The Need For Choice: A Healthier Society

1740 words - 7 pages

In life, it always seems like the best things have the worst consequences. Driving 120 mph down I-5 would be quite fun, yet doing so would likely result in a prison sentence. Similarly, I enjoy eating pizza, but this combination of cheese, sauce and pepperoni makes for a meal that, if eaten enough, could result in a visit to the doctor’s office. Lately it seems like everyone’s goal in life is to eat healthier. There are grocery stores devoted to being natural and organic and food companies are constantly coming up with healthier options for restaurants and at home. Many people are now pushing towards an entirely organic society, that is, attempting to abolish the popular factory farm system for a more home-grown approach, replacing machines with workers; chemicals with love. However, this theoretical move towards an entirely healthy society is too drastic for us at this day in age. There are already millions of people suffering from hunger all around the country, and worrying eating healthy should be the last thing on their minds. Though not exactly ideal, our food situation in this country is not as bad as it may seem. Also, as a capitalist society, we have many choices as to what we buy. This should not be limited in order to make the country potentially healthier. Both large-scale factory farms and smaller organic farms have a place in our society. It is this combination that provides the consumer with the option to buy more expensive organic foods if they have the means, or to buy potentially cheaper food products mass-produced in a factory.
Over the last century there have been numerous technological advances in the field of agriculture. Chemical herbicides and pesticides, development of hybrid plant seeds, specially engineered factories and equipment, and biotechnological practices are all used to enhance the yield, speed the harvest or breeding time, and improve the resistance of plants and animals. These improvements in technology have enabled farmers to expand and collaborate with multi-national corporations in order to create factory farms. The main purpose of these factory farms is to produce as much plants and animals as possible in the shortest amount of time for the least money in order to make the most profit. With these goals in mind, the ideas of product quality and the consumer’s well-being have been unimportant to the corporations. On the contrary, these goals do not make for an inherently bad product. In many ways, the mass-production of food has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Life expectancy today has risen by almost 30 years from what it was a hundred years ago. Of course, this is not to say that drastic advances in medical technology have had no impact on our life expectancy, but food is a necessity of life. Factory farms enable more food to be produced than would ever be possible through traditional farming practices. With this enhanced production of food, many people who would otherwise be going hungry are...

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