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We Are What We Eat: A Response to Michael Pollan
Griffin Gearhart
Goldey-Beacom College

Food politics of America: An Elaboration of Michael Pollan’s Six Rules

You Quite literally are what you eat, and in today’s society it is becoming harder and harder to be a healthy person. In my own experience growing up in America, it is actually easier to fall victim to an unhealthy diet than to a healthy one. This is because the faster, cheaper, and easier meal options are usually the most unhealthy foods. It requires quite a bit of searching to find healthy food sources and you must be willing to spend substantially more for the higher quality foods. Companies won’t stop selling unhealthy foods until they can’t make profit. American society today requires a shift in health consciousness, if we want to clean up our supermarkets; it starts with supporting healthy food sources. In order to inflict change into the food industry, each one of us must take it upon ourselves to spend the extra effort to become healthy individually and as a society. So, be careful out there America, today’s food landscape is a minefield of unhealthy food options that can lead to very real health consequences.

In his essay “Six Rules for Eating Wisely,” published in Time, food activist Michael Pollan (2006) argues that Americans are faced with an “increasingly treacherous landscape of food choices” (para. 1) driven by the food industry’s $36 billion marketing efforts. As a result, Pollan believes that Americans are not eating well and no longer have proper guidance on how and what they should eat. Therefore he proposes six rules to help them out. First, he urges Americans to avoid eating foods that their ancestors would not recognize because today’s highly processed “food products” (para. 3) that their ancestors wouldn’t recognize are not healthy. Second, he encourages Americans to cut out...

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