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Boucher 1 Caroline Boucher Ms.

R English 101 8 May 2012 Extremity in the American Food Industry While I was helping prepare dinner one evening, I thought about the food I later would consume. I asked myself questions such as, Where was this meat butchered? Were the animals treated fairly? What other ingredients were in this? Are they actually good for my body? Why did I choose this box of pasta and not the other? Why am I eating this? Am I enjoying it? These questions, although they would sound strange to other human beings, are in fact ones that go unanswered too often. But in this essay I will give two reasons as to how the food industry goes so over the top and beyond the point of whats necessary and how it has affected consumers. The American food industry is marked by extremity at every stage: production, marketing, and consumption. First, food manufacturers use ingredients that are so processed and synthesized that they claim to improve the product. By using strange-sounding ingredients and the downright cruel cultivation of animals, manufacturers are able to extend the shelf life of products and produce the meat that end up in the grocery store. But before it reaches our shopping carts, scientists concoct and synthesize even natural ingredients that according to Steve Ettlinger, a well-known author, are so highly processed that they really qualify as chemicals rather than food (19). The Twinkie, for example, originally started out with four main ingredients- flour, water, eggs, and salt. Yet, James Dewar, the inventor of the Twinkie, had a problem with maintaining freshness. Luckily, the chemical industry flourished and the Twinkies freshness and shelf life increased with its number of ingredients. Ettlinger also states that Twinkie manufacturers used ingredients such as phosphorus, a mineral supplement used in incendiary bombs and tracer bullets, or calcium sulfate, a form of plaster, all which came from the ground

Boucher 2 at some point in their root tracer(20). However, even though some may consider the ingredients organic and necessary, the truth is that they are there to act as a balancing trick between the fighting proteins against the fats and sugars. Another example would be industrial meat production. After fourteen months of being force-fed a high-fat diet in extremely tight quarters, cattle weigh about twelve hundred pounds and are off to the slaughterhouse. However, they are incredibly sick with digestive problems and require antibiotic shots; plus they given extra growth hormones at the same time. Even pigs are forced into restricted feeding compounds where they eat a diet similar to cattle and are re-used over and over to reproduce until they reach two-hundred and fifty pounds. Once these animals reach the slaughterhouse, they are killed and the meat is sheared so close the bone that theres a decent chance the meat contains spinal cord tissue (Snyder 88). These ingredients and methods that used in/on the product do not in fact improve it, but are merely there reverse to damaging effects that were caused during production. Second, marketers have brainwashed consumers on the healthy ingredients so they can live healthier and more discerning lives. By bombarding consumers on food labels with the right stuff to eat, food manufactures have filled American supermarkets over the top with their nutrients that have been identified as important to our health (Pollan 12). Take, for example, any supermarket in America today. Its aisles are filled with packages squealing terms such as high in calcium or fiber and low in fat. This leaves the consumer with the belief that if they eat more of the good nutrients and fewer of the bad foods that they will live longer lives, drop weight and even escape diseases (Pollan 12). But all this is merely a disguise for companies to provide an excuse to consumers to eat more of their product. Also, according to Laura Shapiro, author of Perfection Salad, has made it possible for American cooking to accept a flood of damaging innovations for years to come (Pollan 14). For example,

Boucher 3 How much of this was in fact for consumers to just eat products with the name McDonalds on it? Consequently, it has produced a low-fat diet, yet still filled with processed foods and an overabundance of confused and worried consumers. As a result, especially due to marketers brainwashing, Americans have lost their ability to enjoy and eat food for what it is, instead they are preoccupied with the science and health factors. Society today. In conclusion, it is sad to say that the American food industry has been plagued by extremity in every point of its processes. The manufacture of foods no longer uses simple and organic ingredients or humane ways; rather everything is synthesized and forced to become perfect. Yet, more harmful substances are added to reverse the negative effects that were originally caused by the synthesized chemicals. Also, Americans have been brainwashed by marketers to eat more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. By claiming that certain nutrients are indeed the good stuff, Americans have lost their ability to enjoy for what it is, but instead are anxious about the..

Boucher 4 Works Cited Ettlinger, Steve. Where does Polysorbate 60 Come From, Daddy? The Eater Reader.Ed. James Miller. Glenview: Pearson, 2011. 17-21. Print. Hornbacher, Marya. Childhood, in Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia. The Eater Reader.Ed. James Miller. Glenview: Pearson, 2011. 67-74. Print. Pollan, Michael. Nutritionism. The Eater Reader.Ed. James Miller. Glenview: Pearson, 2011. 11-16. Print. Rogers, Thomas. Competitive Eating: The Most American Sport? The Eater Reader.Ed. James Miller. Glenview: Pearson, 2011. 131-134. Print. Snyder, Laurie. Whence the beef?: The Gruesome Trip From Pasture to Platter, The Eater Reader.Ed. James Miller. Glenview: Pearson, 2011. 87-92. Print.

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