The Unknown Dangers in American Food Production
It is the middle of summer vacation and you are working your way through your AP Language summer reading book, The Jungle. You recoil in your chair as you find out what “head cheese” is really made of and read all about the ingredients that fall into Durham’s Pure Leaf Lard. You quickly reassure yourself that you live in the twenty-first century. Ever since the formation of agencies such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) as well as the creation of the Food and Drug Act, there is no way that corporations can get away with making the inhumane food products found in Upton Sinclair’s novel...or are there? Over the years food…show more content… The cows would roam freely on the hillside and chickens look for food around the red, wooden barn. If you step back into the present you may realize that most farms today are very different than that of the past or what we would see in a painting. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) there are more than 20,000 factory farms nationwide. This is a 30 percent increase from 2003. These farms are industrial-scale facilities where animals are treated as a product rather than a living creature. Thousands of animals are kept in these factories resulting in disease and contamination. In the widely acclaimed documentary Food Inc., directed by Robert Kenner, Carole Morison declared that “This isn’t farming. This is just mass production like an assembly line in a factory.” In fact there are so many animals that workers cannot even process the 1.3 billion tons of waste that is produced annually. To solve this problem, waste is piled into large open pools and sprayed onto the land resulting in health problems for not only the workers but the people who live nearby. Rivers, streams and groundwater may also get polluted from this process.
In The Jungle, Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus describes the horrid working conditions of the 1900s to be filled with “...rivers of hot blood, and carloads of moist flesh, and rendering vats and soap caldrons, glue factories and fertilizer tanks,