Monsanto's Harvest Of Fear Summary

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The three essays assigned this week had several common threads running through them. The strongest core theme is the rapid change in the food cycle in America and the vast changes that have taken place in the way by which we grow, produce, and process the food that average Americans eat. The food we eat now is drastically different from what our grandparents grew up eating and the three essays each examine that in a different way. Another theme is the loss of knowledge by the average consumer about where their food comes from, what it is composed of, and what, if any, danger it might pose to them. “Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear” by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele is a harsh look at the realities of food production in a country where large corporations, like Monsanto, have been allowed to exploit laws and loopholes to bend farmers and consumers to their …show more content…

Most people do not realize how many things are made from corn products and Pollan does a great job of breaking down what types of products contain corn. It is obvious that Pollan has a sort of admiration for corn, it’s hardiness, it’s versatility, but at the same time he understands that total dependence on one crop can be dangerous. However, the thesis of the essay is not really corn, but rather the fertilizer we use to grow it, specifically nitrogen right products such as ammonium nitrate. Pollen’s essay is a really interesting look at the history of how nitrogen-based fertilizers came to be so predominant in America and around the world. He discusses both their benefits and incredible dangers, such as the runoff pollution which boosts growth of algae causing the death of ocean life (903). Pollan’s powerful essay ends with a paragraph that reads almost as a plea to farmers to consider changing their habits and reducing their dependence on these types of fertilizers which are so

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