Food as Thought or Food is Thoughtless Do you think that you can eat healthy by eating what society says is unhealthy? Many people would answer this question with no you have to eat what society says is healthy to be healthy. Mary Maxfield is a graduate of “Fontbonne University” where she graduated with a degree in “creative social change” she also minored in “sociology, American culture studies, and women’s and gender studies”. (442) Max Maxfield currently attends “Bowling Green State University” where she is continuing her studies in “American Studies”. (442) Mar Maxfield argues that you don’t need to eat healthy to be healthy. Max Maxfield supports her argument with strong counter-arguments, and strong facts to back up her view. In her article, Maxfield first starts by talking about people in France and how they can eat many things that are seen to be unhealthy to Americans like “cheese, cream, and …show more content…
One of these quotes Maxwell used was a quote from fat – acceptance activist Kate Harding that says, “if you scratch an article on the obesity crisis, you will almost always find a press release from a company that’s developing a weight loss drug------or from a ‘research group’. . . fund by such companies.” (444) Maxwell continues to say that in our culture we continue to favor what the media says about how being fat is fatal and how being thin is immortal even though we should be favoring what scientists say about our health. Using a quote from Kate Harding, talking about how the media is influenced by drug companies or research groups funded by such companies then talking about how we think being fat is fatal while being thin is immortal it allowed Maxwell to show that she thinks that we shouldn’t care as much if we are fat or thin because the people who are trying to influence us to believe that are doing it for their own
Mary Maxfield focuses on Pollan’s comparison between how French people eat so unhealthily, famously indulging in cheese, cream, and wine yet remain on average healthier than Americans verses Americans’ notably unhealthy population preoccupied with the idea of eating healthy. The “they say” argument in this essay is why can the French get away with eating unhealthy, but Americans can not? Pollan points out that “our” definition of healthy eating is driven by a well-funded corporate machine. According to Pollan, the food industry, along with nutrition science and journalism, is capitalizing on our confusion over how to eat. Pollen wants us to focus less on what we eat and more on smaller portion sizes. For example, the fast food industry in America has contributed to American’s over eating by upsizing their products. The essay focuses on a healthy body weight and points out that Americans see fatness as unhealthy and thinness as healthy. Culturally our views of weight skew our views of what foods are right to eat. In other words Americans do not understand that what a person eats is not as important as how much they
Pollan defines the American problem as “unhealthy people obsessed by the idea of eating healthily.” (Pg. 3) The vast majority of consumers in our society are ones that envision themselves as striving towards a healthy lifestyle, yet many of these consumers don’t realize that in their attempts at eating healthy they are on a slow decline. A large sum of the population garners their information on which foods to eat from their daily news sources, trying new fad diets and picking up any food that Buzzfeed or the Huffington Post tells them will better their health (Pg. 1). This behavior in turn leaves those desperate for a slimmer and healthier bodies utterly confused and desolate.
While nutritionism is suppose to scientifically guide us to eat healthy, Pollan points out that there is no scientific evidence to back it. Instead, he provides research conducted by Harvard nutrition scientist that proves the opposite. "In the public's mind [...] words like 'low-fat' and 'fat-free' have been synonymous with heart health. It is now increasingly recognized that low-fat campaign has been based on little scientific evidence and may have caused unintended health consequences." (Pollan 43). In Based off these observations, Pollan uses inductive reasoning to draw the conclusion that nutritionism is more harmful then helpful.
In Michael Pollan’s essay “Escape from the Western Diet,” he informs Americans about the western diet and believes they need to escape from it. The reason Americans should escape the western diet is to avoid the harmful effects associated with it such as “western diseases” (Pollan, 434). To support his view on the issue, Pollan describes factors of the western diet that dictate what Americans believe they should eat. These factors include scientists with their theories of nutritionism, the food industry supporting the theories by making products, and the health industry making medication to support those same theories. Overall, Pollan feels that in order to escape this diet, people need to get the idea of it out of their heads. In turn he
As a culture and as individuals, we no longer seem to know what we should and should not eat. When the old guides of culture and national cuisine and our mothers’ advice no longer seem to operate, the omnivore’s dilemma returns and you find yourself where we do today—utterly bewildered and conflicted about one of the most basic questions of human life: What should I eat? We’re buffeted by contradictory dietary advice: cut down on fats one decade, cut down on carbs the next. Every day’s newspaper brings news of another ideal diet, wonder-nutrient, or poison in the food chain. Hydrogenated vegetable oils go from being the modern alternatives to butter to a public health threat, just like that. Food marketers bombard us with messages that this or that food is “heart healthy” or is “part of a nutritious meal”. Without a stable culture of food to guide us, the omnivore’s dilemma has returned with a vengeance. We listen to scientists, to government guidelines, to package labels—to anything but our common sense and traditions. The most pleasurable of activities—eating—has become heavy with anxiety. The irony is, the more we worry about what we eat, the less healthy and fatter we seem to become.
Healthy, unhealthy, good food, bad food, fat, skinny, diet, weight: all these words have been used to define what society views as the key to a balanced or unbalanced life. In the essay, Food for Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating, Mary Maxfield takes a look into the stigma of eating habits, health, and dieting in western society. Maxfield supports her claims by analyzing and refuting Michael Pollan’s essay, Escape from the Western Diet. Although it is common knowledge that many people struggle to understand what is essentially “healthy” and “unhealthy”, there are many experts in the field of nutrition that claim to have the key to a perfect diet. Maxfield ultimately disclaims these ideas by bringing to light information that
“People eating a western diet are prone to a complex of chronic diseases that seldom strike people eating more traditional diets.” He suggests that people who eat other foods that are not western tend to have less chronic diseases. His solution to this is to stop eating the Western diet. She points out that Maxwell is contradicting himself because while being a “critic of nutrition and food science he is bolstering the American investment in those industries.”(443) She also disagrees with his maxim, “Eat food, not much, and mostly plants” because she takes his idea as insulting addressing people “who apparently can’t properly nourish
In Michael Pollan’s essay, “The American Paradox”, Pollan argues that American’s hold falsified ideas if one is more focused on nutrition. Americans have too much going on in their head with trying to be healthy, that they do not actually become healthy. The notion that “a notably unhealthy population preoccupied with nutrition and the idea of eating healthy” (Pollan 268) is what Pollan defines as the “American paradox”. The amount of time spent focusing on healthy eating habits decreases the joy one contains. Pollan identifies many issues that contribute to what is wrong with the way Americans think about eating today. For instance, we spend too much time and money trying to be healthy, we have strayed away from the past as new inventions occurred and last being we listen to “flawed science”. Despite the fact that many may say they see positive results from focusing on nutrition and health, Americans actually receive negative outcomes from nutrition and health.
Whether or not a person wants a burger and french-fries’ or a salad from the salad bar, the decision should be up to him/her. Two articles share views on food, “What You Eat Is Your Business” by Radley Balko and “Junking Junk Food” by Judith Warner. These two authors wrote articles about how they felt about food and how it’s related to obesity. However, Radley Balko would not approve of Judith Warner’s views on food for the reason that the two authors have different viewpoints on the aspect of the government helping people to make better food choices. Warner and Balko also has different views on the ideas which are that eating is a psychological matter; and eating healthy should be a personal matter.
Over the last several decades, the diet of society has been continually changing. This has resulted in different formulas for nutrition and the proper portions of foods that must be consumed. To fully understand the various arguments requires looking at numerous viewpoints. This will be accomplished by focusing on Michael Pollan's Escape from the Western Diet in contrast with Mary Maxfield's Food as thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating. These views will highlight how diet and nutrition is based upon individual opinions. This is the focus of the thesis.
Many Americans are concern about the increment of disease and obesity caused by the limited options of healthy food, “since America is saturated with junk food advertising”(Khullar 135). However, in consequence of the absence of an American cuisine, fast food restaurants and foods high in fats offered by supermarkets, has become the first option to Americans. After all, Pollan’s argument that the lack of a stable traditional cuisine is the consequence of America’s national eating disorder and the steady national diet is reasonable since there are many factors that support his claim. For example, Mary Roach, in Liver and Opinions: Why We Eat What We Eat and Despite the Rest, claims that the food we eat is influenced by people’s cultural background; in other words, people are used to eating what their parents feed them when they were kids. “In addition, Americans have a conflict with having a stable eating habit; they tend to change their diet often”(Roach 123). Overall, Pollan’s is comprehensible while he argues that Americans do not have a stable culture of food, which causes an instability in people’s
America is known for its advanced society and technology, but is also known to be one of the most obese populations. Found in “Down to Earth”, America is one of the most progressive countries to exist; therefore it should be the healthiest (“Obesity in America”). If America is so highly advanced, more advancement needs to be put towards obesity rates. As time goes on, adults and children are having to consequently expand their waistbands because of unhealthy habits. In an article previously discussed, Brown-well states that Americans are at an all-time low in exercising (Murray). By having less motivation to exercise, family health is at stake. Future generations need to be more pressured to keep physically fit for their health. With less motivation for a healthier lifestyle, communities across America will remain obese. According to CBS news, Americans prefer to consume Twinkies over Tofu (“The Blame Game”). With Americans not giving healthier options opportunity, less interest will be put into healthy options. Individuals are focusing on the pleasure of taste than their own well being. Internationally speaking, Americans have one of the strongest societies, but the weakest mindset for healthy living. With stubborn attitudes and continual unhealthy choices, obesity will not only stay but
In the Introduction to “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating”, Mary Maxfield argues that food and the way we consume it is not something that should define the obesity epidemic in America. A controversial issue discussed has been whether we should have theories or ideas where diet works best to increase weight loss or whether we should have any diets to begin with. On one hand, Maxfield argues against the Health Professor Michael Pollan, who proposes a diet idea to reduce the problem of unhealthy eating in America. While also reprimanding scientists and health doctors who suggests their own different diets. On the other hand, she introduces that food is just food and does not need to be differentiated since one may seem
“The Cato Institute’s” Policy analyst, Radley Balko, in his article “What You Eat Is Your Business,” talks about the idea of obesity and whose fault it is. Balko’s purpose is to convey the idea that obesity is the individual’s responsibility, not the government’s or anyone else’s for that matter. Ultimately, Balko’s “What You Eat Is Your Business” has a strong hold on ethos, pathos, and logos, making for a successful and persuasive article.
Michael Pollan in his book titled ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ takes a critical look at the food culture in the Unites States. According to him, the question that seems to bother most Americans is simply ‘What should we have for dinner today?’ To Pollan, Americans face this dilemma because they do not have a proper tradition surrounding food. ‘The lack of a steadying culture of food leaves us especially vulnerable to the blandishments of the food scientist and the marketer for whom the omnivore’s dilemma is not so much a dilemma as an opportunity; (Pollan). He cites the example of the Atkins diet and how an entire nation changed its eating habits almost overnight. A nation that had deep rooted food culture values would