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Food, Inc - Essay Example

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18 Apr. 2011. Ethical issues in Food, Inc. Human Health: Among many important ethical issues, one alarming ethical issue that Food Inc. talks about is the way food is contaminated, how it approaches the consumers and what impacts it has on the health of the consumers…
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18 Apr. Ethical issues in Food, Inc. Human Health: Among many important ethical issues, one alarming ethical issue that Food Inc. talks about is the way food is contaminated, how it approaches the consumers and what impacts it has on the health of the consumers. Our current food system often has many unintended and saddening consequences. The contamination of food exposes people to a lot of health risks. In the film, a toddler’s mother dies of E. coli which she acquires from consuming a hamburger. The most fundamental cause of the increased risk of E. coli is the corn that the cows are fed. It is quite cheap and dangerous for health. The content of E. coli in the cow’s guts increases when they feed on the corns. In order to regulate the effect of increased E. coli level, the meat packers often tend to cleanse the meat by treating it with ammonia so that it becomes suitable for human consumption. Food borne illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food are increasingly putting millions of Americans in hospitals every year. The number of Americans that are admitted into hospitals every year is 325,000 approximately and those who die because of the diseases caused by contaminated food consumption every year are about 5000 (The Center for Ecoliteracy 39). The toddler Kevin in Food, Inc. who is only two years old becomes sick because of Escherichia E. coli. Escherichia E. coli is a bacterial group which is found in the intestines of many birds, animals and also humans. Usually, many E. coli benefit us by decomposing the food that we in-take and facilitate its digestion, though serious infections may be caused by some strains that may in turn, cause bloody diarrhea, cramps in the stomach, failure of kidney and sometimes, it may result into the death of the affected person. People may acquire the bacteria of E. coli when they eat or drink things that are contaminated with the manure of animals in general and that of cattle in particular. Dairy products including cheese and unpasteurized milk, sausages, minced meat, sprouts of carrots or radishes, spinach and lettuce leaves, as well as potable water may contain the deadliest strain i.e. E. coli O157:H7 (The Center for Ecoliteracy 40). Various federal agencies in US that include but are not limited to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assume the responsibility to ensure that the food that becomes available in the market is safe and has been passed through careful examination and inspection (The Center for Ecoliteracy 40). However, these agencies often divide the responsibilities among one another for checking the ingredients of even the same items. In US, cheese for the frozen pizzas is checked by FDA whereas the pepperoni which is used in the pizza is checked by USDA. Several important issues get ignored in this system because of the differences of individual agencies. For instance, major part of the funds is used for drug regulation instead of inspection of food in FDA. The responsibility of food checking should be prudently assigned to help improve the efficiency of system. Works Cited: The Center for Ecoliteracy. “Food, Inc. Discussion Guide.” 2009. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. . Read More
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