Is it really “Farm Fresh?”

In the present time, our food is usually marketed in stores as being “Farm Fresh,” which gives shoppers a sense of trust of the idea that farms still make and produce foods like they did in the early 1900’s. However, modern food production appears to be more of a factory than an idealistic farm setting. Though people may think differently, thousands of chickens are packed into dark, poorly ventilated houses. On account of these corrupted companies compete over the domination of the market and keep turning profits, production animals everywhere are suffering.

In my research, my interest was taken in the subjects on if the animals in the farms have the right to have a certain quality of life. In the food production industry, the major corporations control the quality of the products being produced by major providers. These providers tend to only care about profit and not the well-being of the animals they produce. One example in the documentary “Food Inc.” was related to chickens. The chickens were mass produced by big corporations such as Tyson and Perdue and have been engineered for the chickens to grow four times the size of a normal chicken in a short amount of time. Though the skin and muscle have been designed to grow very quickly, the bones and internal organs of these modified chickens can not keep up. The documentary showed several clips of these mutant chickens taking a few steps and then having to lay back down because their bodies can not support their weight. Production animals such as cattle should be fed grasses and roots of the land instead of corn, which they are not meant to consume and digest.  If we decide not to abide by these rules, society’s actions of pertaining food can be detrimental to our planet.

I believe that these food and animal processors should aim toward using renewable energy or process wastes to produce energy. Providing safe and nutritious food remains a leading priority for the food industry. It is so important to continue this life cycle of food products where we can use our resources effectively and harvest the foods, so it will not be permanently damaged.

Jamison G. Tsuchiya


  1. “Harman’s Place!” Do Animals have the right to a certain quality of life? Accessed April 18, 2017. http://harman-thes-classover7-series.blogspot.com/p/do-animals-have-right-to-certain.html.
  2. “Factory Farming: Misery for Animals.” PETA. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/.
  3. “Chickens.” Farm Sanctuary. Accessed April 20, 2017. https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/chickens/.

Fig. 1. The Chicken of Tomorrow needs to be the Chicken of Yesterday (http://heritagefoodsusa.com/)

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Animal Rights to a Certain Quality of Life

Humans have excluded themselves as the superior group of animals placing themselves on top of the food chain. The idea of humans as the superior specie in the animal kingdom is excused by many because of their more developed cognitive abilities. This superiority causes humans to ignore the rights of other animals or simply blinds them to the issue of animal abuse already occurring. Animals should have the right to a certain quality of life because they are conscious beings capable of experimenting emotions, their importance in everyday human life, and the knowledge gained from studying them.

The school of thought that advocates for the lack of emotions in animals has roots in an ancient Greek philosophy that animals have no soul, therefore, are incapable of feeling emotions. Famous philosophers such as Aristotle were strong promoters of this idea (Allen, Colin). Animals were portrayed as mere reflex-driven machines with no intellectual capacity. This image has been passed down throughout history and is very much intact today. The lack of care for animal rights is exposed every day in slaughterhouses where thousands of animals live their whole lives in filthy, tight spaces, are fed with harmful growth hormones, and are killed in horrendous ways. Major food companies are looking to meet the demand for fast and cheap animal produce without a concern for the lives of the animals. Although the U.S government has passed Humane Slaughter laws, they are hardly ever kept (Library, National). These animals are raised in their own manure, and are often tortured before they die. Jonathan Balcombe, the director of the Human Society Institute for Science and Policy, has executed experiments that prove his hypothesis of the presence of animal emotions. He observes animal behavior when petting takes place. In 2014 he studied the behavior of goats and sheep. Each individual animal had different preferred petting spots; they all reacted differently when the petting stopped. Enjoyment was a clear emotion shown; aggression also took place when one of the animals was not petted correctly. Balcombe states, “Watching these creatures pursue their wants and needs reminds me that they are individuals with intentions and preferences” (Balcombe, Jonathan).

It is reasonable to assume that not every person in the world will leave animal products as a food source; they do contain nutritional value after all. The change does not have to be found in the overall termination of animal farming, but in the alternatives to factory farming. Large industries see animals as unit numbers of production or property. The degrading conditions animals live in can be reduced if local and smaller farms, businesses, and movements are able to complete the process (Farming, Beyond). This system will unleash a chain reaction of animal care that will be reflected in other aspects of animal abuse. Many animals experience as much or more emotions than a human baby; therefore, they deserve better treatment than what they have been receiving for decades.

Sergio Monterroso


  1. Allen, Colin, and Michael Trestman. “Animal Consciousness.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 23 Dec. 1995. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.
  2. Library, National Agricultural. “Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.” United States Department of Agriculture. United States Department of Agriculture, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.
  3. Balcombe, Jonathan. “Yes, Animals Have Feelings.” LiveScience. Purch, 10 Dec. 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.
  4. Farming, Beyond Factory. “Beyond Factory Farming.” Alternatives to Factory Farming | Beyond Factory Farming. N.p., Oct. 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.
  5. http://www.godvine.com/read/10-hugs-from-animal-friends-489.html

Quality over Quantity

In terms of producing food, the focus has shifted towards having the mindset of quantity over quality. This mindset is what drives mass production companies. It seems as the quantity of food goes up, quality has gone down within these companies. Mass production companies have its advantages, but the negative aspects of this type of producing greatly outweighs the benefits.

Mass production has been beneficial in this busy life. Food that has been processed last longer and does not spoil as easily as natural foods. Storing, packing, and transporting becomes easier after it has been modified to be less perishable (“The Benefits and Drawbacks of Food Manufacturing”). A premade or packaged meal is quicker and more convenient than spending an abundant amount of time prepping and cooking a meal (Thorne).

Small farms are being run out of business because of the FASM Act that was passed. This places a burden on small farmers who can’t afford the costs (Collins). Eventually they will struggle with payments and will run out of business. Small local farms are essential in healthy food production because they increase the availability of locally grown food that has been minimally processed (Collins). Quality of labor is also significantly better in small farms since small farms are usually owned by families.

The main focus of large companies is to produce large amounts of food efficiently and to keep the costs of production low. The problem with this is that because they have a certain mindset, they will go about whatever ways to fulfill their goal. After all, the food company industry is a business and businesses are all about profit. This causes them to take shortcuts which potentially could include using lower quality product, paying lower wages to increase profit, and even using more chemicals (Food, Inc). For example, animals raised in factory farms are fed the cheapest possible feeds and grains to keep the production cost low (Lipman). When an individual consumes processed animal meat, the individual is also receiving a serving of the animal’s questionable diet.

Mass production puts food that is produced at risk of being contaminated with chemicals or even bacteria. One reason why chemicals are often utilized is to make sure all the food tastes the same. Sick animals are given chemical additives and antibiotics which in turn enters the system of a consumer (Lipman). Although measures are taken to reduce the number of bacteria found in meat, there can still be some traces of bacteria found.

Mass production has changed the way our world functions. In today’s society, people are always busy. Having food that has been processed to last longer and having ready-made meals has been very helpful. With the positive benefits, there is also always a negative aspect. Local small farms are being run out of business, the quality of food is not at its highest, and traces of bacteria and chemicals being found in the processed foods are just a few of the numerous negative aspects of mass production. It is important for us to know where our food comes from and to know that the quality of our food is more important than the quantity of food. Despite all the positive aspects of mass production, the negative greatly outweigh the positive.

Stephanie Trinidad


Lipman, Dr. Frank. “FOOD FOR NAUGHT: 5 Reasons To Kick Mass-Produced Meats Off Your Plate.” Be Well. July 23, 2013. Accessed April 20, 2017.

Animal Rights

Fast food has become an integral part of the United States, but despite being so widespread, it lacks nutrition and promotes unhealthy food choices. Furthermore, the preparation of these foods often consists of brutal exploitation of animals. The documentary, Food Inc, portrays the inhumane behavior towards animals destined to be meat. Although representatives of the meat industry may argue that the processes are efficient, the production of meat should not include cruel treatment of animals but should strive towards increasing sustainability and animal welfare.

Most pet owners treat the animals in their house as a human child, providing love, food, and shelter. Cows, chickens, and pigs, which are not as different, do not even have space to move around freely. According to the lawsuit case Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Otter, over nine billion animals are killed in one year to cater to greedy corporations and hungry consumers2. Moreover, the waste of a single pig operation with 500,000 animals, surpasses that of Manhattan’s population of 1.5 million1. To accelerate the animals’ growth, workers force antibodies into them, leading to serious physical and physiological issues. This industrialized cruelty and abuse of animals is appalling enough but is becoming normalized. As displayed in the documentary, chickens are slaughtered and disassembled while still alive and screaming for their lives.

Many recognize the problem but don’t realize how debilitating it is to directly experience unhealthy meat production. The film describes the case of Kevin Kowalcyk, who died young from consuming E.coli infected beef (a result of using corn feed). In addition to unsanitary living conditions, the animals undergo physical abuse and sustain untreated injuries. Authorities and contracted farmers believe that to garner the most profit, they must produce meat in the quickest way possible, ignoring the consequential health issues and immoral actions; however, surveys conducted by the Journal of Food Law and Policy proved that 73% of Americans will support laws that provide animals with basic rights2.  An article written by University of Leeds’ professors Rory Sullivan, Nicky Amos, and Heleen A. van de Weerd at the school of Earth and Environment states that only 44% of meat producing companies have published farm animal welfare policies, indicating that more than half have not implemented care systems for animals3. Bringing the brutal handling of farm animals to light can hurt the reputation of a meat producing company, but raising awareness can result in healthier produce and more satisfied consumers.

            Basic rights, such as ability to move around freely, clean living conditions, healthy food, and painless death, should be granted to livestock. Many people consume expensive organic meat because the quality of the meat is important to them; therefore, if the cost of meat produce were to increase to cater to livestock welfare, profit would not decrease significantly. Although the problem may appear trivial, animal rights are an important and integral part of the food industry and society, and it must be addressed and fixed as soon as possible.

-Young Choi


  1. Fearing, Jennifer. “What Food, Inc. Can Teach Us About How We Treat Animals.” Civil Eats. James Beard, 01 June 2009.
  2. Holifield, Lucy L. 2016. “ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND V. OTTER: INDUSTRIAL FOOD PRODUCTION SIMPLY IS NOT A PRIVATE MATTER.” Journal Of Food Law & Policy 12, no. 1: 16-52. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost
  3. Sullivan, Rory, Nicky Amos, and Heleen A. van de Weerd. 2017. “Corporate Reporting on Farm Animal Welfare: An Evaluation of Global Food Companies’ Discourse and Disclosures on Farm Animal Welfare.” Animals (2076-2615) 7, no. 3: 1-21. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost
  4. Fig 1. Animal equality. http://www.animalequality.net/node/844

Be Smart. Eat Smart.

When someone is given the choice to eat a meal from the dollar menu or a healthy salad for $5.00, they will most likely choose the unhealthier meal due to the lower price. Many people choose eating at McDonalds over buying vegetables/organic food from the grocery store because they do not want to spend an excessive amount of money on food. Organic foods are generally perceived as more expensive, but people are defining price by the wrong factors. Society tends to prioritize the cost of meals above the quality of the food they are consuming. By understanding the cost of healthy food, people will see that the quality should be prioritized above the cost of it.

In an article from The Washington Post, a study was revealed in which consumers were asked to select the healthier type of chicken wrap; roasted, priced at $8.95, or balsamic, priced at $6.95[1]. All participants selected the roasted wrap. After this test, a second one was conducted with the wrap prices switched. The results revealed that the new test subjects chose the balsamic wrap as the healthier one. The test subjects were not considering what each wrap consisted of, but rather focusing solely on the price of each one and basing their choice off that. They all assumed that the most expensive wrap was the healthier one.

There have been many studies done which reveal why eating healthy is more expensive. On the Harvard T.H. CHAN website, it says that eating healthy costs $1.50 more per day[2]. The reason for this is because there is such high demand for the unhealthy food, this results in mass production. An article from Straight Health on eating healthy mentions that this demand has created a large network of farming, manufacturing, and transportation[3]. The organic food brands do not have that big of a network, which makes it more expensive to buy.

Rather than thinking all organic and healthy food is overpriced, individuals should be looking at the overall health benefits. Eating unhealthy can cause various health-related issues. Diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease are just a few risks that are increased when living an unhealthy lifestyle. Many of these diseases are difficult or impossible to get rid of. The medication for these sicknesses outweigh the cost of eating healthy by a considerable amount. While shopping for healthy food is usually more expensive than buying cheap food, eating healthy will save you in the long run.

In conclusion, maintaining a healthy body should be the number one priority. People should not settle for what is on the dollar menu. It is important to equip the body with everything it needs to be sustainable. Everything that enters the body will either fight or feed it. People should be concerned with what they choose to eat because it will affect their health in the future. The easily accessible, and higher priced organic food is there for consumers to buy and benefit from.

Eating healthy can cost you money, but eating unhealthy can cost you your life.

-Emily David


  1. Haws, Kelly L., Kevin L. Sample, and Rebecca Walker Reczek. “Why is healthy food so expensive? Maybe because we expect it to be.” The Washington Post. January 05, 2017. Accessed April 18, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/05/why-is-healthy-food-so-expensive-maybe-because-we-expect-it-to-be/?utm_term=.8c14534c24a3.zxd
  2. “Eating healthy vs. unhealthy diet costs about $1.50 more per day.” News. January 13, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2017. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/healthy-vs-unhealthy-diet-costs-1-50-more/.
  3. “Why are healthy foods expensive?” Straight Health. Accessed April 18, 2017. http://straighthealth.com/pages/qna/healthyfoodexpensive.html.
  4. Fig 1. Burgers vs. Veggies. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/10/09/healthy-food-more-expensive_n_5957038.html