lake park perspective

How Much Do You Really Know About the Food You’re Eating?


The majority of the audience viewers after watching the film Food, Inc. were shocked and disgusted after learning more about how the food they consume everyday was processed. If you have not seen this documentary, I highly recommend it because it opened not only my eyes, but the nation’s eyes to the truth behind today’s food industry. Each year, contaminated food causes thousands of deaths. Little did we know, there are several corporations that control our nations food supply and the details of the treatment of the animals and the processing of our food have been kept quiet and not by mistake.

When profit is a higher priority than the consumer’s health, many issues become increasingly problematic. For instance, a large health problem is genetically engineered food. Currently forty-five percent of theUnited Statescorn is genetically engineered. What’s so dangerous about that is several studies have shown genetically engineered food increases people’s risk of cancer. On top of that, if genetic engineering was used in farming, pollution would increase and this would put many animal species at a risk of extinction. Animal rights activists greatly oppose genetically engineered food for that reason.

Also, diabetes and obesity rates are rapidly accelerating, along with the cases of E.coli, harmful bacteria, and other related illnesses. How can we slow it down? The Humane Society of the United States was terribly upset about the treatment of the animals before slaughter in farms all over the country but still remain extremely unsatisfied even after the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act was passed. Why is this? Birds are not included in the Act and more than nine billion chickens and turkeys are cruelly slaughtered each year.

This cruelty is most likely what caused the outbreak of swine flu. When pigs are crammed together in warehouses and forced to live in their own waste, diseases are bound to form and when the slaughter time comes, these diseases can easily spread to humans and create an epidemic. Farm animals that are confined in that way create three times as much waste as humans. This waste is used as manure, which pollutes the soil, water, and air. Not only do the farms pollute our environment but they waste natural resources as well. Half our nation’s grain is fed to the farm animals instead of the people suffering from hunger.

The biggest mistake people make, is thinking that we cannot do anything to change how our food system is currently. The official website for Food, Inc. has several petitions that anyone can sign and make a difference. In addition to that, we can purchase food that is healthier for us than a lot of the processed food mentioned above. We can change the way our food industry operates by changing where we buy our food from.  We can support our local farmers and not the corporations that run the major farms. You can change the world with every bite!

*Published in Lake Park High School’s Perspective student newspaper, 2010.