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Rhetorical Analysis of Kristof’s Article "Food for The Soul"

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In the article, “Food For the Soul’, a human rights defender, and a two time Pulitzer Prize Winner Nicholas Kristof discussed the profits of traditional family farms over modern industrial agriculture. In his article, Kristof engaged readers to accept his ideas and take his side on agricultural debates by focusing on telling nostalgic stories about his childhood on his family farm in Oregon, using metaphors, and choosing vivid words with emotional emphasis.

In the beginning of the passage he mentioned the increased usage of modern cultivation technique which does not interest human living. He uses one sentence paragraph for transition from modern industrial agriculture to traditional family farms. Here, with a metaphor, he emphasizes that modern industrial agriculture is harmful, and “has no soul”. In the passage he tried to explain the loss of vital components from our food and spread of microbes which creates difficulties for the standards of healthy living. He wants to scare his audience illustrating the consequence of the surplus usage of antibiotic leads to “superbugs” that resist the effect of antibiotics. So, it is unproductive and fruitless.

Kristof going on to motivate the reader to use family farm products over industrial agriculture when he uses Michael Pollen’s research to prove his point that diversity in farming is essential which is given by family farms and not by industrial agriculture. He provides information that the large production of grains results in “monoculture”. Michael Pollen conveys that two third of our calories is attained from just four crops, which is against variety. “Monoculture in the field results in monocultures in our diets. Fast-food culture and obesity are linked to the transformation from family farms to industrial farming.”

The author evokes feeling and move closer to the readers by appealing to their imagination when he vividly shares an anecdote about the time from his childhood on the family farm when he placed a chicken egg in a goose’s nest. At the end, the behavior of chicken was obvious and understandable. The nurture affects the “soul”. Correspondingly the cultivation of crops affects the quality. The better the cultivation the better is the fruit.

In addition, Kristof gives an example one of his old high school friends Bob Bansen, who just with 225 Jersey Cow’s dairy competes Dairy factories of 20,000 cows. He uses this example to prove the readers that still there is hope. If one small producer can do it then why can’t others do it. Through this he wants to persuade the reader to support the small traditional producers. Author tells us that Bob Bansen names all his cows and they are his family friends. This shows that he treats his caws as pets. While ‘a cow means nothing to’ big diaries as said by Bob, shows that traditional small producers are much Eco-friendlier and helps in financial sustainability.

Using these examples, the author wanted to emphasize that the modern industrial agriculture where only profit and yield matters is lacking something vital like high standards of healthy living. When the author described his farm as inefficient, and he doesn’t say the family farm is effortless. In his opinion, it demands more effort and finances but will pay off with good health.

Kristof writes this article to raise consumers’ awareness that we should buy the products of small traditional producers for our sustainable future. He found an effective way to inform, entertain, and motivate people to change their outlook on tradition family farms. This article inspired to know more about what we are eating and how it affects our health and wellbeing.

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Rhetorical Analysis of Kristof’s Article “Food for the Soul”. (2020, October 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 2, 2021, from
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