3 Comments on Constraints

When starting this course, I had a rough understanding of the food culture and how it has been changing over the years.  After reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, I quickly realized that we are in the midst of a change that is leaving population of the world more unhealthy and with less nutritional options to choose from.

When I go to the grocery store, I know I have two constraints, money and time.  Being a full-time worker while also finishing up my college degree, I know that out of  the seven days of the week, I will only have two or three days where I can put together a meal.  So most of the time, I’m looking for a quick fix.  Something that I can put together with limited time and with a cheap price.  After reading this book, I can see why this is becoming a common trend for most consumers.  In the ‘middle aisles’, as Pollan coined it, bright colored labels and fun looking mascots plaster the packages of processed goods such as cereals, cookies and chips.  I remember as a child, tugging at the arms of my parents, hoping they would purchase these items as they most appealed to me.

It’s only when you look beyond these captivating labels when you wonder where this stuff came from, what chemicals they used and what preservatives were added in order for the shelf life to last so long.  Sure, it tastes great, I can eat a whole bag of Cheetos in one sitting, but at what cost?  What I learned from Pollan is to really look at these items and to be more diligent when shopping, we have to understand our relationship with food and how certain foods affect us.  Perhaps the solution is to be more health conscious overall, but the barriers that stand in our way are much bigger than us.



Potato Chips. 2015. The Odyssey Online, n.p.

3 thoughts on “Constraints

  1. Jenna

    I really like your post! Our blog posts are fairly similar, I too focused on the almost distorted relationship we have developed with food, partially because of time constraints and convenience but also because of the way food has changed over the years. It amazes me the amount of information that we don’t know about food, or in some cases what we choose to ignore about it.
    I admit I am also one of those shoppers that picks up what she wants and ignores the food labels. For you it might be Cheetos and for me its jalapeno chips but Pollan’s has influenced me to make some changes. The last two grocery store trips I made after reading his book I noticed that I was taking more time and being more conscious of what I put into my basket. This didn’t stop me from eating a cheeseburger on my home but one thing at a time. Honestly I think change will come down to how many people read Pollan’s book and how many people chose to diligently shop. I look forward to reading more from you.

  2. aaa11

    I find myself shocked that most items in the grocery store will contain some preservative or high levels of sugar. It is so difficult to find items that are produced without preservatives, because the ratio is entirely imbalanced. It would be nice if there were fast-food salad restaurants instead of the usual chains. I think Whole Foods and Trader Joes have significantly healthier options available to consumers. Contrary to what many people believe, it does not cost more money to eat healthy food.

  3. Rio Jones

    I think you made a great observation in regards to the changing trends in food in America and throughout the developed world. More and more people are looking for quick and simple ways to eat, drink, and sustain themselves as they attempt to keep up with our busy and technology-filled lives. Fewer people are willing to go to the grocery store more than once a week (if that) and then cook a meal each night or each morning. People are looking for quick yet nutritious meals, and it is hard to find anything affordable and accessible that isn’t packed with sodium, fat, and carbohydrates. It is hard to find good, healthy fats and proteins plus nutrients in much of the food offered today. I think you made an excellent point in noticing that this requires our food system to adapt to the new and very fast-paced way of living.

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