Many studies have focused on food consumption in the society, evaluating how eating habits affect people’s wellbeing. This is a worldwide concern following increased rates of degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes hypertension among others. Having knowledge of good eating habits is an effective strategy of healthy living. Various scholars and health professionals have presented their ideas regarding this subject through movies, speeches, books articles and pictures. Developed countries are the most affected by skyrocketing terminal diseases due to poor eating habits. According to Pollan (102), intake of junk, animal and sugar, based foods contribute to the high risk of these degenerative diseases. It is astonishing to note that these foods are commonly consumed besides their detrimental consequences. Conducting a study that compares and contrasts the arguments presented by Pollan Michael, Jamie Oliver and the producer of the film Forks Over Knives is essential in understanding the controversy surrounding food consumption and health of the current generation.
Reliable studies affirm that diseases caused by nutrition negligence are the leading cause of death, yet people remain insensitive towards this menace. The humanity is under threat due to moral decadency as food-producing industries eyes profit maximization while ignoring the consequences of their supplies on the society. According to Pollan, human societies obtain food in four different ways that include hunter gathering, local farming, modern industrial system and organic operation. He describes food right from photosynthesizing calories state, intermediate up to ultimate meal. Pollan further suggests that people’s eating habit presents their engagement with the natural world. His literature criticizes modern agribusiness in that it has lost touch with natural cycles of farming in respect to the way crops and livestock mutually intertwine in beneficial circles. He focuses deeply on overuse of corn for a wide range of purpose and their derivatives. Particularly, Pollan blames policy makers by noting that their precarious and destructive agricultural system has brought havoc to the nutrition, diet and wellbeing of Americans (Pollan 78).
Pollan explores the western diet focusing on food advice of 20th century in his book “In defense of food.” In this script, Pollan asserts that consumption of dietary cholesterol and fat do not lead to high rate of coronary disease and that the reductive analysis of food into different nutrient components is an inconsistent paradigm. For example, the scholar is convinced that it does not mean processors make low fat milk by removing fat rather they add powdered milk, which has more oxidized cholesterol than the original cholesterol from animal. This means removing the fat content from the milk makes it harder for absorption by the body. He argues that the basic principle attached to the idea of eating entails promoting health. In this context, the scholar contests a cultural perception that food has purposes of identity and pleasure. Through vetting and validation, he explains the notion that the value of food is more faddish and religious devotion to the myth of simple solutions than scientific research which is incontrovertible. He explicates his first three phrases: "Eat food, Not too much, Mostly plants." Pollan contends that most Americans buy in supermarkets fast foods that are not in essence food, but people of his grandmother’s age ate real food. He argues out his reason for defending food by noting that what people of the current generation are consuming is not food rather food like substances that are products of food science. He is convinced that the food that is currently being consumed has lost a natural taste and the professionalization of eating has failed to make western countries healthier. Moreover, he notes that people follow poor nutrition advice and end up being fatter and sicker. In conclusion, he advocates for well-grown unprocessed food that is informed by ecology and traditions that will enrich people’s lives (Pollan 82).
In the speech by Jamie Oliver, "Teach Every Child About Food", the scholar presents his desire of changing humanity by teaching Americans about food linked problems facing them. In his speech, he presents powerful statistics while utilizing a persuasive language tone in articulating his ideas. He tries to bring on board obesity as the major killer of their children below ten years of age that is brought by what they eat. Particularly, he tries to demonstrate his argument practically by setting an example of the amount of sugar each child consumes in milk after a period of five years in elementary school, which he equates with a wheelbarrow (Jamie).
The scholar goes ahead to give suggestions on how parents, schools and brands can instill change through precise advice on what needs to be done. He gives a clear picture of his passion to create honest, fresh and delicious food that is based on simple unpretentious formula that invites people in the kitchen (Jamie). With his speech and fame as reputable chef and media personality, he has brought change on western people’s lifestyle, both at government and individual levels. The scholar attained this through his disapproval of processed food and his effort of educating the Americans on healthier and proper way of cooking. Jamie summarizes his speech by quoting, "I wish for everyone to help create a strong sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity." (Jamie). Wu Sarah who argues that the greatest preventive medicine for food related diseases is to get informed, learn and make sure people are feeding on healthy food supports his sentiments (Wu 52).
The movie Forks Over Knives examines the claims that degenerative diseases can be reversed or controlled by rejecting processed and animal based foods. The power of lifestyle and diet trumps illness that is explained by its title that means diet/food (fork) over medicine (knife/scalpel) plant-based diet, a diet of whole, unprocessed plant foods can bring incredible health improvements. This type of diet attains some of its achievement by accident, and the benefit of doing away with processed junk are mistakenly accredited to eliminating all animal foods (Forks Over Knives).
The documentary provides an overview of a China-Cornell-Oxford Project that suggests that diabetes, coronary disease, cancer and obesity are linked with western diet of animal based and processed foods. Practically, anyone who substitutes fast food and junk with fresh vegetables sees a great improvement in their health because plant foods are an excellent choice. Vegetables and particularly raw vegetables should be a great part, if not the majority, of your diet and are preferable to junk and fast food (Forks Over Knives). This is why many benefit from vegetable juicing, since it allows people to get more plant-based foods into their daily diet. Studies however highlights that people should be sure to include foods that will allow their body receive vitamin B12, sulfur, animal-based omega -3 and valuable saturated fats (Lappe 67).
A great contradiction has been observed from the way different people view their diet since they make choices following philosophical, religious, cultural and intellectual reasons. This is also enhanced by the way one’s body reacts after consumption of a certain type of food after an objective evaluation the body response. However, individuals who are struggling with health challenges and has rigidly adhered to foods that limit animal protein, or ones opting for this food due to ethical reasons should be encouraged to include animal products in their diet. Many developed countries experience degenerative diseases due to high consumption of dairy and meat products in contrast to developing countries. In conclusion, the film gives caution and important information for all who are concerned about their health rather than just giving medical advice to the sick. Food is put to test throughout the film and a clear picture of patients make over is brought to light as the doctors teach patients how to adjust to the right type of foods. The essays give a lime light of what people eat especially in photos taken in parties, restaurants or even a photo view of their fridges, speaks out that junk food is what people consume in plenty (Forks Over Knives).
The explored literature challenges people to check and correct their eating habits and diets. Several aspects mold the eating habits that include people’s background, religion and ethnicity. Furthermore, availability of certain foods greatly determines what individuals and society eat (Lappe 98). However, people need to be cautious on what they consume because one’s eating habit essentially defines his or her wellbeing.
Jamie, Oliver. “Teach every child about food.” (2010). Web. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go_QOzc79Uc
Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. Detroit, Mi: Large Print Press/Gale Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
Pollan, Michael. A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder. New York: Random House, 1997. Print.
Wu, Sarah. Fed Up with Lunch: How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth About School Lunches-and How to Change Them!San Francisco, Calif: Chronicle Books, 2011. Print.
Lappé, Anna. Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2010. Print.
Forks Over Knives. Fulkerson Lee (2011).Netflex . Web. 2 October 2013.