I was uncomfortable from the minute I walked into “Critical Thinking and Writing” at 5:25pm on a Monday–the first day of my college career. I was uncomfortable being in a new state, surrounded by new people who had new interests and perceptions of what was “in” and what wasn’t. I grew even more uncomfortable when my teacher was late and one of my classmates insisted we all get in a circle and chat. That was not me. I was also very intimidated by the idea of critically thinking and thinking for myself. I had become very good at keeping quiet and reading the classroom and then reiterating exactly what I knew the teacher wanted to hear on whatever assessment came up. In fact, if I was directly asked my thoughts on something I would mutter an “I don’t know” and quickly divert my attention. Critical Thinking and Writing? This was not my cup of tea, to say the least.
Many of us students at Santa Clara University know at least one individual who loves to go on roller coasters, has been skydiving, or is always driving far above the speed limit. We call this individual an “adrenaline junky.” Just as the roller coaster gives a feeling of euphoria to the adrenaline junky, a murder often delivers the same feeling to the mind of a serial killer.
Beautiful beaches, a culturally diverse melting pot, and the leader in our nation’s agriculture industry – the golden state is truly an ideal destination. California is the land of opportunity, providing the potential for one to gain fast wealth and fame. However, over time the so called “California Dream” has slowly begun to deteriorate. What started as a fantasy has finally hit reality hard. California has come to face a crippling budget crisis with debt in the billions of dollars. The prestigious UC system, recently received cutbacks in funding and a steep increase in tuition prices. Even California’s food system, which has led in agricultural production for the last fifty years, is receiving dramatic cutbacks as a statewide drought is crippling farmers. According to the US Census Bureau, California’s growth from 2000 to 2010 has been the slowest since 1850, proving to be the largest population slump in California’s history. What once was envisioned as a paradise situated on the west coast, The Golden State overtime has begun to tarnish. Continue reading What Happened to Our Food? : The Golden Question for the Golden State
In 1928, Presidential nominee Herbert Hoover promised Americans “A chicken in every pot” (Miller Center). Ironically, this assurance of prosperity was derailed a short nine months later, when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression ensued. However, the spirit of this promise lives on today, as Americans strive for prosperity- a successful career, a happy marriage, a quaint townhouse, two kids, a nice car, and family dinners.
With amazing technological and medical advances and a material wealth unmatched by any other in history, we have created the world’s most prosperous economy. In fact, we have quite literally reached the goal of “a chicken in every pot.” For the first time in over one hundred years, chicken is more popular than beef in the United States. A Huffington Post article focusing on this phenomenon reveals that the average American ate about sixteen pounds of chicken per year in the 1950s. Fifty years later, that number grew to over fifty pounds per year (Huffington Post). That number has continued to rise and chicken has steadily become a main staple of the American diet. It is everywhere. It is the foundation of common restaurant dishes, such as parmesan, barbecued, and grilled chicken. It is included in many ethnic meals, such as the Mexican taco and the Chinese chow mein. It is prevalent in the fast food arena, not only with poultry based chains, such as Popeyes, Chick-fil-A, and KFC, but also among well-known burger franchises, such as Burger King. Sometimes, it’s even hard to find a salad without chicken in it. Continue reading Uncaged: The Truth Behind The Poultry Industry
Almost every time Americans turn on the news, watch a movie, or read the newspaper, they witness some form of violence–often glorified. The news constantly focuses on incidents featuring cruelty and brutality and places more emphasis on reporting news involving violence because, while triggering the gag reflex of most Americans, it draws their attention to the subject at hand (Paskova). Violence is like an accident on the side of a freeway: no matter how horrible it is, people cannot help but observe it–they enjoy watching it. Because violence is eye-catching, the news covers violent events like murders and war to pull in more viewers (Paskova). Americans see violence, such as offshore conflicts, on the news so often that they lose the sense of impact that it once carried; they become desensitized. That word, “desensitized,” is common when talking about violence. But what isn’t so common is how that desensitization might affect our daily lives, our perspectives, or even our choices. Would it sound crazy if we suggested to you that watching violent film and television influences the way you choose your meat in a supermarket? Continue reading Saving the Humans: Are You an Accomplice to Murder, Cruelty, and Some Really Bad Decision Making?
Authors: Ritika Agarwal, Noel Baham, Theodore Berkson, Benjamin Chambers, Zachary Chien, Britni Chon, Justin Eng, Alyssa Gutrich, Matthew Helfond, Kristi Hong, Marissa Macdonald, Kimiko May, Shannon Mayer, Isaac Mcquillen, Gabriel Noonan, Alison Pietrykowski, Sara Ryugo, Annabelle Van Schravendijk, Gabrielle Weininger
As a Critical Thinking and Writing class of nineteen freshman students at Santa Clara University, we worked together to examine the effects that the aesthetic portrayal of food has on our culture today. Currently in our second quarter studying in depth the benefits and harm caused by innovations in the food industry, we have collaborated here to examine the issue of “Food Porn.” Continue reading Don’t Play with Your Food: How “Food Porn” Devalues Our Relationship with What We Eat