America’s Food Crisis, By Bryan Walsh

1192 words - 5 pages

American society has grown so accustomed to receiving their food right away and in large quantities. Only in the past few decades has factory farming come into existence that has made consuming food a non guilt-free action. What originally was a hamburger with slaughtered cow meat is now slaughtered cow meat that’s filled with harmful chemicals. Not only that, the corn that that cow was fed with is also filled with chemicals to make them grow at a faster rate to get that hamburger on a dinner plate as quickly as possible. Bryan Walsh, a staff writer for Time Magazine specializing in environmental issues discusses in his article “America’s Food Crisis” how our food is not only bad for us but dangerous as well. The word dangerous could apply to many different things though. Our food is dangerous to the consumer, the workers and farmers, the animals and the environment. Walsh gives examples of each of these in his article that leads back to the main point of how dangerous the food we are consuming every day really is. He goes into detail on each of them but focuses his information on the consumer.
Salmonella is one danger that has caused many effects to consumers. Walsh writes about one incident when an outbreak “from tainted peanuts that killed at least eight people and sickened 600,” (Walsh 167). This incident left many people asking the same question, how can we trust the food that we put into our bodies? Salmonella, a type of food poisoning caused by bacteria found on different food types has caused an epidemic because of its domino effect on food and our health. Once one factory is contaminated, that factory could be housing both crops and meat, which is then transferred to our supermarkets and on our dinner tables. When we consume foods that we buy locally, its almost never produced locally. Society wants to believe that what they are consuming is safe for them but there’s so much concealment in the food industry that doesn’t allow us to answer that big question.
Manure lagoons, mostly located near factory farms, is another danger that affects workers and the environment or community. “A pig produces approximately four times the amount of waste a human does, and what factory farms do with that mess gets comparatively little oversight,” (Walsh 169). The process is a very dangerous one in of itself to ensure that the waste is gone and the factories can continue producing bacon and ham steaks for millions of people. A Rolling Stone Journalist, Jeff Tietz, wrote an article about these lagoons that Smithfield Foods controls. He goes into detail about how toxic these lagoons are and the effects they can have on workers. He tells a story about an incident in a lagoon in Michigan for the company. “A worker was overcome by the fumes and fell in. His fifteen-year-old nephew dived in to save him but was overcome, the worker's cousin went in to save the teenager but was overcome, the worker's older brother dived in to save them but was...

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