The Price To Be Paid: An Analysis Of Michael Pollan

1598 words - 7 pages

According to an article by Michael Pollan, paying more for “fresh” food and driving for a long ways is better than paying a little less and saving time and money on gas. In the article, “No Bar Code,” Pollan intelligently describes his experience of visiting a local private farm. He had heard about the Polyface farm and wanted to try some meat. So, Pollan called up Joel Salatin, the farm owner, and asked for him to FedEx a broiler, Salatin had refused and explains that Polyface farm does not ship long distance and that is Pollan wanted to try his meat, he would have to drive to the farm. Pollan learns from Salatin that people drive for hours and even up to a half a days drive just to get one ...view middle of the document...

Pollan later goes on about how when “mad cow disease” and “oil runs out” that we will still have a way to feed ourselves when we buy from our local farms.
As argued in the article, America burns large quantities of fossil fuel to ship things all over the country and even the world. Pollan first thought that was Salatin’s reasons for “keeping his food chain so short,” when he arrived Pollan found out it was of “local food systems.” I contend that burning the fuels that are in the cars to drive out to the farms is probably almost as bad as the fossil fuels for shipping the food all over the country. Another point that is argued, is “local is not necessarily mean it’s organic or even sustainable” (Pollan 4). Just because the food is “locally grown” doesn’t mean that it is healthy. Farmers that sell and send their food across the state or country have to spray the food with preservatives to preserve the food longer. The preserved food is not organic because it is not as fresh and natural as it could be. The food products that are shipped all over the country and even the world cause growing globalization, consumption patterns, and concomitant social and biological diversity (O’Hara 534). Shipping local food products to different parts of the world bring the world together and share the different cultures through food. Pollan also states that you won’t find anything “microwavable” at a farmer’s market (Pollan 4). However, not every item at a supermarket is microwavable. There are a ‘fresh’ fruits and vegetables section and a ‘fresh’ meats and fish section in almost every supermarket in the U.S. I contend that when the fresh food is sprayed with preservatives and other chemical, it may seem unhealthy and bad for a person but, the chemicals are killing all bacteria and disease on the food and protecting the food for travel, so the buyer can buy food that is safe for them to eat. Buying at a local farm is not always the safer or healthier way to go. Even though the food at the local farms is fresher, the “long-term sustainability” is questionable after a “loss of adaptability of such homogeneous systems” (O’Hara 534). Farmers are unable to guarantee the same outcome of ‘products’ each year. Also, farmers are only able to grow plants at certain times of the year so food choice for supermarket avoiders is very limited.
The ‘local farms’ in a community are not very local; a person has to drive a long ways to get a few items from the farms. The food may be fresher at the farms than in the supermarket but, the supermarket is closer and cheaper than the local farms. As gas prices rise, the ‘need’ to drive is becoming less and less common. Supermarkets are placed conveniently close to as many houses as possible, so the drive is shorter and people have the ability to walk and even take the local bus to the store. Local farms, however, are placed on the outskirts of the cities and towns because of the space needed to grow crops and raise animals. Farms...

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