune. People should not feel like they cannot have a healthy lifestyle. We are the people and we do have a voice.
A huge solution to a big problem that is not being discussed is a change to the food in school programs. Being in high school two years ago, we would always talk about how unhealthy the food was. The burgers were gray, and the fries usually had an orange color to them. It got so bad that some of us would leave campus to eat lunch instead of eating in the cafeteria. Even our cafeteria workers would talk about how unhealthy the food was. It was unreal how everyone complained about the food we were eating but when the first lady made a change, especially in vending machines, it was a huge problem. Everyone was so upset that the vending machines no longer had Gatorades and skittles, but fat free chips and water. Even though the vending machines and snacks had changed, the lunch food remained the same. “Currently, 17 percent of children and adolescents between 12 and 19 old are obese, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Being overweight or obese can cause several health problems, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, asthma, liver disease, and depression. Children who are obese are also more likely become obese adults.”(Medical Daily, 2014). This article discusses the band on the vending machines throughout high schools across the country. It tells of what the government was thinking when this was passed and what their intentions were. The reason behind banning the vending machines was so childhood obesity would be a lot less. A great point that Erica Robinson makes is that cutting out the vending machines will not make a change to the unhealthy life style of these kids. What we are not realizing is regardless of what is in the schools, there will always be a way around it. They can very easily bring in food or sodas from outside sources. We definitely need to keep fighting for a change in these programs or will be faced with even more cases of early childhood obesity and malnutrition. Be a voice that will be a change in this world.
To conclude, the road to changing what we are being sold may be a battle, but if we all work as a unit, there will be an immense change. Our motivation should be the future. We need to see the life expectancy increase and the medical bills decrease. We need to stop being shut down and believing that we do not have a voice, but take a stand to better the food conditions we are dealing with. We are the people. We do have a voice of our own.
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