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The population of the United States grew very fast because there was more food due to improvements in farming technology. The resulting overproduction of food has forced agrocompanies to find more ways to market their products, which has led Americans to become fat in an unhealthy way. In the discussion of obesity in America, one of the controversial issues has been to assert who is at fault for the causes of obesity. Some people argues that it is the individual who is responsible for the food choices he or she makes. On the other hand, other people contends that food companies should be responsible for providing all the information necessary for individuals to make the right choices, and not hide things behind their advertising.
My view is that food companies should be responsible for providing truthful information. They should tell the public the results of food over consumption and stop misleading consumers bypromoting unhealthy foods through false advertising. Therefore, food companies are responsiblefor the obesity problem in the United States because they do not provide enough or correctinformation about the food products they market. Moreover, their skillful marketing practicesmislead the consumer into purchasing unhealthy foods unconsciously and without hesitation,resulting in the problem of obesity.
Food companies started to sell fast foods using deceptive information to make peopleconsume without any concern as to whether the foods are healthy or not. We see this in thedocumentary movie “Fed Up”. This film is about how the food companies reinforce and supportfood choices that are detrimental to people’s health and contributes to the obesity problem in theUnited States. Throughout the film, the producers show us how food companies mislead thepublic away from eating in more healthy ways: by repeatedly promoting fast food big combosand large pizzas at cheap prices. Additionally, critical information about how many caloriesthese foods contain is left out and makes the consumer believe that the pizza and fast food migh tbe less expensive and more healthy than healthy food alternatives. Kids are particularly targeted by food companies. Advertising food with attractive packaging has been a successful tactic getting children to consume high quantities of sugar. Furthermore, these food companies start tosell their unhealthy foods in schools. As a result, kids get used to those fast foods habitually consuming them into the future. So too, this also misleads the kids to think that fast food and sugary packaged foods are real food. After all, kids have difficulty determining what’s right or wrong or what’s good for them or what’s bad for them. “Fed Up”, also shows us how school lunches are controlled by fast food companies, especially in low-income areas. This matters because it shows how companies are using immoral business strategies to take advantage ofchildren’s weaknesses, ultimately misleading children to consume the unhealthy food. Moreover,we know that the consumption of fast food at a very young age will lead children to becomefuture customers who will subconsciously consume the food without thinking or believing thatit’s unhealthy. The hidden implications lie in the food companies because food companies tendto trap us, force us, and mislead us into buying fast food since fast food are the only choices atschools. In fact, the use of attractive advertising with hidden information is misleading. Therefore, we start to believe in the food companies, so we consume more of their foods thinking that fast food is healthy, thus increasing obesity in America.
In the article, “Don’t Blame the Eater”, the author, David Zinczenko points out, “onecompany’s website lists its chicken salad as containing 150 calories; the almonds and noodlesthat come with it (an additional 190 calories) are listed separately. Add a serving of 280 caloriesdressing, and you’ve got a healthy lunch alternative that comes in at 620 calories”. This is anexcellent example of how food companies tend to trick us. They hide the critical caloric information so that we will buy it without hesitation while inserting the idea that those foods arenot only cheap, but healthy. Therefore, this situation causes people to eat too much and as aresult, causes people to become fat in an unhealthy way. We are tempted to eat those foodsbecause they look delicious and we are told that they are low in calories. When it comes to foodand we are hungry, food companies have a very firm grasp of our vulnerabilities and takeadvantage of them to make us believe that what the food company is saying about their food istrue. Therefore, we end up believing that it is okay to eat more.
Some critics have erroneously concluded that farm subsidies paid to farmers to grow bad“commodity” crops are what’s wrong with the food system. Subsidies are a symptom of a broken system, not the cause of it. The main problem with our current food system is it adheres to a“free market” idea that allows commodities such as corn to be priced according to the whims ofthe “free market. ” Cheap corn and soybeans enable agribusiness to develop monopoly power over farmers and to reap vast profits while leaving farmers broke and dependent on subsidies.
Noting that corn is the most heavily subsidized U. S. crop, Pollan posits that it has successfullychanged the diets in the U. S. of both humans and animals. In the first section, he monitors the development of a calf from a pasture in South Dakota, through its stay on a Kansas feedlot, to itsend. The author highlights that of everything feedlot cows eat, the most destructive is corn,which tends to damage their livers. Corn-fed cows become sick as a matter of course, a fact accepted by the industry as a cost of doing business.
The people chosen as workers are high school students or immigrants who can’t find abetter job. The employers are paid less than decent wage and more than often are required to stayovertime without being paid for the extra-work they are asked to do. The wages remained almostthe same as they were 30 years ago and because the companies fought hard against unions, nonewere formed and the workers were unable to fight for their own rights. Schlosser mentions thatthe ones who have to suffer the most are the cleaning team coming after everyone goes home.
The cleaning teams usually work with dangerous chemicals and are forced to work in dangerous conditions for extended periods of time. When accidents do happen, the company does everything in their power to avoid paying any type of compensation.
In conclusion, large corporations are neither, healthy or beneficial for an economy ora society as a whole. The larger they become, the more dangerous and unhealthy they are. To an extreme, the presence of this oligopoly of large players may be akin to the industrial age equivalent of feudalism. They can create monopoly in the market and disturb wealth distribution. They are inherently bureaucracies, they give rise to other bureaucracies. They have no soul, they lose the morality and ethics of their founders somewhere along the lineand become focused on their own goals more than the “common good” or “what’s right” —for many reasons, not the least of which is the competition inside and outside the firm.
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