Sample Essay On Eating Philosophies
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Eating, Food, Health, Obama, Environment, Animals, Philosophy, Economist
Eating is one thing, and eating healthy and responsible is a totally different thing, according to current perceptions. This essay analyzed various perspectives on eating healthy and responsible in the 21st century, wherein the organic food is often replaced with the value packages from various fast food chains, due to the lower prices and their availability on every corner of a street. Exploring Michael Pollan’s view on eating healthy and responsible, David Zinczenko’s approach to the caloric transparency and the “Stick orCcarrot” lifestyle philosophy illustrated in The Economist, this essay aims to identify the strongest argument on individual responsibility for health, society and environment.
In his personal philosophy, outlined in the “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, Michael Pollan reconsiders his thought of becoming a vegetarian in order to avoid animal slaughtering in immoral conditions, as it happens nowadays in the United States national farms. The author takes the readers on a personal exploration on how not to feel guilty for consuming animal meat. He argues that it is morally right to eat animals that were raised in the middle of the nature, enjoying liberty and a healthy living, compared with the suffering animals processed by the national chains meat suppliers (Pollan 221). Pollan suggests that responsible eating means knowing what one consumes, either if it is an animal or vegetable product, the source and the conditions in which the products matured, but also how they were sacrificed. These elements of awareness that Pollan (276) recommends include consideration and respect for the food one consumes and even procuring one’s food by growing and hunting it, solely for the purpose of nutrition.
With a different approach on eating responsibly, Zinczenko’s argument focuses on the fast food chains, arguing that it is their responsibility to indicate the caloric intake of everything they serve, in order for the customers to be aware of what they introduce in their bodies (393). The author indicates that in the social context of the nowadays modern society, it is not the consumers’ fault that they often choose to consume fast food products, arguing that the alternatives are blatantly missing. While there are fast food stores at every corner of every street in any U.S. neighborhood, it is challenging or even slightly unlikely to find fruits and vegetables (Zinczenko 392). The solution that Zinczenko proposes for eating responsibly implies having the possibility for consumers to read the substances and caloric intake of the consumed products on their labels, in order to know to what health, social and environmental risks one submits himself or herself.
A turning green philosophy is what The Economist suggests for responsible eating. Mingling personally harvested vegetables with traditional family dinners and outdoor activities for an energetic life is the solution that Michelle Obama recommends the American consumers, promoted by The Economist as a sustainable social and environmental action. The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg banned large portions of sugars to be sold in restaurants, but this does not hamper the consumption of sugars, it only requires more items to fill the quantity of the large packages (The Economist, “Stick or Carrot?”). Contrary to this public policy Michelle Obama’s plan of encouraging children and adults alike to practice sports, to harvest their own fruits and vegetables for healthy meals and to have traditional family dinners is responsible, sustainable and happy (The Economist, “Stick or Carrot?”).
Each of these three perspectives on eating outlines interesting philosophies of personal and social responsibility on eating healthy. They all emphasize the outcomes of individual eating choices for the wellbeing of the society, environment and one’s health. Pollan’s philosophy proposes a return to nature, of living in harmony with the woods, the source of food for humans’ ancestors, which continues to offer valuable nutrition sources, such as mushrooms or wild pigs that Pollan himself hunted for. His philosophy also contains an ecosystem consideration, as Pollan looks into the entire chain, from plants, to animals and humans, seeing a reproductive system, wherein the consumption of both plants and animals is well reasoned. On the other hand, David Zinczenko’s philosophy aims at initiating a public policy on labeling the fast food products in order to make consumers more aware on the risks to which they expose themselves. Parallel to cigarette labeling that “smoking may kill”, Zinczenko’s recommended policy might face the same response – of responsibly continuing to consume fast food products, acknowledging the risks of obesity, diabetes, heart complications or any other health, social and environmental consequences. Therefore, Zinczenko’s philosophy is not sustainable for the individual, society or environment. There is also Michelle Obama’s campaign of embracing a healthy eating, dynamic and family focused lifestyle, wherein harvesting the food would be a fun activity and so would be practicing sports.
Obama’s solution on eating responsibly for sustainable health, society and environment, described in The Economist, is the strongest argument from the three philosophies presented in this essay. Although Pollan’s philosophy is also sustainable, it is not highly realistic for people to go hunting for mushrooms or wild animals and at one point such activities might even be prohibited by law. Similarly, labeling the fast food caloric intake will not decrease their consumption and the associated social and environmental consequences. On the other hand, Michelle Obama’s plan of eating healthy food, planted in one’s own garden together with their families, is an effective solution for eating healthy, aware of what one eats, contributing to minimizing the impacts on the environment and society.
Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore Dilemma. New York: New York Times. 2007. Print.
The Economist. Stick or Carrot. When it Comes to Obesity, Michelle Obama Can Teach Michael Bloomberg Something. Available at http://www.economist.com/node/21556602?zid=309&ah=80dcf288b8561b012f603b9fd9577f0e. Accessed 8 April 2015. 9 June 2012. Web.
Zincenko, David. Don’t Blame the Eater. New York: New York Times. 2002. Print.