Abuses in the Food Industry Essay

Abuses in the Food Industry Essay

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Oppression has always been a concept that humanity has turned its head too. Whether that means a country is being governed by a dictatorship, an individual race being discriminated against, or immigrants in a country not being able to find adequate working environment. Even today, big businesses and individual supervisors are oppressing many people, specifically immigrants in the lowest jobs available. Books like Fast Food Nation and documentaries like Food Inc. have brought light to the situation of the grotesque, dangerous, and immoral environment in which many people are forced to work within the American food system. Situations like the ones discussed in Fast Food Nation also brings to attention the ethical principles of the labor force. Many people, however, argue that this cheap and efficient labor is not only a product of the dominant capitalistic society, but also a benefit to the marketplace and the economy. The people in big business would argue that paying people less than minimum wage and ignoring the high cost of safety equipment is acceptable because it is saving businesses money, which gives them opportunity to expand. Today, there is often little concern for these issues due to society being ignorant, indifferent, and having false-beliefs surrounding the labor force in the food system.
The labor force is described in great length in the book Fast Food Nation written by Eric Schlosser. He specifically discusses the working environment in the modern American slaughterhouse. Schlosser describes the brutal nature of the work by listing off some of the job description names such as “Knocker, Sticker, Shackler, Rumper, First Legger, Knuckle Dropper, Navel Boner, Splitter Top/Bottom Butt, Feed Kill Chain,” (Schlosser...

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... 80%. This solution, however, is considered too expensive and impractical to the cattle industry, and as a result is going unrecognized (Pollan 82). The food system is more concerned with profit, production, and efficiency, and this is why very little has changed in the last few decades. Although profit is a validly arguable for many people, the means in which to gain a high profit has become extremely unethical and hazardous to the general populations health.

Works Cited

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation.
New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma.
London: The Penguin Group, 2007.

Food Inc. Robert Kenner. Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser, 2008.

Farmer Working Conditions. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee. 2000. Agricultural Missions Inc. 11/26/11. http://www.ncccusa.org/publicwitness/mtolive/boycott.html

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