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Aliz Aragon 11/16/13 UNST 124a Dr. Perkins Research Project: Defining Sustainability

The citizen’s of the United States spend an estimate of $110 billion on fast food annually. As for fresh fruits and vegetables, we spend $17 billion annually; nothing compared to what the fast food industry is making. But what is it that makes the citizens consume fast food more than what is nutritional for them? Some people are aware of what they eat and the risks that increase. All food corporations hide the truth from the consumers; however, the truth is not completely hidden from us, you may not be looking in the right places. Any consumer has the right to know how food products are produced and what is in them. An industry is no different then what an average person’s mentality is set to. They both want the fastest and cheapest methods in making money and spending so little. Does that mean we have become lazier or does that make us efficient workers? A consumer votes on each food product they buy at the super market. The more a product is being sold, indicates consumers wanting more on the shelves in the near future. If a food corporation had to decide on who they care about the most, whether it be the money or the consumers, they would pick the money. Corporations expect citizens to be aware of their own health. It is up to the people to think about where they are putting their money into and knowing what’s worth the dollar. “We are now engineering our foods,” noted by Larry Johnson (Food Inc. 2008). Corporations look for the cheapest substance to create the cheapest products. However, just because a hamburger from McDonalds or any fast food restaurant is at a cheap price, it doesn’t

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mean it won’t taste good. Every food product created by an industry is branded and processed to look “Natural” as well as a manufacturing addiction. With the correct combinations of fat, sugar and salt our brains are triggered to love all the fast food around us. With the help of marketing, it is much simpler and easier for a company to reach their target groups and tempt all the future consumers. The industries do care about their customers, only in a much less personal matter. Scientists themselves control the amounts of saturated fat, sugar, salt, and/or carbohydrates in a product. They know what they are working with and the outcomes consumers will later have to deal with. A scientist is being paid to make a company’s product taste just as good as it looks and leave the consumer wanting more. Multiple reliable consumers are what a company wants because the consumer can provide what their main target is, money. Industries take care of their consumers and the money they can give, but they have other things to worry about other than one’s health. It is no secret that the cheaper food is priced, the more fattening it is. Typically organic products cost 20 percent to 100 percent more than many non-organic products. Organic products have no chemicals in them or used to grow the crops, this means more labor is used to produce their crops. Fertilizer is much more expensive for organic crops, USDA organic certifications, slower to grow, as well as subsidies are some of the many reasons organic foods are expensive. Majority of the people throughout the country would rather spend very little money and go home with more than spend double the amount and go home with barely anything. Richard McDonald started a Fast- Food revolutionary; 1948 the McDonald brothers were the first to develop a system where they could offer their customers low priced food at a fast pace. “Our whole concept was based on speed, lower prices and volume,” said by Mr. McDonald. To this day, this systematized approach is used in every fast food restaurant. As said in Robert Kenner’s film

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Food Inc., “the way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years then the previous 10,000.” The food industry isn’t the only thing evolving in the world. Pricing has increased on products that are less harmful to us, and the products that give us a higher risk to diseases are much cheaper. Consumer Forecasts in 2013 are from 1.5 to 2.5, the forecast for 2014: 2.5-3.5, increases by only one percent (USDA charts). Any kind of industry manipulates their consumers, they are being tricked into believing what is good and cheap is what’s best for us. Advancements in science and marketing, the food industry has successfully been able to target their group of consumers and future consumers and trick their taste buds into feeling satisfied. This is the only industry that maneuvers its engineering carefully to that the consumers become addicted. With amazing tastes at a reasonably low price, who wouldn’t be addicted? Food science spends billions of dollars to put together artificial foods that will ensure their consumers to come back for more to satisfy their cravings. Salt, sugar, and fat are the three key ingredients; as well as the biggest/ cheapest ingredient, corn. The industry food system is constantly looking for greater efficient systems, but they always lead to more problems. It’s hardly a win – win situation, if someone had to win it would be the food industry. The food system is being protected by various different laws. Laws in which give them the privacy and authorization to sue anyone who talks badly about the corporation or exposes what is happening through the walls. Industries do deserve their privacy; however, we also deserve to know what is going on with the food we eat. Some of the risks of fast food consumption are strokes, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. 25.8 million Children and adults have diabetes in the country, when there is a population of 313.9 million. The results of E. Coli have also partaken in the consumption of fast food. Kevin’s

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Law, nicknamed after two-year-old Kevin Kowalcyk who died after eating a hamburger contaminated with E. coli, proposed to close down plants that produced contaminated meat. This Bill was not able to become a law; Anna G. Eshoo is still up for the fight and won’t give up. Ask yourself, is there a possibility that the food industry has not been able to find a solution into making cheaper and healthier products or are they wanting to keep things this way so they can continue manipulating us into buying their cheap food? The people should be aware even at the slightest bit of what is going on with food productions and what we are eating, the news gives us those wake up calls that we aren’t able to see in person. It’s tough to keep up when the world’s population is at a rapid growth spurt. Everyone is encouraged to plant a garden, shop at their local farmers market, and buy locally grown food instead of the food being traveled 1500 miles just to get to you. Be aware of where you’re purchasing your food and who you purchase it from. Set yourself to buy food from companies that treat their workers, animals and the environment with respect.

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References “10 Reasons Organic Food is So Expensive” The Daily Meal, 11 March 2012, Web, Nov. 2013 <> ACNielson Homescan (1999) How Much Do Americans Pay For Fruits and Vegetables/AIB-790 (Pg. 8) Economic Research Service/ USDA “Diabetes Basics” n.p., 26 January 2011, Web, Nov. 2013 <> Food Inc., Dir. Robert Kenner. Magnolia Pictures, 2008. Film. “Food Industry Sustainability Strategy” Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, April 2006, Web, Nov 2013 <> Gilpin, Kenneth N., “Business Day: Richard McDonald, 89, Fast-Food Revolutionary” n.p. 16 July 1998, Web, Nov. 2013 <> “Money Spent on Fast Food?” n.p., n.d., Web, Nov. 2013 <> Short, April M., “You Won’t Believe What the Food Industry Is Doing to Keep Americans Hooked on Junk” 18 June 2013, Web, Nov. 2013

Weiss, Thomas C., “Associated Health Risks of Eating Fast Foods”, Disabled World, 17 June 2013, Web, Nov. 2013 <> Volpe, Richard “Food Prices Outlook”, 8 November 2013, Web, Nov. 2013