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Impacts of a borderless society - Essay Example

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Because food is so readily available to us in the United States, we often don’t think about how it gets on our tables and how we fit into the global food production and consumption chain. A plate heaped with chicken Alfredo or a couple of tacos are not fancy food by any means…
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Download file to see previous pages Both of my meals were made at home from ingredients bought at the local grocery store. Except for the ground beef and the lettuce, all the other ingredients were prepared somewhere else and assembled by me to make the meal. The following chart shows each ingredient and the place it was manufactured.
None of these ingredients were manufactured outside the United States, so in one sense the food is local—it was manufactured in this country. But there is no easy way to find out where the wheat, corn, and other ingredients in the final product were produced. The list of ingredients on the Alfredo sauce jar is quite long, for instance, and all those things had to be shipped from somewhere so the manufacturer could assemble the product. In fact, the cheese was probably manufactured somewhere outside the Kentucky plant and shipped there, so its ingredient’s origins are unknown but probably shipped. DeWeerdt (2009) notes there is a distinction between shipping by truck or by rail, for instance, so it is possible that even if the ingredients started out 1,500 miles away from the manufacturer, if they were shipped by rail the impact would be less than if they were shipped by truck.
While I was researching the global market for this essay, a National Geographic article (Bourne Jr., 2009) offered some very telling statistics as a framework for understanding how the food I eat fits into the larger global picture. In 2007, for instance, the globe had 61 days worth of food stockpiled (para. 2). This is not only food for humans; the animals we raise to eat also consume grain, and our cars even consume grain by using ethanol (para. 16; DeWeerdt, 2009, para. 17). If all agricultural production stopped, in two months the entire world would be out of food. Bourne also notes that “the poorest billion people on the planet…spend 50 to 70 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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