An Edible History for Humanity was written by Tom Standage which emphasis the history of food and farming used by man throughout history. This book takes us through different parts of the world and gives us examples of how food has changed their way of life. The first civilizations had to go on very little for food. But in the early civilizations,Standage has thought me that food drew everything together. Food wasn’t there just to eat,but was the driving force for the life style of civilizations.
The Romans traded a lot because their greatest concern was that they wouldn't have enough food to feed everybody. But everything turned out to be well. With too much food, and not enough money, the government had decided that it would be OK if the Romans paid ½ of their taxes in money and the other ½ in food. This actually helped because not as many people went to jail for not paying their taxes, and it also created a lot of food storage for the colder seasons when they couldn't grow as many crops. Supporting the economic system isn't just based on farming and trading.
Chapter 21 was interesting as I know there are unhealthy food choices and food workers are paid poorly this seems like the norm. I have not put much thought into the “big picture” I only ever concerned myself with my family and myself. The article The Rich Get Richer, the Poor Go Hungry by Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton made a strong argument that only stands to make sense in or society. Everyone does something for money. Money is what our country thrives on.
This was perhaps the beginning of a major change in agriculture that is still an issue today with farmers. This problem is that of large farmers and businesses forcing smaller farmers out of business by lowering the already marginal profitability farming on a small scale. This elimination of small competitors from the field of competition not only eliminated jobs, as shown in The Grapes of Wrath, but also led to the development of monopolies in today’s food industry. Although this is a natural result of capitalism, it cause several inherent problems, the most important is keeping food from being produced and consumed locally, which aids the financial standing of local areas, instead of centralizing it in major corporations. It also allows for the exploitation of laborers due to the lack of competition among different producers for wages and working conditions.
Action must be taken by the food industry in order to start eliminating the problems that are causing the society to deteriorate. There are countless health issues within America that continue to grow due to the fact that the food industry is not regulating the food being provided and sole enough. Obesity and being overweight are one of the many social issues that can be linked back to the food industry. While it is true that there are cases of obesity and being overweight due to lack of exercise or genetics, it is primarily the food that cause people to gain excess weight. So many foods nowadays contain surplus amounts of calories, fats, and sugar which have a direct correlation to weight gain.
For instance, a main argument for locavores is that when produce is shipped to different areas it loses most of its nutritional value gained from the soil it was grown in. In source A and B, nutrition is stated as a serious issue that continues to be dismissed and not taken into consideration in terms of the long lasting effects on the public. However, in source B, nutrition is confronted as a minuscule factor because the majority of the people with access to readily available produce are not malnourished. In fact, the growing rate of obesity constantly rises, proving that the statement indicating we are a malnourished society is wrong.
Because housing is so expensive, Ehrenreich was often forced to live in dingy motels or the cheapest trailer she could find. Even when she was living in the cheapest housing, rent was often a struggle because prices were too high to pay off of minimum wage. Not only was housing a problem, but also food. In order to eat well, one needs a refrigerator to keep meats and other foods fresh, which one does not always come with lodging and is expensive to buy. Moreover, a family needs to have enough money to buy groceries each week, which can be difficult when paychecks are given every other week.
Though there were some success regarding social equality, there was little to no economic growth and the lack of direction of the nation caused widespread starvation, which took the lives of millions. The Great Leap Forward was severely mismanaged and was the leading cause of The Great Chinese Famine. Mao created new standards for farming methods in an attempt to make it a more efficient process and bountiful. He called for the implementation of new and “improved” techniques such as crowding seeds in plots to grow more and planting seeds very deep under the ground to reach the more nutrient dense soil. These methods caused many failed harvests and a dire lack of food for the people living in the communes.
These farmers helped out and helped keep each other going in the harsh times, despite a lack of money. In the Grapes of Wrath, the farmers don 't always have the benefit of a helping hand. People sell what little they can to prepare for moving out. As they sell their belongings for really low prices they say “we could saved you, but you cut us down, and soon you will be cut down and there’ll be none of us to save you” (Steinbeck 87). The farmers know others will experience similar circumstances and know that they could have helped one another, showing understanding of another’s troubles even in their desperation.
However, the high transportation costs made it difficult for the food to reach the people. Additionally, some farmers decided to let their produce rot in farms in a bid to increase demand and inflate prices. This made the condition even worse in many parts of the country. Written by a WPA worker from New Jersey, letter 96 mentions that the people were working, yet they were facing starvation. This particular letter shows that the pay check is always late and when it comes, it is barely enough to cover the debt the family has incurred, let alone buy food.
Of course whole food is harder to find and a lot more expensive. Pollan claims that Americans spend more on healthcare, or more appropriately “sick care,” than they do for food. By spending more on healthier food, he contends people will ultimately spend less on sick care. He also recommends avoiding fast food, even if it’s “home” cooked such as in the
In the article, “Op-Ed In the water crisis, it’s time to move beyond the farms vs. cities mindset,” Nathanael Johnson informs the public that some individuals do not condone the amount of water that farmers consume, as opposed to the people who live in the city. People believe that irrigation is making farmers rich and the vast percentage of water that is being distributed to the farmers is aiding them. However, farmers need the water much more than the people living in the city because all of the farmer’s living is based on farming. For instance, whenever there is a drought, then farmers are the first to pay the price; people living in urban areas do not really understand the important of water, therefore, water is taken for granted. Unfortunately,
Prices for farm products dangerously fell because of such large United States crop surpluses. Farm expenses had also risen much faster than the prices that farmers received and they did not reduce production, so prices for farm products stayed low and farmers’ income fell (McNeil, R. Hanes, and M. Hanes). President Coolidge had not taken much interest in the situation and said that farmers never made money (West and Stoff). Efforts from Congress that failed to protect United States farmers from foreign competition caused most United States farmers to take loans for their land and homes that they could not repay, which weakened their local banks and left them in debt (West and Stoff). On average, over six hundred banks failed every year between 1921 and 1929 (West and
The Worst Mistake In History As far back as archaeologists can recall, hunting and gathering has been the main source of food for humankind. As populations started to grow many families found it hard to get their hands on food, which led to the rise of agriculture. In the article,“The Worst Mistake in the History of Humankind,” by Jared Diamond, he explains how agriculture, although viewed as progress for modern civilizations, was indeed the worst decision humankind has ever made. In the article, Diamond argues that although agriculture was an effective way to increase people 's food supply, it came with many downfalls as well. One of the big things Diamond argues, was sexual inequality.
The U.S. population is growing older as the individuals from the baby boom enters old age and retirement. As a result, the labor force will increasingly depend upon immigrants and their children to replace current workers and fill new jobs. Food deserts can defined as parts of the country where fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy whole foods, are hard to come by, usually found in poverty-stricken areas. This is because of a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers. This has become a big problem because while food deserts are often short on whole food providers, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, instead, they have numerous local small mini-marts that provide a lot of processed, sugary, and fatty foods