What single thing could change the US food system, practically overnight?

It should be 1- 2 pages long, typed in MLA format. Some ideas for effective response papers include thoughtful, informal reactions/responses that discuss the significance of the issue, or how it relates to you or others, and quotes from the assigned reading along with a discussion of what they mean, who is saying them and how/why they are significant. Attached is the article.

One Thing to Do About Food: A Forum

by ERIC SCHLOSSER, MARION NESTLE, MICHAEL POLLAN, WENDELL BERRY, TROY DUSTER, ELIZABETH RANSOM, WINONA LADUKE, PETER SINGER, DR. VANDANA SHIVA, CARLO PETRINI, ELIOT COLEMAN & JIM HIGHTOWER

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[from the September 11, 2006 issue]

Eric Schlosser

Every year the fast-food chains, soda companies and processed-food manufacturers spend billions marketing their products. You see their ads all the time. They tend to feature a lot of attractive, happy, skinny people having fun. But you rarely see what’s most important about the food: where it comes from, how it’s made and what it contains. Tyson ads don’t show chickens crammed together at the company’s factory farms, and Oscar Mayer ads don’t reveal what really goes into those wieners. There’s a good reason for this. Once you learn how our modern industrial food system has transformed what most Americans eat, you become highly motivated to eat something else.

The National Uniformity for Food Act of 2005, passed by the House and now before the Senate, is a fine example of how food companies and their allies work hard to keep consumers in the dark. Backed by the American Beverage Association, the American Frozen Food Association, the Coca- Cola Company, ConAgra Foods, the National Restaurant Association, the International Food Additives Council, Kraft Foods, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the US Chamber of

http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20060911&s=forum (1 of 11)8/30/2006 2:53:39 AM

One Thing to Do About Food: A Forum

Commerce, among many others, the new law would prevent states from having food safety or labeling requirements stricter than those of the federal government. In the name of “uniformity,” it would impose rules that are uniformly bad. State laws that keep lead out of children’s candy and warn pregnant women about dangerous ingredients would be wiped off the books.

What single thing could change the US food system, practically overnight? Widespread public awareness–of how this system operates and whom it benefits, how it harms consumers, how it mistreats animals and pollutes the land, how it corrupts public officials and intimidates the press, and most of all, how its power ultimately depends on a series of cheerful and ingenious lies. The modern environmental movement began forty-four years ago when Silent Spring exposed the deceptions behind the idea of “better living through chemistry.” A similar movement is now gaining momentum on behalf of sustainable agriculture and real food. We must not allow the fast-food industry, agribusiness and Congress to deceive us. “We urgently need an end to these false assurances, to the sugar-coating of unpalatable facts,” Rachel Carson famously argued. “In the words of Jean Rostand, ‘The obligation to endure gives us the right to know.’”

The movie version of Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, directed by Richard Linklater, will be released on November 17.