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Argument and Audience Analysis

In: Other Topics

Submitted By egib627
Words 922
Pages 4
Elba Gibson
Professor Cavender
RWS 280-14
February 24, 2015
Word Count 916 Project 1: Argument and Audience Analysis With the advancements in modern medicine, Americans are living longer lives than ever before. But does living a longer life mean you’re living a healthier life? The answer might not surprise some, but will shock most. Unfortunately we are living in a time where we are witnessing the most cases of chronic health illnesses, such as heart disease and obesity. Author and Chef Dan Barber raises some of the issues concerning America’s food production in his book “The Third Plate.” The issues with America’s food system are not only affecting our health, but are also interfering with nature in such a negative way, that the worsening of our environment is becoming more apparent each day. Barber is not the only advocate raising awareness about the troubles with modern food production. Michael Pollan, author of “The Food Movement, Rising” and documentaries such as “King Corn” also shed light on the issues surrounding Americans’ health as well as the deterioration of our environment. The solution to this unhealthy epidemic does not lie in a miracle pill, nor in an Ivy League-trained physician. It lies in our food production, and the best place to start is at the source; at the farm. And who better to advocate for this change than farmers and chefs? Farmers and chefs should influence a better food system by promoting good food through their harvests and prepared meals. Barber argues that chefs have the “platform” to inspire the new way of eating that stems from the ground up (Barber 87-88) for the purpose of raising awareness to the millions of middle class Americans who are unaware of the benefits of his new concept of “the third plate.” This concept was proven with the harvest of the eight row flint corn which Barber used to make polenta – the best polenta he had ever tasted. It was no coincidence that this great-tasting type of corn had been selected by Native Americans over centuries because of its superiority in taste and quality. Barber’s theory of better tasting food coming from better farming is further supported in the documentary “King Corn” in which two college friends, Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney, set out to harvest an acre of corn. Their findings were that the type of corn they produced wasn’t edible and the corn industry wasn’t very profitable. Instead, it mass produced cheap-tasting corn. This cheap version of corn is used to produce other products such as high fructose corn syrup and feed for cows that shouldn’t eat corn to begin with. The type of yellow corn that they harvested is a big contrast to the organic eight row flint that Barber set out to grow, further proving that the more natural food is produced, the better product it yields. The concept of organic farming is further addressed by Pollan in “The Food Movement, Rising.” Pollan argues that organic farming not only benefits our health and the environment, but it also promotes a better economy for all, something Ellis and Cheney can attest to. Furthermore, Pollan addresses an important issue also brought forth in “King Corn”. The cheap production of food can only yield one thing—cheap food. The arguments brought forth by Barber, Pollan, and King Corn all address important issues related to America’s food supply. Some might argue that as a vendor, making a profit is the primary goal. But does anyone really profit? As these three point out, our food system is currently causing more harm than good. The points raised by the three make it evident that America’s food system must go beyond profits and mass production. In order to prevent our resources from deteriorating, we must adhere to nature. Instead of manipulating it, we must reinforce it. Barber argues that a more traditional way of farming is the way to go. The Iroquois used a farming method called “the three sisters,” which is an efficient way to harvest by making nature help itself (Barber 22). After analyzing the three arguments, I believe that a sustainable way of farming should be the only way to produce food. Although modern technology has allowed for the great abundance of food, Barber, Pollan, and King Corn prove that it does more harm than good. As an avid farmer’s market patron, I have witnessed firsthand that organic foods do make a difference in one’s health and overall wellbeing. It is apparent that the citizens of this country are not as healthy as they can be. The analysis of these arguments further proves that the cause of this unhealthy epidemic is highly due to the cheap production of food. The only way to reverse the harms that this food system has caused is to stop it and return to the way nature intended it to be. The accounts of these and other advocates for a better food system are essential in the advancement of the food movement. As Barber claims, those already on food platforms should do more to promote a more sustainable food system. It is clear that the demand for a cleaner, more sustainable product will increase, paving way for the food movement that these incredible advocates work towards. Whether one calls it a food movement, the concept of the third plate, or simply acting upon it without calling it anything at all, the advancement will benefit more than just our health. It will connect nature as a whole.

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