Wendell Berry poses some interesting thoughts in his article "The Pleasures of Eating." Berry urges his readers that they must eat responsibly to live free. Often times, eaters just buy food and believe that vegetables and fruit come from a farm. In regards to eaters, he states, "If they think beyond that, they recognize that they are passive consumers. They buy what they want — or what they have been persuaded to want — within the limits of what they can get. They pay, mostly without protest, what they are charged." The point of Berry's writing is to urge the public to look into where their food is coming from, under what condition it was produced, and what chemicals it may contain. He has found that food industries have fooled consumers to buy prepared food. He also points out that the food industry is not concerned about our health, but only concerned about "volume and price." Berry gives us some guidelines to avoid jeopardizing our health and to wake up to what is going on in the food industry. He tells us to participate in food production by growing our own food, preparing our own meals, buying directly from a local farmer or gardener, learning about food production, and being aware of abused animals or plants.
Wendell Berry (1990). North Point Press.
I have noticed that I have been part of the population of passive consumers. I never thought much about where my food came from, what was in it, and how it was produced until now. I knew everything I ate would eventually kill me, but never honestly cared to the point where I'd watch everything I ate. However, below observes some of the interesting and maybe a bit off topic things I have thought about while reading Berry's article.
Berry states, "The food industrialists have by now persuaded millions of consumers to prefer food that is already prepared."
I agree that this has become true in our nation. The industry has fooled us to believe that prepared and chemical contained food is safe, healthy, and QUICK. This nation has given us no choice but to work hard, pay taxes, and busily run around to support our families. Is the food industry trying to help us eat dinner quickly so that we can rush to a soccer game or school play, or are they trying to make more money?
Let's think about it --- Berry says, "The consumer, that is to say, must be kept from discovering that, in the food industry — as in any other industry — the overriding concerns are not quality and health, but volume and price."
"As scale increases, diversity declines; as diversity declines, so does health; as health declines, the dependence on drugs and chemicals necessarily increases." ---
Are the FDA, government, and political parties trying to feed us food that is highly chemically contaminated to make us unhealthy, sick, full of disease so that we can seek doctors and health insurance, just to be given drugs, prescriptions, and vaccines so that politicians in power get more money when we have to take out loans just to pay enormous medical bills to make us healthy? What is really going on in America? Are we so naive to believe that this is okay?
Berry provides us some answers on how to eat responsibly. I agree that it is important that we should learn the origins of food, prepare our own food, learn about technology and the economy, and grow our own food --- But oh wait, what happens when Congress passes a bill that states we cannot grow our own food anymore because it is unsafe? How can we buy food from a farmer if he is not allowed to produce organic, home grown, gardened food? Bill H.R 875 and S.510 are possible laws that may make farming illegal. Supposedly this is a "rumor", but only time will tell, unless our nation speaks up against it.