Food and Environment (Part Deux)!
Sorry guys! I just got back from work, so here’s my discussion for the article “Excess consumption or over-production”. To begin, I think this article takes a new spin on the rhetoric of obesity. Within the first couple of paragraphs, we can see that many researchers have seemed to get the assumption wrong in the relationship between environmental issues and over-consumption from people. Instead, as the article presents, the issues stem from excess production, particularly within wealthier nations. With that said, do you agree with this claim?
Another major point within this article points to the masking of environmental degradation and food insecurity through blaming obesity for these issues instead of over-consumption within society. It seems much easier for politicians to blame obesity for the problems in relation to food instead of highlighting their own mistakes and issues that have been caused by the way that food products have been processed and distributed. We all also saw this within the Food Inc. film, which really opened my eyes to just how our food is being handled on a day to day basis and the potential harmful impacts it will have in the future on our society. Guthman discusses how farmers tend to use intensification or extensification in order to remain in business because many times they are simply price-takers. With extensification, farmers simply hope that using land that other farmers have lost will help to increase their profit. On the other hand, intensification seemed to be the more dangerous yet more frequently used, where they use modifications on their crop to keep it growing strong, including pesticides, fertilizers, or completely genetically modified food products. Tied in with this is a country’s concept of social wage, which includes having affordable food in order to keep a complacent labor force.
It was interesting to see that the problem of over-production can be argued to be linked to the United State’s view of expansionism, seen as early as the 1800’s Homestead Act. We see that since the conception of farming within America, it has been continually commercialized more and more. As Maggie has pointed out in my other post, what do you think the consequences will be if we do not change anything soon and just let the continuation of commercialization happen within the food industry?
This article takes a deep look into the history of farm policy within our country, showing all of the changes and continuations that have occurred within our society. It does go hand in hand with the issues that were pointed our in Food Inc as well in regards to the production and distribution of food. This is just one article that shows that the issue is not consumption but rather political. I guess just a question to think about is how we can open up this type of discussion with others in order to show them that the issue is heavily held within the political realm?
I’m sorry if this post is a little confusing, I wanted to make sure I got a post up for this article as well, and I’m off to my second job! I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say and any other opinions about this article.
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