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The Change in Food Production in Pollan’s The Ominvore’s Dilemma

Decent Essays
Food production has changed drastically throughout the span of this country’s history, shifting from small-scale farms into mega-facilities that horde animals inhumanely. In Pollan’s The Ominvore’s Dilemma, he showcases the transformative nature of food production throughout the years, by emphasizing the commercialization and industrialization aspects of this continual food evolution. Though Pollan expresses his opinions on modern-day methods of food production and categorization of these means of production, he experiences the dilemma that is commonly faced by many individuals in this day and age. Therefore, he undergoes the endeavor to find the solution to this national dilemma.

He poses the question: “what should we have for dinner?”
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Many consumers are not able to see where their food comes from, similarly to how the corn no longer has the information of how it was produced. The change in food production also is evident in the decline in personal nature via packaging. Two centuries ago, people were able to purchase their corn from “the farm where the corn had been grown” and most likely where they had developed a more personal linkage with the farmer on a local level. Now, the connection between the source of consumer’s food production and the consumer itself are separated by thousands of miles, lacking communication, acknowledgement, and awareness of the production process. Pollan implements something as simple as a produce “sack” to showcase the reality that modern-day consumers are denied their right to know where and how their food was developed, violating one foundation of food justice: the right to know what one is eating.

A possible explanation for why food production has changed so much can be that its consumers have also evolved as a society--the commercialization of agriculture has culminated this alteration within the industry. The consumer's desire to connect back with their ancestors can be easily ascertained by going to “healthier” markets like Wholefoods, among others. Pollan compares Wholefoods to a good-quality "bookstore," filled with extensive nutritional vocabulary on their packaging. However, much of it is not
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