Processed Foods: The Hidden Evil Essay

1639 words - 7 pages

Brianna Holmes


Processed foods: The Hidden Evil

In Today’s generation everything that we eat has been taken over by science. Food has turned into genetically modified and processed foods. Michael Pollans In Defense of Food touches on major problems within our food system that are leading to serious health problems nationwide. The biggest of these problems such as Diabetes, Obesity, and much more originate from science, and how food production scientist are trying so hard to eliminate problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity and improve the health of what we are eating. Scientist are adding genetically modified ingredients that are intended to help improve the foods ...view middle of the document...

As stated by Pollan in his article Unhappy Meals in the New York Times “Nutritionism is an ideology that assumes that it is the scientifically identified nutrients in food that determine their value in our diet (1). Nutrients in foods are what make up the food that we eat, and when scientist study nutrients they are breaking them down one by one trying to determine the importance of that single nutrient in each food. When a specific nutrient is perceived as healthy or helpful scientist begins to place that one nutrient into many genetically and processed foods which creates problems. The problem being that scientists are ignoring the facts that food is more than its nutrient parts, when an ingredient is added to a food that is not naturally there all the sums may have a different function than they have apart. Pollan argues that, “People don’t eat nutrients, they eat food, and foods can behave very differently from the nutrients they contain (63). Food is a whole, not just a salad bowl of nutrients that we consume which is why the idea of simply picking apart food piece by piece for the purpose of identifying nutrients does not work. This is a misconception, which leads to many adding’s of un-natural nutrients into foods that they don’t belong in and creating a new spawn of health problems to consumers who are under the impression that they are eating something that benefits their health.
The way that food naturally produces is they way that are best fit for the consumer; genetically modifying nutrients do not prove to be as effective as naturally acquiring that nutrient from its natural provider and not acquiring it through the form of a processed food. For instance Pollan gives the example that scientists have attempted to take the nutrients responsible for the prevention and added protection against cancer, strip them from their natural sources and see what health benefits can be achieved. The natural way to achieve some added protection against some cancers is by eating a diet composed of high volumes of fruits and vegetables, scientists attempted to provide this same protection by stripping those nutrients and using them as additives in everyday foods we eat as a nation but the outcome seemed to refute the theory. The hypothesis of this study explores the nutrients antioxidants derived from fresh produce. The compounds explored were Beta-Carotene, Lycopene, Vitamin E and more, but when stripped from its natural provider produce had little to no positive health benefits which coincide with Pollans argument against this theory. In Pollans text, he argues against” The assumption of nutritonism which states that food not system but rather the sum of its nutrient parts” (Pollan 61). He believes that this misconception brings its own problems into the production of food and adding of science. Pollan argues that many people believe there are no faults in science, and that scientists have no ideological taint but states that even scientists are...

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