Part I – Fast Food to All Food
- What are the main companies controlling the beef supply?
Cargill, Tryson, National Beef, and Swift are the top four companies controlling the beef supply. They control more than 80% of the market.
- How are chickens raised differently now than they used to be?
a. Their diet is changed to allow faster and larger growth so that there is more product to sell and therefore, more profit to make.
b. They are slaughtered almost twice as fast (used to be slaughtered in 70 days, now it takes only 48 days to raise and kill them). This may be because of the increasing population resulting in higher demand.
c. Farmers redesigned the chickens to have large breasts because like to eat white meat.
- Describe the conditions inside the chicken coop shown.
The area in the coop is very limited and all the chickens are cramped up inside. They cannot move freely and are not able to simply get up on their feet. They stand in their own feces, which is resulting in many illnesses and even death.
Moreover, the coop is dark all day long, which is most certainly not the conditions and circumstances any living organism should or can live in. The chickens are being mass-produced while being treated poorly, disrespectfully, and are being very manipulated.
- Why are antibiotics administered to the chickens?
Chickens are given antibiotics so they do not catch illnesses or fall sick, just to keep them alive and make sure they do not die before they are slaughtered.
Part II – A Cornucopia of Choices
- What problem evolved as a result of feeding corn to cattle?
Since corn was very cheap, the farmers raised cattle on corn also believing that the cows would gain more weight, therefore, more product or supply for them to sell. However, this resulted in the cows begin developing a disease called E. Coli, which then leads to social issues.
Part III – Unintended Consequences
- Why is the E. Coli bacteria spreading to other foods?
The foods were produced in the same factory which contaminated all of the other foods with the same bacteria.
Part IV – The Dollar Menu
- Why are the less healthy food choices typically cheaper?
Junk foods like chips, salty snacks, juices, sauces, peanut butter, burgers, patties, fries, and all other foods like such, that are categorized as subsidized foods use corn (the cheapest food to grow), as one of their prime ingredients.
This is resulting in obesity, diabetes, and a variety of other common health complications, due to the mass amounts of sugar in such foods that our body cannot process or metabolize so fast.
Part V – Hidden Costs
- Why does Smithfield and other slaughterhouses only hire the poor, minorities, and immigrants?
Smithfield and other slaughterhouses are aware of their unjust behavior and treatment of the animals, and the lack of consideration for the community.
Therefore, hiring poor, minorities, and immigrants is the way they can conceal themselves and continue their regular processes without being questioned, as they know these workers are too fearful and incapable to inquire and question them about it. They are also hired because it is a cheap workforce.
Part VI – From Seed to the Supermarket
- What happens if a farmer who is not growing a GMO crop has his fields contaminated by pollen and seeds from his neighbors?
Unfortunately for those farmers, they are still held responsible and will receive a fine for the flaws of their neighbors. However, to avoid this consequence, the farmer must prove that he did not break the patent. For example, “If Monsanto finds contamination, the farmer must prove that he did not violate Monsanto’s patents”.
- Why is the food and agriculture industry largely opposed to labeling GMOs and cloned foods?
They do not want the consumers to know the contents of the food as it may create fear and panic in the consumer, which may prevent them from purchasing such foods, hence, a loss for the food and agriculture industries.
Part V – Shocks to the System
- The food system is based on a very small number of crops, run by a very small number of companies. Why is this dangerous?
In my opinion, if there is a lack of producers to supply the food, then that might encourage companies to take “short-cuts” like feeding cows corn, mass-producing chickens, colon foods, and take other steps to speed up the process, which could potentially impact the consumers’ health, as well as continue the manipulative and disrespectful treatment with the animals.
- Do you believe the idea of a company like Walmart selling organic food is a good thing? Why or why not?
Organic foods cannot be subsidized and cannot take shortcuts to speed up the process, so it takes a long time to produce. Furthermore, Walmart is known as a grocery store that sells groceries at a low affordable price and so it seems pretty misleading that Walmart would sell organic food because then it would have to have a high or considerable price tag on their organic goods in order for the companies to make a profit and actually benefit from the goods in their business.