Monday, December 1, 2014

Exploration 8 - Lorenzo Palma

1. The one most important idea that stood out to me would be the significant negative effects of the industrialization of food production. Even more-so, the fact that Americans just are not educated about this issue, where they just take everything at face value and not questioning specifically what was used in the growth of the produce. A more drastic example would be, Mr. and Mrs. Fox themselves not knowing what would be in the feed that they give the chickens that they breed. They were asked, "Do you know what they put in the feed?", since industrialized farmers are supplied with the company's own mix of feed. They responded with, "Umm... They have umm... Some antibiotics since it would be good... For the chicken's sake." Even though, ironically, in the beginning of the film, the shot of the health warnings for handling the feed said, "Wash hands thoroughly after handling." It's just chicken feed, why would it be so toxic that you'd have to wash your hands right after you handle it? The film's strengths I'd say, would be the use of evidence to prove their points. Which were pointing out the awful methods that were implemented in food production, and then pointing out the significantly more effective, organic methods that could be taken by the food industry. The weakness would be that they didn't have enough evidence to advocate, per-se, for the other side of the argument.

2. My research was fueled by my curiosity of what the companies did to have that sort of power that they had in order to be able to implement such methods that harm both the environment and the consumer directly without the intervention of the U.S. government, or the FDA, or the USDA or any other federation that regulates food quality. Essentially, in the film it stated that Monsanto is the U.S.'s major soybean producer. With that, I did some research on Monsanto itself. Before 1985, Monsanto used produce chemicals such as Agent Orange, DDT and others like them. In 1996, Monsanto introduced their first genetically engineered product, Round Up Ready Soybeans, which also at the time they only controlled 2% of the soybean market. The company since then has grown to controlling 90% of the soybean industry. Even though all research and data would point out the medical hazards that these genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that Monsanto was producing, they weren't being stopped. The most direct reason was the Monsanto Protection Act. This act essentially gave Monsanto the immunity from the federal courts in their attempts to halt production of dangerous GMOs.

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1 comment:

  1. Lorenzo, I agree a lot. Americans are lazy, and do not want to be bothered by things that do not affect them presently. The food industry is a prime example of this. People do not realize the impact they can have on the food system, and they just go with what they are accustomed to.


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