Omnivores Dilemma - Essay Example

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The book, Omnivore Dilemma was authored by Michael Pollan in 2006. The book focuses on several themes that touch on human beings’ way of life. Major aspects brought out include the kinds of food and their sources, as well as the people’s views on the food. …
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Omnivore’s Dilemma Omnivore’s Dilemma The book, Omnivore Dilemma was ed by Michael Pollan in 2006. The book focuses on several themes that touch on human beings’ way of life. Major aspects brought out include the kinds of food and their sources, as well as the people’s views on the food. The term “omnivore” symbolizes human beings. Humans are omnivores in the sense that they feed on both meat and vegetable products. Hunting and gathering was an ancient approach towards food acquisition; many animals were killed for meat, while wild fruits and herbs were harvested. Presently, the same kinds of food that were adored in the past are still highly valued (Chevat, 2009). The several varieties of food present in the farms, and the market makes it difficult for individuals to make a choice (Pollan, 2006). Naturally established farm products are plenty in the market. The supermarkets and other large shops have stocked a lot of processed food products. Many people believe that all the processed food products are made of corn, which may not be the case because several ingredients are added to the main materials (Pollan, 2006). There is a distinction between the organic and industrial products in terms of their manufacturing processes and nutrient contents. Organic and industrial food products have several distinguishing factors. Organic products include natural processes; farm products are planted with the help of green manures. Artificial fertilizers are not incorporated in the process of plant growth and product development. Natural photosynthesis takes place where carbon dioxide is the basic ingredient together with sunlight and water. The nutrient content of natural farm products is high; therefore, they are healthy. Such food products cannot be stored for long because they easily wither. Transporting them from the farm to the market centre should be done immediately; therefore, proper transport networks are crucial (Pollan, 2006). The scientists and researchers should devise ways and means of preserving organic foods so that they can stay fresh a longer period. Use of inorganic manure to enrich the soil is necessary so that the nitrites increase, hence, farm produce increases. Industrial food refers to processed foodstuffs; several ingredients have been mixed. The food products are delicious and easy to cook (Van, 2008). They are readily available in supermarkets and other food stalls. Many homes and hotels, as well as restaurants prefer processed foods to organic material. The amount of energy and time used in handling them is minimal. A lot of carbon is found in processed products, which is hazardous to human health and the environment. Carbon is released into the atmosphere while working with processed materials leading to air pollution, atmospheric changes and increased temperatures (Van, 2008). Carbon particles accumulate in the atmospheres; they trap the sun’s rays causing heating, hence global warming. As a result, climate change is also experienced. Genetically modified organisms are abundant in the market; some GMOs have been developed to be planted in the farms, for example, millets and sorghum. GMOs have several health implications, for instance cancerous effects. The fact that they mature within a short period is a clear indication that they were engineered, hence they are not natural products (Van, 2008). Research shows that many people, especially in the United States of America, rely entirely on processed food products. According to Pollan, most of the industrial foods are made up of chemicals, which are erodible and unhealthy. Chemical ingredients added to these products alter natural growth and development in human beings; obesity cases have risen recently (Chevat, 2009). Diseases of the digestive system have emerged; it is associated with processed products. Nutrition problems have been recorded because there is an imbalance of the nutrients in industrial products; more proteins may be added neglecting vitamins (Pollan, 2006). Birth defects have been witnessed in the recent past because many people consume unhealthy foods that affect their reproductive systems. Industrial products require the use of several environmental resources, for instance trees to produce paper for packaging. Environmental degradation is the consequence of industrialization, because most of these resources are non-renewable. Packaging materials has led to pollution and massive waste generation. The scenic beauty of the environment is damaged because of litter. The edible organisms get diminished because industries capture them for food production. Therefore, animal rights get breached. The book “Omnivore Dilemma” explains the way human beings have access to several food products, but they cannot establish the best option. Human beings feed on both flesh and vegetation. Organic and industrial foods have led to arguments for and against each. Many people have shifted to processed products because they are easy to prepare and less time is used. The health implications associated with processed products are intense. Some of these impacts are irreversible, for example, birth defects. Environmental impacts are also immense. There is a need for more research to be conducted, so that processed products can have specifications on the food for different groups of individuals. Ways of preserving organic food materials should be established so that their life span can be prolonged. References Chevat, R. (2009). Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets behind What You Eat Michael Pollan. New York Times, from :< content/uploads/2010/05/omnivore_young_readers_excerpt.pdf > on 15 May 2012 Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore's dilemma: A natural history of four meals. New York: Penguin Press Van, L. (2008). The joy of reading: A passionate guide to 182 of the world's best authors and their works. Naperville, Ill: Sourcebooks Read More
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