Meet the Meat

Chicken Little? When it comes to confronting corporate abuses, chicken farmers chicken out. Now we’re left with oversized chickens, corporations, and jeans. It’s time to see what’s really in the butcher’s bucket.

The meat industry seems to have ingeniously invented a way to make food cheap, quick, and uniform, but in the process they are crumbling animal rights by inhumanely turning their farms into factories, destroying the natural environment while negatively affecting consumers, and gaining immense power while abusing chicken farmers as they construct a deceptive environment behind the scenes.

McDonald’s may be known for being unhealthy, but that doesn’t stop the food chain from being one of the most powerful fast-food chains in America. Their game-changing idea of making interchangeable food has paid off. According to Food Inc, suppliers had to create a factory environment to match the fast-food market in order to stay on top of the economic game. Chickens are raised and killed in half the time they were 50 years ago and are now twice as big (Food Inc.). In order to make the animals plump enough for business, they are fed growth-inducing hormones that can cause painful inflammation of the udder known as mastitis (Geer). The animals are forced to live in crowded warehouses where they will walk the crammed spaces on their own feces. Because of the unnatural size, they acquire due to what they are fed, many become too heavy to walk on their own two feet and die of starvation or dehydration (Food Inc.). Old-fashioned farming has disappeared, as money and speed have become the two predominant factors to suppliers, taking precedence over health, quality, and human decency.

Moreover, many of the health issues that plague the animals have now translated to humans. The hormones have caused an increase in the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer in meat consumers (Farm Sanctuary). Huffington Post says that more than 80% of antibiotics produced were fed to livestock because of unsanitary conditions. These drugs are actually contributing to the spread of super bugs that thrive in the absence of weaker microbes (Huffington Post). Diseases like E. Coli, salmonella, swine flu, and avian flu are communicable from animals and are being passed on to humans.

Worse still, the top four meat-supplying companies control 80% of the market, as opposed to the 25% that was controlled by the top five companies in the 1970’s (Food Inc.). Farmers go into debt buying resources and stay in debt because of all the forced upgrades. They have no say in the treatment of the chickens and if they refuse to upgrade to a dark tunnel-ventilated house system, their contract can be terminated. Because of the payment system, farmers who produce fatter chickens with less feed get raises while the others get pay cuts. Last Week Tonight states chicken farmers live below the poverty line. If a farmer dares to speak out, companies will retaliate through pay cuts and inferior supplies (Oliver). Nothing is done about this because these large companies sponsor many of our representatives in congress. Protective rules for poultry farmers were written, but they are not being enforced because a rider is inserted into the Agricultural Appropriations bill that forbids the USDA from enforcing these rules (Oliver).

The path humans now tread is one of misery for animals and consumers alike. In a capitalist system, it is not surprising that corporations will go the extra mile to rake in more dough, but some are now arriving at surreal ends through despicable means. The public cannot continue to ignore the fine print. Together we can make the issue a more prominent topic until change becomes a reality.

-Christine Magnuson


1. Food Inc. Dir. Robert Kenner. Official Food, Inc. Movie Site – Hungry For Change? N.p.,n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. http://www.foodincmovie.com/.

2. Oliver, John.”Scandals.” Last Week Tonight. 17 May 2017. Youtube. Web. 28 Mar.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9wHzt6gBgI&t=821s.

3.”9 Facts About Factory Farming That Will Break Your Heart.” Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/factory-farming-facts_n_4063892.html.

The Dollar Menu and Its Risks

Homemade Burger

Fast foods and processed foods are a big part of American lifestyles today. Fast and processed foods are easily accessible and affordable which is why they maintain their popularity. However, only a few consumers are fully aware of the contents that are in those foods. Because fast food and processed foods are cheaper than healthy foods, they are more affordable for low-income Americans. However, they are negatively affected by the processed foods over time. Every American should have the right to know what exactly is in their food and have the right to access healthy food without worrying about costs in order to avoid health issues such as obesity and diabetes.

Many nutritional professionals believe that all Americans, regardless of income, have equal access to a nutritious diet of whole grains, lean meats, and fresh vegetables and fruit. In reality, food prices pose a significant barrier for many consumers who are trying to balance good nutrition with affordability. “When incomes drop and family budgets shrink, food choices shift toward cheaper but more energy-dense foods. The first items dropped are usually healthier foods – high-quality proteins, whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Low cost energy-rich starches, added sugars, and vegetable fats represent the cheapest way to fill hungry stomachs.”¹

A consequence of regular and habitual consumption of these types of food is potential of chronic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In fact, diet-related chronic diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the United States and they tend to greater affect those having low income. “Low-income [Americans] tend to have diets that promote obesity, morbidity, and premature mortality, are low in fruits and vegetables, and are high in processed and fast foods.”²

Sustainability is the capacity to endure or continue. According to the Weisser essay on sustainability, “if a thing or an activity is sustainable, it can be reused, recycled, or repeated in some way because it has not exhausted all of the resources or energy required to create it.” Based on this definition of sustainability, fast and processed foods are not sustainable at all. All ingredients that are put into fast and processed foods are not used appropriately to increase the nutritional value of the foods. Instead, they are used to increase the energy put into the food but at the same time are used to decrease its nutritional value because of all the negative counter-effects such as higher risk of diet-related chronic diseases.

In order to increase sustainability related to the issue of food, which is a necessity in maintaining life, each and every American should know exactly what is in their food and should have the access to healthier food choices that they can afford. A way to solve this problem is nutrition profiling. “Nutrient profiling involves systematically ranking or classifying foods on the basis of nutrient content, through calculation of key nutrient content, relative to dietary energy. Nutrient-rich foods provide relatively more nutrients than calories.”¹

When every American gain access and the right of way to healthy foods, there will be an increase in sustainability.

Hyunji Park


1. Drewnowski, Adam, and Petra Eichelsdoerfer. “Can Low-Income Americans Afford a Healthy Diet?” Nutrition today. November 2010. Accessed April 20, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2847733/.

2. Lucan, Sean C., Frances K. Barg, and Judith A. Long. “Promoters and Barriers to Fruit, Vegetable, and Fast-Food Consumption Among Urban, Low-Income African Americans—A Qualitative Approach.” American Journal of Public Health. April 2010. Accessed April 20, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2836356/.

Picture credits: http://topreviewtracking.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Dollarphotoclub_61600915.jpg

 

What’s in your Food?

The very inclination for knowledge about our foods is just one reason of many why consumers should be able to view and know what goes into our foods and then into our bodies. Consumers need to be able to overcome this veil that food companies put up not because of knowledge sake alone, but for health risks, smart decision making that promote a healthy society.

Health is one of the biggest risks consumers place on the line when it comes to not knowing what is in the foods people eat and where it comes from. The shocking truth is that according t
o the Center For Food Safety, “It has been estimated that upwards of 75% of processed foods on supermarket shelves” (Center For Food Safety). But what does that mean? How does GMO foods affect the body negatively? Studies have shown that GMO based foods have a high risk of causing health issues such as heart diseases, liver failure, and even cancer. A lot of people prefer not to eat GMO based foods because of these reasons, but some food companies are starting to take labels off their products to improve marketing. The more companies try to cover up the fact they are trying to give the consumers harmful ingredients, the more customers need to fight back and demand their right for those descriptions and labels for smarter decisions making.

Making a choice on any topic is better made when knowing all the information that it is all about. Just by knowing what foods are no good for the consumers because the content is genetically modified or not is vital for consumer safety. The more knowledge a consumer has, the more power they have over big name corporations that try to take advantage of consumers by taking the labels of products. Knowing what goes into our foods and knowing how to choice and decipher what is good and what isn’t is a big thing to learn as a consumer. The educational system should educate society better in those aspects about what is good for us and what is not. If society wants to get better at eating healthy, we need to implement more food and health education to help people make better choices. Better choices equal a healthier society which leads to better outlook on foods and what to eat. An article called Front-of-Pack Food Labeling and the Politics of Nutritional Nudges, talks about how much healthier society would be with greater knowledge about the things we eat while also pin pointing the flaws in labeling tactics in some food companies. (Gyorgy 244).

This metaphoric veil of ambiguity of what’s in our foods wither needs to be torn down or we as consumers need to be better educated. Making the smart decision on what food is better and what food is bad will improve society’s health issues such as disease and cancer. Knowing what goes in your food and where it’s very vital and will benefit the consumer in the long run because of the large risks that consumers take every day not knowing how much of the food they eat is GMO products

——– Bruno Benna

  1. “Campaigns |.” Center for Food Safety. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.
  2. Schubert, David. “Science Supports the Need for GM Food Labeling.” Science Supports the Need for GM Food Labeling Vol. 29.1 (Jan 2016): 6-9. Print.
  3. Scrinis, Gyorgy, and Christine Parker. “Front-of-Pack Food Labeling and the Politics of Nutritional Nudges.” Law & Policy 38.3 (2016): 234-49. Web.
  4. Topping1234. “How Many People Have Died over GMOs.” Topping1234. N.p., 06 Feb. 2014. Web. 2017.
  5. Photo Cred. JON SHIREMAN/GETTY IMAGES

Animal Lives Matter

Animals, the living breathing creatures besides humans. Some people have them as pets, others run free in the wild, but the majority of animals are used for food. Around 9 billion land animals are killed each year in the U.S. to produce meat, dairy, and eggs. That is about one million every hour. On the other hand, the number of aquatic animals killed for food is in the trillions. These animals don’t even get to live a healthy normal life, Because the demand for animal based foods is very high, that the need for certain animal rights is being compromised.

Animals need water, food, oxygen, temperature, and a habitat to live. Most of the animals that are raised for food tend to have all these five elements, but majority of them do not have the proper forms of these elements. Animals that are raised by major food industries do not have the rights that they deserve. I am not saying that animals need to have the same rights as humans, but they need to be entitled to certain living rights for their benefit and consumers benefits.

A lack in quality of the elements and animal needs, can lead to major issues. These issues can range from things like diseases, deficiencies, and death. Any of those issues that develops in an animal will later be present in that animals meet, milk, etc, which the consumers then purchase and get sick and can possibly die.

Unfortunately, animal food products will most likely continue to be consumed, because animal products contain many nutrients and tastes good. Therefore, it is so important to give animals certain living rights that gives them a better quality of life, not only for them but also for the consumers. First, water should be clean and available to them all the time. Second, food should be clean and matched to the animal. Both food and water are ingested through the mouth, which means if unclean or not the right kind, they can easily cause the animals to develop sicknesses and diseases. Third, the animals should have access to air from the outside. This helps clean out their system, and helps them not to spread the disease as fast. Fourth, the animals need to have access to the right temperature and not whatever the farmers deem right. Fifth, the animals should have more space to move around and clean manure free floors. This will keep most of the diseases away. This will cause animals to be healthier, which in turn gives us a better quality in animal produce.

-Rodny Aquino


  1. Skip Davis, “5 Basic Needs of an Animal,” Sciencing, , accessed April 17, 2017, http://sciencing.com/5-basic-needs-animal-12001250.html.
  2. Food, Inc., dir. Robert Kenner, by Elise Pearlstein and Kim Roberts (USA: Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2008), DVD.
  3. Fig. 1. Chickens born and raised in a nasty spaceless room. http://www.occupy.com/article/factory-farming-divestment-movement-puts-animal-welfare-spotlight#sthash.YujMpXFc.dpuf