The western diet exists as a way of life for most Americans. The typical western diet is full of chemicals and unknown ingredients. Today it is not viewed as the most beneficial diet for humans to consume. Those who live on the western diet are exploding with health concerns. Some major health problems range from type two diabetes, high cholesterol, to being overweight. These health concerns are growing. Today, foods have many unknown ingredients and just really are not food. Michael Pollan discusses these issues in his book titled In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Pollans’ goal from this book is to inform people, mainly the eaters of the western diet, what this diet is and what it contains. He furthers his argument on defying the food we eat in Part three, Chapter two “Eat Food: Food Defined”. Pollan, in this chapter, breaks down the foods we buy then eat, and how we should choose what to eat to better health and life. The problem is that everyone thinks they are eating real food. Pollan defines what the foods really are while also giving advice on what one really should be digesting.
When we think of our national health we wonder why Americans end up obese, heart disease filled, and diabetic. Michael Pollan’s “ Escape from the Western Diet” suggest that everything we eat has been processed some food to the point where most of could not tell what went into what we ate. Pollan thinks that if America thought more about our “Western diets” of constantly modified foods and begin to shift away from it to a more home grown of mostly plant based diet it could create a more pleasing eating culture. He calls for us to “Eat food, Not too much, Mostly plants.” However, Mary Maxfield’s “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating”, argues differently she has the point of view that people simply eat in the wrong amounts. She recommends for others to “Trust yourself. Trust your body. Meet your needs.” The skewed perception of eating will cause you all kinds of health issues, while not eating at all and going skinny will mean that you will remain healthy rather than be anorexic. Then, as Maxfield points out, “We hear go out and Cram your face with Twinkies!”(Maxfield 446) when all that was said was eating as much as you need.
Michael Pollan, an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism (Michael Pollan), writes in his book In Defense of Food, the dangers of nutritionism and how to escape the Western diet and subsequently most of the chronic diseases the diet imparts. In the chapter “Nutritionism Defined” Pollan defines the term nutritionism. Pollan’s main assertion being how the ideology of nutritionism defines food as the sum of its nutrients, and from this viewpoint Pollan goes on to write how nutritionism divides food into two categories, with each macronutrient divided against each other as either bad or good nutrients, in a bid for focus of our food fears and enthusiasms. Finally, Pollan concludes that with the relentless focus nutritionism places on nutrients and their interplay distinctions between foods become irrelevant and abandoned.
"You are what you eat", goes a famous saying. And if that is truly the case, then a lot of Americans would appear to be unhealthy, chemically treated, commercially raised slabs of animal flesh. And while that is not a particularly pleasant thought, it is nonetheless an description of the typical American omnivore who survives on the consumption of Big Macs and steak fajitas.But there are individuals who do not follow this American norm and have altered their diets so that they do not consume any meat. These people are vegetarians, and they are the new breed of healthy Americans who refuse to poison themselves with fats, cholesterol, and the other harmful additives that come from meat. And while once thought to be a movement that would never gain much momentum, it has nonetheless moved itself to the forefront of Americans' healthy diets.The word vegetarian, used to describe the diets of people who do not consume animal flesh, was not used until around the mid-1800s. The concept of vegetarianism, however, dates back much further.
Corliss, Richard. “Should We All Be Vegetarians?” Time. Time Inc., 15 Jul. 2002. Web. 11 Apr. 2011.
In Tracie McMillan’s article, “Food’s Class Warfare,” she discusses the possible problems and solutions of food equality among the classes. She believes, as does Alice Waters an organic chef, that “good food should be a right and not a privilege” (McMillan 1). “To secure the future of America’s food supply” (2) there are two camps of belief. The first, “just-buy-better-stuff” (2), is a belief that is based on an individual’s choice. Ultimately the choice is ours to make and we must be wise in what we eat. The second, structural challenges, argues that having access to healthy food will be what solves the problem. Although both sides have great points, McMillan believes it will take both working together, to change the way we eat.
“Though much has been done to obscure this simple fact, how and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world—and what is to become of it.”
American society has grown so accustomed to receiving their food right away and in large quantities. Only in the past few decades has factory farming come into existence that has made consuming food a non guilt-free action. What originally was a hamburger with slaughtered cow meat is now slaughtered cow meat that’s filled with harmful chemicals. Not only that, the corn that that cow was fed with is also filled with chemicals to make them grow at a faster rate to get that hamburger on a dinner plate as quickly as possible. Bryan Walsh, a staff writer for Time Magazine specializing in environmental issues discusses in his article “America’s Food Crisis” how our food is not only bad for us but dangerous as well. The word dangerous could apply to many different things though. Our food is dangerous to the consumer, the workers and farmers, the animals and the environment. Walsh gives examples of each of these in his article that leads back to the main point of how dangerous the food we are consuming every day really is. He goes into detail on each of them but focuses his information on the consumer.
Our current system of corporate-dominated, industrial-style farming might not resemble the old-fashioned farms of yore, but the modern method of raising food has been a surprisingly long time in the making. That's one of the astonishing revelations found in Christopher D. Cook's "Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis" (2004, 2006, The New Press), which explores in great detail the often unappealing, yet largely unseen, underbelly of today's food production and processing machine. While some of the material will be familiar to those who've read Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" or Eric Schlosser's "Fast-Food Nation," Cook's work provides many new insights for anyone who's concerned about how and what we eat,
In the book published in 2006, the Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural history of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan, is a non-fiction book about American eating habits and the food dilemma that many Americans are facing today. Pollan begins the book by discussing the dilemma of the omnivore like ourselves, a creature with many choices of food. Pollan decides to learn the root to the food dilemma by examining the three primary food chains: industrial food chain, the organic food chain, and the hunter-gathering food chain. His journey begins by first exploring the industrialized food industry. Pollan examines the industry by following both corn and cow from the beginning through the industrialized process. The work on the corn fields of George Naylor shows him that the industrial system has made corn appears nearly in all products in the supermarket (Pollan 33-37). Pollen then decides to purchase a steer which allows him to see the industrialized monoculture of beef production and how mass production produces food to serve the society. Following his journey, Pollan and his family eat a meal at McDonald's restaurant. Pollan realizes that he and very few people actually understand how such a meal is created. By examining the different food paths available to modern man and by analyzing those paths, Pollan argues that there is a basic relation between nature and the human. The food choice and what we eat represents a connection with our natural world. The industrial food ruins that ecological connections. In fact, the modern agribusiness has lost touch with the natural cycles of farming. Pollan presents the book with a question in the beginning: "What should we have for dinner?" (Pollan 1) This question posed a combination of p...