Pollan argues that modern-day Americans focus on taste of the food rather than its means of production. He believes that the current food model is flawed and can be disaturious to human health later on. Since many Americans do not understand where their current food comes from, Pollan travels to many popular food factories. He does this so he can gain an insight on how many popular foods are created. He then recollects his experience to show the flaws in the production of food. He suggests that eating more local and fresh food is healthier not only for the body but also for the environment. His argument is persuasive as Pollan uses new facts that surprise the reader. Pollan believes that Americans are more likely to switch to local, organic food once they understand the production and impact that their unnatural foods come across.
In the Industrial: Corn chapter, Pollan discusses the historical and modern impact of corn onto our society. First, Pollan talks about the Mexican and American diets and how they are indeed the opposite. Although Mexican diet is considered as corn-based, Americans have been using more corn. Many Americans use corn as a cheaper alternative to feed their livestock. He believes that the alternative’s harms outweigh the benefits. To inform his viewers, Pollan visits a farm owned by George Naylor to analyze the impact caused by the surplus of corn. Pollan notes that corn given to livestock cuts the livestock’s lifespan in half. Due to consuming an alternative that the livestock cannot digest properly, the livestock often has to intake artificial chemicals that carry on towards the human diet. The underlying theme of the chapter is that cheaper alternatives usually have harms which can impact human life later on. This argument helps build that the current means of food production is flawed and can cause many environmental issues due to being cheap and inorganic. Here, in the Pastoral: Grass chapter, Pollan argues that organic is not the best way to go. Pollan introduces a concept of sustainable food, a combination between organic and commercially grown food. Then, Pollan focuses on foods that claim to be organically grown but actually have near-same conditions as the other commercially grown products. In all, Pollan argues that companies that use the “organic” standard do not sustain the whole truth. Sadly, many companies would sacrifice health and locality for cheap costs. This helps build the argument that American tend to focus on taste rather than environmental damage. All in all, this leads towards a faulty food production which could lead to many problems in the future. In the Personal: the Forest Chapter, Pollan truly goes into the “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” Pollan talks about how America is easily susceptible to fads due to it being a cultural melting pot. Since America does not have a standard food diet, many food fads and diets persist. Using the lessons learned before, Pollan is able to create the perfect meal that is produced locally with no harmful preservatives. Pollan argues that growing locally can help resolve the food fad epidemic. This helps build the main argument that America is going towards a dangerous path with susceptible and cheap food onto its dinner table.
In the Industrial: Corn chapter, Pollan argues that choosing corn as a cheap alternative causes a growing problem onto society. To first introduce his argument, Pollan discuss the usual tradition of the American diet. He criticizes the current of model of food production for creating cheap and unhealthy diets which can affect Americans in the future. In the very beginning, Pollan warns the society that “WeAmericans are not only what we eat, but how we eat, to (Pollan 8)” Pollan claims that new unhealthy models create unhealthy humans. He gives the audience a warning and then digresses onto the history of corn and its impact. To grab the audience’s attention, Pollan uses sarcasm and humor. For example, Pollan states “So that’s us: processed corn, walking. (Pollan 28)” Pollan paints an image of Americans as processed corn to imprint the idea that humans have been feeding themselves with artificial and inorganic materials. Then, to shift the blame, he uses specific examples to assert that the businesses and the government put cost production over quality. He mentions that “webusinesses subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest (Pollan 108)” He develops his argument by blaming the problem of obesity towards the government who promote unhealthy productions of foods.
On to the Pastoral: Grass chapter, Pollan introduces the chapter by convincing the audience that grass farms have significantly been seen as better when compared to corn farms. In Page 130, Pollan includes a small chart describing the differences between Naylor’s farm and the grass farm. This useful infographic helps the audience understand the difference and follow under Pollan’s argument. Pollan then digresses into Rosie the chicken. Claimed as organic, the chickens are observed by Pollan to truly see how the chickens are treated. Afterwards, Pollan describes “the free-range story as a bit of a stretch when you
discover that the door remains firmly shut until the birds are at least five
or six weeks old — for fear they’ll catch something outside — and the
chickens are slaughtered only two weeks later.(Pollan 140)”