anthropology question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.
Essay Question: How is the industrial food system in the US connected to the rise of obesity in the US?
You will address the essay question in about one page (~500 words, typed) which you will submit on Canvas, via Turnitin.
You should write an essay with a clear, detailed, and concise argument based on our course material. Support your arguments and the points you make with specific examples and details from our course material.
Do not write an essay that simply strings together a list of loosely-related facts and observations.
Do NOT draw on outside or external sources to construct your essay. Use our course material. If you draw on outside sources to answer the essay question, which is designed to assess your understanding of our class material, you will receive a 0 on the essay.
Use your own words (i.e. do not plagiarize). Note that Turnitin automatically checks for plagiarism (from other student papers and all other internet sources). Do not plagiarize – it is never worth it.
Requirements: 500 words or more
Industrial Food(?) Production
FILM: “Food Inc.”Why are carrots more expensive than potato chips in the US?This is connected to the broader topic of the next few lectures: How is our government subsidizing (paying for!) deteriorating health, social & environmental conditions?
3The Anthropology of Food•Is this food?•In the US, we tend to reduce food to nutrients.•Why do you eat what you do?•Do you take a plate-centric view of food?•Humans are uniquely omnivorous. No other mammal, can adapt so readily to different foods. –Inuit survived on diet comprised almost entirely of animal meat, organs, and fat.–Many societies are vegetarian: Hindus
4The Anthropology of Food•Food is a vitally important, both biologically and socially.•The word, “Companion,” for example
5The Anthropology of Food•Linguistically food has privileged status1.Food is so important that we use it to categorize other things, especially people. How we eat & what we eat tells others who we are.2.Eating is a primary way to initiate and maintain human relationships.
61. We use food to connote different social groups:“You are what you eat!”
7Examples: No pork = JewsVegetarianism = Hindus, ‘hippies’Frogs = FrenchKrauts = Germans “You are what you eat!”The manner of preparation of food, what is eaten, how it is eaten, etc, serve to convey social information. 1. We use food to connote different social groups:
82. What is eaten, how it is eaten, etc., serve to convey social information.•Drinks are for strangers, acquaintances, coworkers, and family•Meals are for family, close friends, honored guests•The meal expresses close friendship•Sharing a meal expresses shared social identity and relationship•The grand operator of the system is the line between intimacy and distance. Douglas, M. (1972). “Deciphering a meal.” Daedalus 101(1): 61-81.
9“You are what you eat!”•What do we eat?•Is your choice of food an individual choice?•What are your(?) choices?•Variety? OR corn koalas•We need to think beyond the plate and analyze the food system.
10The US food system in the 1920s•24% of the US population worked in agriculture.•Average farm produced 20 bushels per acre, roughly the same as Native Americans•US farms were diverse: cattle, chickens, corn, wheat, hay, oats, potatoes.•They were more resilient•We spent 22% of our income on food in 1949
11We spend significantly less on food today than we have historically.2022 = 11.3%
12The US industrial food systemThe Myth
13The US industrial food systemThe Reality
The MythThe Reality….
15The US food system today•Today 1.5% of the population works in agriculture •Since 1960, the number of farms has declined from 3.2 million to 1.9 million, but average size has increased by 40% and productivity by 82% •Most just raise single commodities –e.g. corn and soybeans
16•What we think of as “normal” farming in the industrial age.Industrial farming is based on the monocropping paradigm
17Industrial Farming•Great turning point in the industrialization of food: 1947 when a munitions plant switched over to making chemical fertilizer•Discovery of synthetic nitrogen changed everything•Fixing of nitrogen allowed farming to be based on fossil fuel rather than the sun.•Probably the most important invention of the 20th century.Haber-Bosch process
18Industrial Farming•Invention of ‘hybrid’ seeds.•Hybrid: crops selected for certain traits; pollinated in the lab.•Most of the scientific research occurred at public universities and was considered a ‘public good’.•Key selected trait, YIELD•“Green Revolution” – combination of hybrids with fertilizer–Oxymoron?
19Big gains, but big problems
20Example: Gulf of Mexico hypoxia•Hypoxic zone: Oxygen depleted waters caused by excessive amounts of pollution…Problems: Industrial agriculture is polluting & wastefulEnormous amounts of chemical and fossil fuel inputs, contribute to environmental degradation. Runoff, increase in nitrogen.>1 calorie fossil fuels used to produce 1 calorie food, before synthetic fertilizers, 2 calories of food for 1 calorie of energy invested.WET MILLING (Pollan, p88): each calorie produced = 10 calories of fossil fuels burned
21The rise of industrial agriculture also destroyed the small farm•As corn production increased, price of corn declined. Only way for farmer to maintain livelihood was to produce more corn.•Needed less people to grow just corn and soybeans. Small farms disappeared, Depopulated farming communities. “Growing corn is just riding tractors and spraying”. •Cheap corn made it profitable to fatten cows and chicken with corn, hence the farmers couldn’t sell their livestock. –i.e. They cannot compete with CAFOs
22US policies have pushed the price of grains down•Government farm policies once limited production and supported prices, now they increase production and drive down prices.•~$5 billion a year spent subsidizing corn (1995-2020 = $117 billion)–In just 2019: $16 billion in farmer bailouts bc of ‘Trump-China trade war’•Gov. is really subsidizing Cargill and Coca-Cola while the farmer is further impoverished. –4 cents corn = $4 box cereal•Federal payments amount to half the income of Iowa farmers.
23Post WWII Policy – Destroy Family Farm•Since the 1950s, small farms have suffered:–Ezra Benson – Eisenhower era (1950s) “Get Big or Get Out”–Earl Butz – Nixon era (1960s) “Adapt or Die”–Battle was over by the 1970s
24The logic of supply and demand and industrialization are difficult to reconcile with agriculture.• Ecological parameters • “Fixed stomach” & Demand is inelastic: We all need food! Another problem: Farming is not like running a factory
27US policy has meant that:•Junk food is cheap•Fruits and vegetables relatively more expensive•$26 billion in direct payments, vast majority goes to very large farms (~2008)•$32.8 billion in 2020 in direct payments (36% farm bill)•Biggest beneficiaries: Food processors and meat producers15 cents$1.25
28Harvested Acreage – The Basic Numbers•268 million acres planted – the source of our food•All food is plant based – animals are intermediaries•Only 1.1% of farmland is used for growing vegetables
29The food system paradox•Worldwide nearly one billion people are undernourished. Usually rural and dependent on agriculture.•And another one billion are obese. •Cuts across class lines but strong correlation: poorer people in rich countries tend to be obese.
30If you are low income, which would you choose?•One dollar buys 1,200 calories of potato chips, and only 250 calories of carrots
31In 2020 there were more than 2.3 billion overweight adults; and, as of 2023, over 1 million of them obese (World Health Organization (WHO))In Japan, about one in every 20 adult women is obese, compared to one in four in Jordan, one in three in the United States and Mexico, and up to seven in 10 in Tonga (2012)Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975 (WHO, 2021).Do we need more production???The current food system has many problems: Health problems
32Monocropping and the “green revolution”: Environmental and Social Problems•Contamination of groundwater•Release of greenhouse gasses•Loss of crop diversity•Eutrophication of lakes, streams, coastal marine ecosystems•Employment opportunities decreases in rural areas and variety of local diets reduced.•Benefits larger richer farmers…impoverished many.•We have exported the green revolution to much the rest of the world•Can we feed the world without destroying it????
33In 1960s we exported industrial farming to the rest of the world. •Centered on “high-yielding” varieties of wheat, rice, and maize that need chemical fertilizers and herbicides to survive•Urged consolidation and centralization•Surpluses and profit margins proportional to size of farm…small farms lose their viability•Key selling point: Generate rural prosperity through the production of marketable surpluses. Make farmers business people!
The latest trend: genetically modified organisms
35India has a surplus of grain…but 250 million people are malnourished, and 1.5 million children die from malnourishment. Malthusian dilemma???Hunger has rarely been associated with overall food storages.Poverty (a social condition) causes hunger and famine.Buffer stocks of rice and wheat in India41.2 million excess tons of grain in 2002(Stone 2002)Glut not scarcity
36Genetically Modified Organisms: Pros and cons?PRO: The Industry case “The Malthus card”:1)Drought tolerance2)Reduce need for herbicides3)Reduce soil erosion4)Insect resistance5)Monsanto videos…save the world from hunger➢Golden Rice exampleCON: The critics’ case1)Ecosystem dangers2)Loss of biodiversity3)Health risks4)The profit motive…patents on crop varieties.➢Terminator gene
Example: Round-up (glyphosate) Ready Cotton37
•Introduced 20 years ago, miraculous results.•But then there was pigweed: palmer amaranth•Pigweed became resistant to round-up.Example: Round-up Ready Cotton38
39•Grows 3 inches a day. A single plant can release close to a million seeds. It’s a bully; if you let it grow beside cotton seedlings, cotton doesn’t stand a chance.Example: Round-up Ready Cotton vs. Pigweed
Example: Round-up Ready Cotton40
Use of herbicide-resistant crops in U.S.Source: USDA
Example: Round-up Ready Cotton•The industries’ answer: They will provide new crops resistant to other chemicals.•Others say: “End the race” and use agro-ecological methods–Example: Rye planting42
•Smother the weeds with a rye cover crop.•Use cover cropping rather than chemical sprays•A strategy of agro-ecology.43Catch a Pigweed in the RyeRye cover crop
Small-scale agroecology: An alternative to current practices•Agroecology=work with nature, not against it.•Some techniques:–Crop Rotations–Polycultures –Agroforestry Systems –Cover Crops –Animal integration 44
Industrial vs. Polyface farms•Industrial•Annual species•Monoculture•Fossil energy•Global market•Specialized•Mechanical•Imported fertility•Pastoral•Perennial species•Polyculture•Solar energy•Local market•Diversified•Biological•Local fertility46
Small-scale agroecology•Some evidence that plants grown this way are more nourishing than those grown in fertilized soils, but no conclusive evidence.•They taste better!!•Plants are less prone to disease and insects•Can be equally productive or more productive than industrialized farming•Why isn’t their more research into agroecology from private companies? Can’t patent the techniques!48
Can agro-ecology feed the world?•YES! But:–We’ll need to eat less meat–Eat locally grown foods (localvorism)–Give more control to the farmers–Create government policies that promote it–Results in healthier people and healthier farm lands•How can this happen?–Start at home–Get involved! First priority: Change US policies49
50Some of Pollan’s suggestions:•Eat food, not food products.•Spend more, eat less.•Pay no heed to nutritional science or the health claims on packages. •Shop at the farmers’ market. •How you eat is as important as what you eat…never eat alone.
Ted Talk: Ron Finley“A Guerilla Gardener in South Central L.A.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EzZzZ_qpZ4w
Back to ArticleClick to PrintSunday, Jun. 11, 2006By Michael PollanOnce upon a time Americans had a culture of food to guide us through the increasingly treacherous landscape of food choices: fat vs. carbs,organic vs. conventional, vegetarian vs. carnivorous. Culture in this case is just a fancy way of saying “your mom.” She taught us what to eat,when to eat it, how much of it to eat, even the order in which to eat it. But Mom’s influence over the dinner menu has proved no match forthe $36 billion in food-marketing dollars ($10 billion directed to kids alone) designed to get us to eat more, eat all manner of dubiousneofoods, and create entire new eating occasions, such as in the car. Some food culture.I’ve spent the past five years exploring this daunting food landscape, following the industrial food chain from the Happy Meal back to thenot-so-happy feedlots in Kansas and cornfields in Iowa where it begins and tracing the organic food chain back to the farms. My aim wassimply to figure out what–as a nutritional, ethical, political and environmental matter–I should eat. Along the way, I’ve collected a fewrules of thumb that may be useful in navigating what I call the Omnivore’s Dilemma.Don’t eat anything your great-great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Imagine how baffled your ancestors would be in amodern supermarket: the epoxy-like tubes of Go-Gurt, the preternaturally fresh Twinkies, the vaguely pharmaceutical Vitamin Water.Those aren’t foods, quite; they’re food products. History suggests you might want to wait a few decades or so before adding such novelties toyour diet, the substitution of margarine for butter being the classic case in point. My mother used to predict “they” would eventuallydiscover that butter was better for you. She was right: the trans-fatty margarine is killing us. Eat food, not food products.Six Rules for Eating Wisely — Sunday, Jun. 11, 2006 — Printout — TIMEfile:///C:/Users/lauer/Documents/post_fieldwork/articles_books/Pollan_2006_timemagazine.htm1 of 312/22/2011 12:53 PM
Avoid foods containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It’s not just in cereals and soft drinks but also in ketchup and bologna, bakedgoods, soups and salad dressings. Though HFCS was not part of the human diet until 1975, each of us now consumes more than 40 lbs. ayear, some 200 calories a day. Is HFCS any worse for you than sugar? Probably not, but by avoiding it you’ll avoid thousands of emptycalories and perhaps even more important, cut out highly processed foods–the ones that contain the most sugar, fat and salt. Besides, whatchef uses high-fructose corn syrup? Not one. It’s found only in the pantry of the food scientist, and that’s not who you want cooking yourmeals.Spend more, eat less. Americans are as addicted to cheap food as we are to cheap oil. We spend only 9.7% of our income on food, a smallershare than any other nation. Is it a coincidence we spend a larger percentage than any other on health care (16%)? All this “cheap food” ismaking us fat and sick. It’s also bad for the health of the environment. The higher the quality of the food you eat, the more nutritious it isand the less of it you’ll need to feel satisfied.Pay no heed to nutritional science or the health claims on packages. It was science that told us margarine made from trans fats is better forus than butter made from cow’s milk. The more I learn about the science of nutrition, the less certain I am that we’ve learned anythingimportant about food that our ancestors didn’t know. Consider that the healthiest foods in the supermarket–the fresh produce–are theones that don’t make FDA-approved health claims, which typically festoon the packages of the most highly processed foods. When WholeGrain Lucky Charms show up in the cereal aisle, it’s time to stop paying attention to health claims.Shop at the farmers’ market. You’ll begin to eat foods in season, when they are at the peak of their nutritional value and flavor, and you’llcook, because you won’t find anything processed or microwavable. You’ll also be supporting farmers in your community, helping defend thecountryside from sprawl, saving oil by eating food produced nearby and teaching your children that a carrot is a root, not a machine-lathedorange bullet that comes in a plastic bag. A lot more is going on at the farmers’ market than the exchange of money for food.How you eat is as important as what you eat. Americans are fixated on nutrients, good and bad, while the French and Italians focus on thewhole eating experience. The lesson of the “French paradox” is you can eat all kinds of supposedly toxic substances (triple crème cheese,foie gras) as long as you follow your culture’s (i.e., mother’s) rules: eat moderate portions, don’t go for seconds or snacks between meals,never eat alone. But perhaps most important, eat with pleasure, because eating with anxiety leads to poor digestion and bingeing. There isno French paradox, really, only an American paradox: a notably unhealthy people obsessed with the idea of eating healthily. So, relax. EatFood. And savor it.Six Rules for Eating Wisely — Sunday, Jun. 11, 2006 — Printout — TIMEfile:///C:/Users/lauer/Documents/post_fieldwork/articles_books/Pollan_2006_timemagazine.htm2 of 312/22/2011 12:53 PM
We are a professional custom writing website. If you have searched a question and bumped into our website just know you are in the right place to get help in your coursework.
Yes. We have posted over our previous orders to display our experience. Since we have done this question before, we can also do it for you. To make sure we do it perfectly, please fill our Order Form. Filling the order form correctly will assist our team in referencing, specifications and future communication.
2. Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER INFORMATION" section and click “PRICE CALCULATION” at the bottom to calculate your order price.
3. Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
4. Click “FINAL STEP” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
5. From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.
Need help with this assignment?
Discount Code: SAVE25