Economic Power

The way people eat is changing drastically in the last 50 years. We had more changes than in the last 10,000 years. Innovations has helped us to fight hunger and make our lives more practical.

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In the past, a farmer was able to produce enough food to feed six to eight people. Today, one farmer manages to produce food enough for more than a hundred people. Producing food has been a lot more efficient but there are also big risks and hidden problems people may not be aware of. Food inc. uncovers how our food is being made such as animal products. However, the reading we were given defends their side of the story on some of the arguments Food inc. mention in their documentary. After viewing and reading both sides of the story, I’m siding with Food inc. and should be showed in class.

Currently, only four companies control more than eighty percent of the market. In other words, these companies basically have entire control what happens in the whole meat production. The economic power of these companies also tends to increase because of intellectual property with patents to help them protect their seeds and use legal mechanisms to prosecute the farmers who don’t obey the large companies. There is a huge concentration of power in the hands of very few companies. Farmers are determined how to work by large food companies.

This economic power also changes the idea of the animal farmer because the farmers today must adapt themselves to the modern production techniques otherwise, they cannot stay in the market. These farmers must be doing everything that the big buyers are telling them to do by using new methods and buying new machines. There whole process of quality control to be sure that the final product all looks the same. All the chickens are kept in a very small space with a minimum of light inside (if not, no light at all) and the production process wants to be kept in secret. Companies don’t want any journalists to enter the place to see how the environment is where these animals are being created. Of course, there is a reason why these companies do not want their production places to be recorded because if consumers found out what’s happening, they would be very shocked how the animals are treated and processed. This shouldn’t be a fear to begin with and companies avoid these questions because they know it would result in less demand for their products.

The person who should be able to take care of the plantations and animals should be the farmers themselves. These are the people who have all the traditional knowledge about the best ways to take care of animals and plants. I’m sure many farmers are unsatisfied with this entire situation because the people who decide how our food product are being made are most likely executives in corporate rooms that are far away from the life in the farm. The decisions are now being made by these big companies focusing on bigger products, cheap cost and fast production.

Today, a chicken is fully grown in about seven weeks makes a lot of problems. The organs of these chickens cannot support the body and they are so heavy that they cannot even walk. These producers must apply a lot of antibiotics to the offspring. The amount is so much that the bacteria acquire resistance to the point that the antibiotic does not work anymore. The consumers start to have all types of problems and allergies to these antibiotics. In order to renew the contracts to continue selling these chickens, the farmers are now being forced to buy more equipment. If they do not, the large meat buyer will simply say they are not interested in renewing their contract.

These are a few reasons why this video should be shown in class because the power of large corporation, how our food is being processed, and how farmers are limited in decision making. It’s important for people to know what happens behind the food product we purchase today and acknowledge what is happening in this side of the food industry.

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