Food Production In Upton Sinclair's 'When A Crop Becomes King'

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Food production is a representation of social and political climates in the way that capitalism negatively affects the life of immigrants, the quality of food, and the safety of the public. A great example of the faults of food production is the novel, The Jungle. Written by muckraking journalist, Upton Sinclair, The Jungle is a factual retelling of a Lithuanian immigrant family’s struggle to get by in the Chicago, Illinois meatpacking district, Packingtown. Another example of the effects of food production on the public, and the government’s involvement with it, is the New York Times article, “When a Crop Becomes King” by Michael Pollan. “When a Crop Becomes King” is an informative article that dissects the ramification of corn on the environment, …show more content…

By growing more and more corn, to get rid of the surplus, companies have switched to corn sweeteners, and have begun to feed more corn to livestock. “Researchers have found that corn-fed beef is higher in saturated fats than grass-fed beef.” Capitalism has paved the avenues that allow the government, which is always supposed to be in the public’s best interest, to alter the human diet to such extents that we are now gorging ourselves to our inevitable demise. The American diet is not the only thing that is affected by government …show more content…

Food companies jump through meticulous hoops just for the reason of withholding nutritional information from their customers. “These companies fight, tooth and nail, against labeling. The fast food industry fought against giving you the calorie information. They fought against telling you if there is trans-fat in your food. The meat packing industry for years prevented country-of-origin labeling. They fought not to label genetically modified foods; and now 70% of processed food in the supermarket has some genetically modified ingredient.” (Food Inc.). Eric Schlosser is depicting a strong, heavy fight against food labeling in the food production industry. He states that companies fight, “tooth and nail,” against food labeling. Companies don’t want the consumers to know what they are ingesting, and they are going to the greatest of extents to achieve that goal. It is very questionable that the food production industry would try to deceive their customers. Earlier in the film Food Inc. Michael Pollan describes the process in which tomatoes are harvested today. “There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it's kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it's the idea of a tomato.” (Pollan).

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