Blog post #5

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The conversations in class that have taken place recently have made me look at things in a different way; this class as a whole has broadened my views on certain issues.  Most recently, the words "technological fix" came up in class today (by Annie I think).  The statement made me think harder about what the purpose of processed foods really is.  Nowadays, it seems as though the general population is in such a rush to complete tasks in a timely manner.  This rush has caused many people to lower their standards for the food products they consume. 

According to page 123 of In Defense of Food by Pollan, "only 20% of American children and 32% of adults eat the recommended five daily servings" of fruits and vegetables.  I believe this deficiency is due to the availability of processed foods and (mainly) the decisions of its consumers.  Processed foods have made it easier for most people to prepare and eat a meal in about 20 minutes.  The creation and innovations concerning processed foods is a reason why "two-thirds of (Americans) are overweight or obese" (Pollan, p. 135).  Originally, processed foods were meant to preserve food and have a longer shelf life, and now, eating processed foods is the "normal" thing to do. 

I am not sure if anyone really thought that preserving our foods would lead to such problems.  These problems resulted from the "technological fix" of foods that are not eaten in their natural state.  "The practice of refining carbohydrates is implicated in several of these chronic diseases - diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers," Pollan writes on page 109.  I believe that the idea of preserving and altering our foods was a good idea at the beginning but has taken a wrong turn and lead us down a road that will not end for quite some time.  It is going to be extremely difficult for us to overcome our way of life, but it needs to be done.

Lisa Breuninger

6 Comments

One surly does have to keep an open-mind when unfolding some of the information on these highly sensitive issues in our society. Some people have made fortunes making technologies fast and convenient for us to use, but are they worth their convenience? We search for good buys, and if they do their purpose for the time being they are considered by most to be good enough. We want things to be fast, and we often want things now. However, how are we going to change things in our society without ever slowing productivity down for a period of time? Perhaps we can do this, but I think our patients might have to be tested a little more than we have become accustomed to. In general, I don't think we have ever considered anything to be good if it slowed us down.

Technological fixes do help with convenience and quickness we have come to depend. If something can be done more efficiently and quickly surely it will be put to use. I think we really rely on this ongoing need for quick fixes that may only delay the problem till tomorrow, but how much are we really hurting ourselves in the process is really the important thing that can be learned from the situation.

I agree that we will be extremely difficult in the future, but even now during the present we are facing problems yet there are no signs of "letting-up" on preservatives within foods. The amount of reliance that goes into the long shelf life of food has seem to grown to the point where Americans and other developed countries cannot live without it. Just by walking into a grocery store you can see the tons and tons of excess foods that remain on shelves for weeks before they are bought, without the preservatives and processed foods such a thing would not be possible. It is sad how dependent we have become on our own creation and how hard it is for us to fall away from something that is so unhealthy for the consumer.

Americans need to make better choices about what they eat. Who is in control of the market? Corporations or consumers? I would like to think the market is much more dependent on what consumers think instead of corporations persuading what consumers think, get me? When will our health become more important than economizing time? I'm ranting here but seriously.

Stop economizing time and start eating better.

I agree. The “technological fixes” associated with food options can lead to the development of disease and dietary turmoil. The American lifestyle is considered one of the most fast-paced lifestyles globally. The reality is - no one really has the time or energy to even consider cooking a home-cooked meal. As a result, many times Americans find it difficult to eat well-balanced, nutritionally valuable meals.

- lili k

I agree that processed foods are a convenience factor for people, because people's lifestyles today are so time consuming they don't have time to cook a nutritious meal. I also don't think that the people who created processed foods thought about the problems it would cause on people's health. i think that scientists were so compelled with the idea of having foods that could sit on shelves for long periods of time that negative effects were never thought about.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by breu0060 published on December 2, 2009 10:27 PM.

Chemical Fibers Should Not Be the Stuff We are Made of or Where is the Green Food? was the previous entry in this blog.

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