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Omnivore's Delemma (Industrial Corn) - Essay Example

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The popular demand of corn as a food source and product in the American society presents opportunities to expand this sector and increase job opportunities, thereby improving the economic condition. The current unemployment rate in the country is 8.3%, which is not improving or alleviating…
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Omnivores Delemma (Industrial Corn)
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In 2010 alone, the United States spent $337 billion on the import of crude oil (Shenk, 2011), the U.S. being the largest consumer of oil, using 25.4% of the world’s oil production (Parry & Darmstadter, 2003). However, corn ethanol represents only 1.3% of the total fuel being used in the country for motor vehicles (Pimentel, 2009). Given the facts, it becomes obvious that the production and use of corn could actually help stabilize the economy, rather than being a burden on it. The production of corn being cheaper than the import of oil for the purpose of motor vehicle fuel, it would be prudent to focus on the former than the later. This, combined with the less emission of greenhouse gases, as already discussed, would not only reduce the cost of environmental protection, but would also result in a greener society. Corn and its products are the most demanded consumer product in the food market, either for direct consumption or for indirect consumption due to their use as ingredients in other food products. It can be argued that corn is a balanced and a complete diet source, since it offers proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and roughage, and corn oil itself is low in fats, so is often substituted for animal fats and oils. It has already been established that other protein sources like meat present a lot of health hazards, which have not been associated with the use of corn (Biello, 2008). Pollan makes an especial comparison between the cultivation of corn and grass in his book, and glaringly leans in favor of the grass-growers (2006). It could be pointed out that whereas grass itself has limited uses, and cannot be consumed as a food product, being cultivated for the sole purpose of animal feed, corn, on the other hand, has multiple and multi-dimensional purposes, and its cultivation not only provides with a food product, but also other industrial chemicals and products. Therefore, it is only wise to invest on a crop that can cater to a much larger marker and has a much wider scope and potential. The huge demand of corn reflects on the social mindset and the prevalent lifestyle. To propose a radical and almost completely agonist lifestyle without this essential food ingredient would be to propose a revolution. Pollan might be safe in theory, but his opinions cannot be so readily implemented in reality. Therefore, a compromise could be proposed in which alternate food options are presented along with corn and its products for those customers who subscribe to Pollan’s opinions. This would mean that the market would cater to the popular demand while also taking care of the consumers who want a change. Pollan challenges the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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