As my friends and I compared what the themes of our Critical Thinking and Writing course were, it was clear that my theme of food was the best. I’ve never been one to enjoy writing but I was extremely excited to see what this course had in store for me and my writing and research skills that desperately needed some help. I was going to actually enjoy what I was writing about for once! Over the past two quarters in my Critical Thinking and Writing course, I wrote about the most basic food topics, such as Starbucks, and ended up writing about child slavery in the chocolate industry. I have expanded my thinking and my perspective on what kind of impact food has on the world.
Specifically, in the second quarter of this class we looked at how dishonesty plays into the food culture. I loved looking at different topics, from Santa Clara University to Nestlé chocolate as a company. Dishonesty plays such a large part in the food industry and taking this class has really opened up my eyes and allowed me to inform my friends and family about the dangers of not being aware of this dishonesty. We as a society need to be aware and work towards a more sustainable and honest lifestyle. Seeing how much water we as a student body use up just by eating meat is astounding. One pound of beef requires 1,800 gallons of water (Hallock). And when doing our primary research not one person was able to correctly identify how much water was used producing meat, showing how uneducated people are about serious issues that are detrimental to being a sustainable world.
Other means of primary research I have used is emailing companies directly to get their feedback. During my Nestlé chocolate farm research, I was able to get in contact with multiple fair trade chocolate companies to get a response on the importance of not using child slave labor. While I got responses from these fair trade chocolate companies, I received no response from Nestlé. This showed that Nestlé wouldn’t take the time to respond to a customer’s concerns about this immoral issue that Nestlé is fostering. With thousands of children being trafficked into slavery, we need to see how Nestlé is manipulating its customers to turn away from the serious ethical dilemma.
Lastly I researched how the fast food industry is dishonest and contributing to the obesity epidemic that has emerged the past couple decades. For my research on this topic I looked into what makes up these advertisements, and why they work. Many athletes will pose in these fast food advertisements to give the fast food company credibility that if these Olympic medalists can eat McDonald’s and still be successful, then you can too. I also sent out a survey to see what people think of fast food ads and how they are affected by them. Most people admitted that they were fairly influenced by the ads but when asked if they think they are truthful, they all said that they weren’t truthful. So it led me to question why they let themselves be so influenced by the advertisements when they knew they were so dishonest?
I believe that this all ties back into not being aware of how we are being fed this dishonest information from so many people when it comes to food. Being educated and made aware of these problems early on can help change the outcome of children’s’ health, and children’s’ wellbeing in other countries. We should make it a priority to learn and educate ourselves and others how what society promises as true can be the thing destroying our environment and damaging the health of our nation.
Barringer, Levi. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not
showering for six months. Digital image. Behance. N.p., 2 Nov. 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
Children at chocolate farm. Digital image. Slave Free Chocolate. N.p., 2007. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
Hallock, Betty. “To Make a Burger, First You Need 660 Gallons of Water…” Los Angeles Times. N.p., 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
Lowy, Benjamin. A young boy uses a machete to break cocoa pods at a farm near Abengourou in eastern Ivory Coast in December. Digital image. Fortune. N.p., 1 Mar. 2016. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
The Dark Side of Chocolate. Dir. Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano. Youtube. N.p., 16 Mar. 2010. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.
Tom. “Fast Food FAILS: Ads vs Reality.” Bored Panda. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.