J500 Media and the Environment

Digging Deeper into Food by beccan
January 28, 2010, 12:57 pm
Filed under: J500 Week 2 | Tags: ,

When I read this article about the classic American treat, the Twinkie, I was shocked! I have always veered myself away from eating Twinkies, because they are fattening, but what I didn’t know was that some of the ingredients that are used to make this snack are also found in weed killer and postage stamps. Now, that’s more than just fattening.

Personally, I have never taken the time to take a deeper look at the problem of unhealthy food. It was unhealthy, I wouldn’t eat it and that was that. Wait a minute! As consumers, we need to stop to ask questions instead of always taking the word of these large manufacturers and our grocery stores. I am beginning to learn that the big producers may have PR representatives, but this is beyond PR and the dirty secrets are seeping out.

This whole issue opens a can of worms to the vicious cycle of events that is happening with the food we eat to “survive” (that is actually killing us more quickly). When I began to look closer at the process of obtaining manufactured foods I realized that even the transportation of that food to another country has environmental and monetary costs.

If everyone knew what was going on in this deceiving food process would they still buy these classic American snacks?

Like Steve Ettlinger, author of Twinkie, Deconstructed said, “The more you know, the pickier you get and the more it costs.” We need to first spread the word and inform people, and then show them the benefits of eating organic. Being picky can be expensive, but the expense is worth it, at least in my eyes. It’s a difficult process to begin changing manufacturers that control 90% of their market, but buying organic can help increase the demand for organic and change these power house manufacturers.

I found these tips to start your green eating habits on the right foot. When I read these fun green facts, I realized that many of the tips are super-simple and take even less effort than your old habits, like not opening the over door to take a peek while you’re cooking. In my house, my roommates and I have made a deal to cook a meal together every week. I am going to try a vegan pizza recipe with them this week and I’ll let you know how it goes!

Until Next time!

Becca N.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for the tips, Becca! To respond to your point about people still buying products even after knowing what is in them, I have to say that yes, most of the would (and do now, if you think about it).

Look back at the interview in “Food, Inc.” about the low-income family eating fast food. They might know all the ingredients to the food they consume, but are well aware of the effects it has on their health, and this does not deter them. Partially this is because of the taste of the food, but partially it is cheap and easily accessible.

I extend that sort of reasoning to why people would continue eating foods like Twinkies if they became aware of the ingredients. Twinkies and other foods with so many artificial ingredients are incredibly unhealthy, but they are, like fast food, cheap and easy to access, making them appealing both to low-income families, and people simply looking for a cheap snack while stopping at a convenience store.

Ben C.

Comment by bendcohen

I agree with your statement about getting the word out to people to learn about food and the ingredients in their foods. Also, I was unaware that a full freezer uses less energy than an empty one! That is a helpful tip. How do you think we can entice people to start making more eco-conscious decisions about food?

Micole A.

Comment by micolea

Thanks for the comments! The first steps of making people more conscious about their food consumption decisions is already happening. It’s not going to be a quick 180 degree turn and everyone will start realizing that they are being poisoned by these processed foods. By getting the word out, more and more people will realize the facts. I do not expect people to read a few articles, watch a few newscasts and suddenly stop. I think that people will start paying more attention to what they buy in grocery stores and slowly start to make healthier switches or buy those processed foods less often. It’s going to be a long process!
Becca Nyman

Comment by beccan


First of all, way to go on getting your post in so early! I have been trying to educate myself about “the best way” to go about the food process (and other things, but especially things relating to food) for a while now and it is so confusing. No wonder so many people get turned off. But I do think it is encouraging to see so many young people, like us, getting involved and intrigued. While things are more complicated than ever now, we do now, and really for the first time in history, have all of the tools to correct our mistakes and finally do things the right way. One of the most challenging parts that I have struggled with is how do you know which ways are best? I know there isn’t just one good way (lots of people have lost of good ideas), but surely there is a “best” way for most things. But how do we know which way is “best” or “best for ourselves?” -Kristina B.

Comment by kristinabev

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