"Introduction" [The Omnivore's Dilemma] - Michael Pollan; "Can We Feed the World & Sustain the Planet?" - Jonathan Foley; "Redefining Agricultural Yields" - E. Cassidy, et al


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The thought of not having enough food for everyone in the somewhat near future is a scary thought. Like Foley said, “It is fair to say that our response will determine the fate of our civilization.” If we don’t figure out how to produce more food, in an environmentally safe manner, it could mean total chaos or even the loss of humanity. Now I don’t believe that either of these scenarios would come in any of our lifetimes, but quite possibly in my grandchildren’s generation. One important factor that Foley addressed more than Cassidy was how much food goes towards biofuels and to feed animals. Cassidy talked about if we decrease the amount of food that goes towards these other two factors that we would be much better off as humans. She doesn’t look at it from the prospective of the animals and biofuels. Yes, if we are to reduce the amount food that goes to these two addition factors, how will they survive? Animals need to eat something, so they can get bigger and we can eat them. Also in terms of biofuels, the day is coming where we will run out of fossil fuels and biofuels is the answer. But we need to discover a way to create these biofuels without using too much of our own fuel supply.


When reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan I thought it was interesting when he said, “the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world…our eating constitutes a relationship with dozens of other species.” He is saying that when we eat from the land we are part of the food chain; this concept that is bigger than ourselves. Pollan is saying that when we eat from the Earth we are more a part of it and it becomes our culture, in his words, “transforming the body of the world into our bodies and mind. Also that it defines us as humans, because we can see what we have in common with other animals and what make us different from them. When we eat industrial made food, Pollan says that we are breaking the connections and relationships to nature. We have no connection with the industrial food, we just eat what they give us and that’s it. Pollan is saying that least with getting food naturally we know where are food is coming from, but with the industrial food we don’t know what they put in it or do to it. I’m on both sides of the spectrum in this because eating from the land and industrial foods both have pros and cons. I think are both apart of our culture, eating from the land will always be a part of our historical and natural culture, and eating industrial food will be part of our modern culture.

In "The Omnivore's Dilemma" Pollan talks about how humans have poor eating choices, and must change their diet in order to live a fuller life. Pollan describes human beings as consumers of land. This means that even though we consume, we are still part of the food chain. In "Can We Feed the World and Sustain the Planet?" Foley tells the reader of how the demand for food is increasing substantially, especially meat. He thinks that the demand for food will increase so much, that there will be a world wide food shortage by 2050. In "Redefining Agricultural Yields" Cassidey talks about how the Earth is being used up rapidly. He talks of how land is being used more and more to help sustain the human population, and eventually it will not be able to keep up.

"The Omnivore Dilemma" was a really cool article an made me rethink what I eat. It expresses that humans eat poorly. The dilemma is that humans are capable of eating anything but how do we know what we should eat? I thought about this and figured that the answer lies in how nutrient dense the food is. But through the process of industrialized food how sanitary is it? We don't really know and this is gross to think about. In Foley's article, he shares the need to give back and also how we are beginning to have barriers on the amount of food the land can yield. We are over using the land and need to come up with a sufficient plan to solve this issue before it is too late. We can support humans off the land but we use so much of land food for animal feed, etc. which makes me worried for my future. Our population was too high and Earth cannot sustain us all. What is going to happen? Nobody knows. Lastly, in E. Cassidy's article, authors feels we are not using our food efficiently. We use land crops for animals, biofuels and ourselves and we don't have an option to change this because it is necessary to have all of these things. We have no other options but to make the best of what we have and hope for the best.

In reading "The Omnivore Dilemma", the question of "what should we have for dinner?" sounded familiar but now is brought to a new light. In America, many people are focused on eating healthy and cutting out carbs or fats they think they don't need. We struggle to decide what is healthy and delicious all in one. Much stress is caused by this over thinking of what to eat for dinner. We have so many options that we tend to choose what we think we should eat and maybe not what we want to eat. Our main dilemma here is that we are capable of eating anything but how do we know which option to choose? Through investigation, culture, and experience, we decide what to eat for dinner everyday. In Foley's article he brings up the issue that farming has definitely been beneficial to our world but maybe we're taking too much from nature and what will be left in years to come if we continue our current habits? Last, in E.Cassidy's article the author notes that he feels as if we aren't using the food we produce efficiently. We must decide how to balance our uses of land crops, animals and biofuels to feed ourselves and descendants for many years to come.


While I was reading Foley’s article I found it very shocking that “more than 1 billion of the earth’s 7 billion population suffers from chronic hunger.” I don’t realize the amount of people that are actually suffering from hunger in our world. Yes, I will see individuals whom are homeless ever now and then, but I never really took into consideration that one seventh of the world is suffering from lack of basic nutrition every year. While reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” it made me realize that I am responsible for more than just my eating habits. That I am apart of a food chain, in which the land I choose to eat from.

I found all three of these articles interesting. However two of the articles stuck out to me. The first was the Jonathan Foley article. Right from the beginning it was shocking to me. It says that one billion people suffer from chronic hunger. It said there is enough food but we do not distribute it enough. This really made me think about myself and how much food I waste. Every meal I eat I think I throw away some part of it, either because I am full or just do not feel like saving it. This made me think how fortunate I am to have a meal every day and I should be less wasteful with my food. It even says in the article how thirty percent of food is wasted. So even if I am just less wasteful that can make a difference. The next article that stuck out to me was the Michael Pollan one. He talks a lot about how when human eat they then become part of the food chain. I think many of us do not realize this. We all just wake up and eat and think it is no big deal. However that food comes from somewhere and taking the food away does contribute to the food chain. It does have an effect on other animals depending on how much of one kind of animal we eat. If keep killing and eating the same animal I feel like one day we will run out kind of like it happens with fish.

After reading "Can we Feed the World and Sustain the Planet" and "Redefining agricultural yields: from tonnes to people nourished per Hectare", I realized how much our planet is in a pickle. The fact that we might not have enough resources/food sources by 2050 is quite frightening, but this sad truth is held to what we eat; in other words, a human's diet. We tend to eat a lot of meat as it is, so our diet predictions seem to veer in the direction of not having a sufficient amount of meat products by 2050 (Cassidy, et. al, 8).
With that being said, I just can't imagine a life without meat. Yes, I don't eat much beef and pork, but a life without chicken? Let's be honest, that is not good. With all the drastic changes that are always going on in this world, there are still ways to prevent future damage to our agricultural needs. In the Redefining article, they provided ways to actually enhance and protect what humans currently live in. The on going issue that I have found so far with all of the nature articles that we read is: when will humans start taking action? The answer to that difficult question is complex. Humans have to want and have to find a need for a change and take action. Until then, we may be meatless.

~Anushka Lall

After reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, I understood more about how our eating habits can effect things around us. I also found it interesting when Pollan said anything we consume makes us apart of the food chain. After reviewing this article I kept thinking that if we keep absorbing this amount of food their wont be enough for us in the future or their won't be enough animals that we kill to use as food. Therefore, we Americans should come up with an idea that will help benefit both us humans and animals in healthy ways.

After reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" I found it interesting that we become apart of the food chain, I never really thought about that before. In science when we learn about the food chain they don't always bring up that we are apart of it as well, so that was something to think about. But with that, there is no way that humans are going to stop their food consuming habits. I know that I am not going to change the way and how much I eat because I need to survive as well. I don't believe necessary that all our resources are going to be gone in the future either. There are constantly people dying off and babies being born. There are still a lot of animals living now than there were 50 years ago. Still the same amount of water, etc. I just think that we as humans are paranoid and want something to worry about. Yes, this is something to worry about but I don't necessarily think that we need to overthink this problem. Worrying about it will just make it worse. Everyday we wake up and there is food to eat, and water to drink and I believe there will be years from now.

After reading the three articles, I was surprised how today’s technology might be possible to produce the amount of food we need for our future generation. I did know as our population getting larger we will need more food to feed all the people; however, what I didn’t think about was we also need to feed the animals to feed human. Cassidy mentioned that we have to plant more food for our animal to feed us, but are we going to have enough crops and land? Besides worried about if we have enough food in the future, I also worried about our health and the food we eat today. Since, we have limited land, and limits of food, people today are eating all different types of industrially food. In “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Pollan also mentioned how Americans are worried about what food should eat or not and worried about the safety of different foods. Different from the ancient time, people today are not only eating natural food, but the food that produce by the market. People are eating foods that were bought in supermarket; there are also all types of fast food and snacks are available for people. Last, we should not only concern about how to provide enough food for people, but also people’s health and our environment.

After reading these articles there was a couple things that caught my attention. One thing I knew was that the hunger rate in the world was high, but I did not realize that it was 1 billion out of 7 billion people. That number was a lot higher than I expected. It can easily slip someones mind on how much food they waste per meal. Small amounts of food left over could be a big meal for someone who is starving. Another thing that caught my attention was the omnivore dilemma. As a human you really don't consider yourself in the food chain. What you eat really just seems like food with no deeper meaning. Having to go without eating meat is something that I would have trouble surviving on. Products like beef and pork are a huge portion of my diet, especially at home. At the same time I don't understand how beef and pork would run low in supply when both have controlled breading and are supplied through farms. Someone above mentioned that we read these articles about problems in nature but nobody seems to be acting. I don't people will act on things like this until the problem becomes a top priority.

in the Omnivores Dilemma by Pollan he describes how humans are apart of the food chain and how we don't always realize that. i know that when i think of the food chain i don't put humans in the mix with all the animals even though we are very much a big part of the cycle. he goes into detail that the human race has become very bad at eating. our habits of how much we eat he says we will run out in the future. i do not agree with him on this category because i do not believe we are in danger of running out of food. we eat a lot of meat and meat is reproducing so i do not see us running out unless a natural disaster happens and kills off a lot of species. i do agree when he says that we have moved from eating natural food to more of the food made in factories which is not good at all.

I thought the Omnivores Dilemma raised some great points. It did bring to light a very valid issue; nutrition. They talked about how we as humans have gotten to a point where people need to tell us what is healthy, and what isn' healthy, which is very odd. Pollan talks about how bread disappeared from the dinner table. Carbophopia set in and everyone went crazy about not eating carbs. The article shows how quickly people can change their ideas about what foods to eat and which foods to not eat. I feel that Americans, more than anyone, are very big on fad diets, and "what can make me skinny fast". This article sheds light on this subject and talks about how we, as a society, struggle with eating, which is something that should be very easy.

The aspect from Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” that I found strangely true was the “French Paradox” and the American paradox. A reader would initially assume the country with the more “unhealthy” diet would be comprised of a population of fatter people, and the country with the obsession to eat healthier would be made of the healthier people. Instead, it’s just the opposite. You’d think America would have an easier time figuring this out considering the amount of effort it puts into this idea. Cassidy and the other authors’ research provides statistical proof that people are switching from grain to animal products, during the “Livestock Revolution” and taught me that while the income of the population goes up, so does the demand for meat and dairy. Foley, too, states the same relationship between income levels and demand for meat. Foley suggests that the Earth still has the potential to maximize crop production areas because farming has hit a wall, but not the ceiling yet. I like how Foley not only points out the problem he sees, but offers many solutions to choose from to fix it. One of those solutions being to cut meat out of our diets. This would not only make vegans happy, but would increase our current calorie intake by 50%, which would help combat world hunger.

After reading the "Omnivores Dilemma" I found it very interesting how we conform to the different diets and ideals that society has given us. Pollan talked about how we drastically change the way we eat because of things written in a book. We think so much about what kind of foods we eat and how we eat it. If we want to be a vegetarian or if we want to eat organically. We don't realize how much we actually affect the food chain. In Foley's article he talks about how the land has limits on how much food the land can provide us with. We have been overusing the land around us and are not realizing it. We use the land for more reasons than just human food we use it for animal feed and much more than just that. In E.Cassady's article he talks about how we use the land for necessary things like for our crops, to feed the animals, etc. He also says that we can't change the way we use the land because it is necessary. He says we can only hope for the best in the end.

The piece that really caught my attention was "Can We Feed the World and Sustain the Planet?" by Jonathan Foley. World hunger is becoming a major issue globally. Currently one billion people in the world are starving and can't feed themselves. The article did a great job of outlining the issue at hand, the causes, possible outcomes, and even possible consequences. If we as humans don't handle this correctly and fix the issue properly there will be major consequences for the Earth and man kind. At first glance I, like many other people, thought the solution was simple, just add more agricultural areas and grow more food. However this major issue gets split up into many sub issues. One of the most shocking sub issues that I read about was related to water. By continuing to grow crops we are taking up water that is vital to us. Water is depleting day by day in enormous amounts. This is especially scary considering all forms of life will die without water. In order to grow crops we need water as well. And if we cannot grow crops we can't feed people. There is no winning situation, and this is only one of many issues that surrounds the world's hunger problems. The entire situation is a mess and very delicate. Its frightening to think that the current situation of world hunger is on the verge of spinning out of control. The future of the Earth doesn't seem so bright after all.

Jonathan Foley's reading of "Can We Feed the World & Sustain the Planet?" was the reading out of the three that stirred up fealings the most. I with Foley when he shows that there is going to be a problem with sustaining life if we can't find a way to produce and distribute food efficiently to the rest of the world by 2050. I also agree with him when he states that the solution to this problem is that it takes people from all around the world to contribute to this change. I envision the horrible future of rising hunger and demands for food in the near future if something is not done soon. I don't believe that as humans we should wait until the life and death moments to make changes in our lifestyles. We need to act now and prepare for the future as did our ancestors prepared their food before the winter came. If we fail to see this rising problem then we as humans will surely soon become none other than the food that we have consumed, gone and returned back to the earth. We need to reflect on the daily things in our life and recognize whats is more important for our future. the question is, "why are so many people so worried about making the most money that they can make?" What I believe is that we should be concerned about what helps us as humanity continue to exist. If money consumes our minds then the only thing we'll be eating in the future is that money we made.

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This page contains a single entry by Capper Nichols published on November 7, 2013 10:30 AM.

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