Page 1

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food chain. —Michael Pollan

hat’s in your aisles?

Get away from these five ubiquitous “addictives”


Dinner tonight. Grocery list. Quick snack. Our recommendations… Secrets of the Supermarket 1



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Special thank you to all artist contributors * Khalil Bendib | www.bendib * Patrick Martinez | * Amiria Gale | * Library of Congress | Image copies available on Flickr * Shout out to all student artists who supplied their own photographs!

2 Secrets of the Supermarket

’ English 1 and Honors English 1 is an arduous journey for many of the brave souls who enter Archbishop Carroll High School. Students developed a poetry portfolio from a smorgasbord of techniques. We learned about the 99% and the Occupy movement, and deconstructed power imbalances in Fahrenheit 451 and Animal Farm to better understand dystopias. Groups recreated Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” in a modern context from an original script. But we weren’t finished. Students travelled to the bottom of their gut—and back again. We investigated the “Dark Side of Chocolate” and realized that despite large manufacturers’ work in Ivory Coast and child labor laws monitored by top government officials, regional trafficking and child slavery still contribute to a delicious end product. We read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma—and walked away with new problems. Many students were hungry to know more about animal slaughter, the process of collecting mushrooms and the implications of corn in … everything. As we discovered the new “official” definitions of organic farming set by the USDA and the role of the SNAP program in assuring access to nutritious choices for a growing group of Americans, we had more questions than answers. Students completed independent research on a food item of their choice, looking to reveal secrets in the industry— from health effects to workers’ rights, historical bits and supermarket tricks. Enjoy these highlights of their discoveries—perhaps you’ll even find that you’re ready to change a habit or two when making a grocery list … —Ms. Rae Secrets of the Supermarket 3


4 Secrets of the Supermarket




In 2008, a woman named Theresa Singleton fell ill with breast cancer. Day after day it became harder for her to move around because she was weak and tired all of the time. Several months after she became aware of the cancer, she went through multiple sessions of chemotherapy and spent months in and out of the hospital. Later during her fight against breast cancer, she was forced to remove the breast that once held the large tumor. Thankfully, in her battle she won the title of “Cancer survivor.” Unfortunately, many aren’t so lucky. For the year 2012, statistics show that in the United States every 1 in 4 deaths are related to cancer (Siegel). Part of the reason could be that there is cancer in our food.

Secrets of the Supermarket 5

As many shoppers know, when purchasing canned vegetables, industrialized canned goods, or most foods, many preservatives are included in the product. A preservative is a substance added to a product to destroy or inhibit the multiplication of microorganisms. Given the definition, we can suspect that preservatives are made to help, not harm. Several days ago I stumbled upon an article that talked about canned food preservatives and their health effects. The article stated that Bisphenol A, a chemical used in clear plastic bottles and food-can liners for many years, had recently been banned in Canada and some states in America due to potential health threats such as prostate cancers, diabetes and heart disease.

? Research using magazine articles and also many internet sources revealed over three thousand food preservatives contained harmful chemicals. Studies show that such chemicals can cause severe diseases and stress on the body’s organs in order to digest them. Using different sources enabled me to not only verify the information, but also provided different opinions and facts. Further research would elucidate why these chemicals are used and why the U.S. Department of Agriculture has yet to mandate a cease in the production of the carcinogenic preservatives. Over time, manufacturers have continued to evolve chemically-based preservatives while there may be a healthier alternative. Food preservation has become a very important component in the food industry as consumers expect to be able to eat foods out of season. Back before preserving food involved chemicals and man-made ingredients, manufacturers would preserve food in other ways; these were in no way harmful to the body and left no detrimental results. Rather than using chemically made ingredients, manufactures would dry, salt, refrigerate, freeze, vacuum pack and smoke food. Different techniques were used according to what type of food it was but some foods could be preserved in many different ways. For example, fish could be preserved by drying, freezing or smoking. While some may say that using chemically-made preservatives is more convenient and saves time, statistics argue that consuming too many preservatives will start to eat away at teeth. In the long run, the expenses of paying to refurnish teeth would cost more. When preservatives were first made, they consisted of salt, sugar, and vinegar and other natural ingredients (Wikipedia). Changes from an agricultural to an industrial economy became necessary in order to provide the rapidly increasing city population with food from distant areas. Nowadays, traditional preservatives are not enough to prolong shelf 6 Secrets of the Supermarket

“Unidentified stacks of home-canned food” Unknown (1944). LOC Secrets of the Supermarket 7

life. As a result, more complex and chemically created

On the other hand, there are said to be some good

preservatives are added to foods. Butylated Hydroxy- preservatives. Further into research, I came upon an anisole, most commonly known as BHA, is a preserva- article that talked a little about some natural preservative that prevents foods containing fats and oils from tives and how exactly it helps to preserve the food. In attaining an unpleasant taste or smell as a result of be- addition to being an essential vitamin, Vitamin C is a ing old and stale (Aljuboori). Once again, preservatives great preservative; it is said to keep food fresh and coldon’t seem to be such a health hazard, but due to the orful. “Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and can protect massive amounts of chemicals, the U.S. Department of your body from free radicals, which may cause heart Health and Human Services has named BHA disease and cancer” (Driver). Research also showed “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcino- that citric acid, closely related to Vitamin C, is also a gen" (Callahan). In fact, most preservatives were classi- great preservative and additive. Citric acid helps to fied by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) keep mold and bacteria to a minimum. Sodium benzoas slow cancer material that have a negative impact on ate and benzoic acid, two of nature’s best preservathe central nervous system of children. The latest sur- tives, are a great source of antimicrobials which are vey of the FDA reported more than three thousand added to many foods to prevent them from growing types of materials that were used as preservatives in bacteria and mold. food preservation.

Surprisingly, there are many things that con-

Ranging from cancers to dental issues, scientists sumers fail to be aware of. When a food contains a know chemically-made preservatives cause a lot of harmful substance, it doesn’t just tell you. The same problems. They cause negative effects to your body applies for ‘healthy’ food. Many ‘healthy’ foods labeled and are best to avoid altogether. Two of the worst pre- as ‘natural’ contain many harmful substances used as servatives are known as Butylated Hydroxyl Anisole food preservers and flavor enhancers. For instance, (BHA) and Butylated Hydro Zyttoluene (BPA). They products like Wendy’s Natural Cut Fries, which sound are found in ‘healthy’ cereals, chewing gum, potato like a minimal ingredient product, actuchips and vegetable oil (Goldschmidt). They are oxi- ally contain chemicals such as dants, which form potentially cancer-causing com- dextrose pounds inside your body. In addition, there are preservatives that wear away tooth enamel such as benzoic acids. Because benzoic acid is very cheap and effective, it is one of the most commonly used preservatives in the world. Because many of the preservatives that are being manufactured are detrimental to our health as a human, manufacturers should stop producing it; it would be very beneficial to our body, resulting in a longer and healthier life. 8 Secrets of the Supermarket


dimethylpolysiloxane. Many preservatives help our food stay ‘fresh.’ While there are many bad forms of food preservation, there are also good ones. As a general rule, if a name on the ingredient label is unknown, it is probably bad and shouldn’t be eaten. Many unhealthy substances are known for having big unrecognizable names. When dealing with meat, if you have a choice between buying canned or vacuum packed meat it is best to by the vacuum packed one. Generally, the vacuum packed products carry fewer preservatives and are healthier for you. If you must buy canned or processed meats, fruits, or vegetables, it is best to thoroughly rinse out the juice that is inside. The liquid is what generally holds most of the preservatives. On the other hand, it is best to avoid canned or processed foods when possible. Works Cited Aljuboori, Dr. Abdul. Dr. Abdul Wahhab Aljuboori. Smart Vision. 30 April 2012. This source exposed all of the bad preservatives. It gave many facts and sometimes even opinions about the health effects and toll it could take on your body. While providing good information, I believe that this article was limited because it was bias. It pointed out all of the bad and sometimes did not give a clear explanation of what was being said. Callahan, Rob. “The effects of Food Preservatives on the Human Body” Live Strong May 28, 2011 Rob’s article told about what bad tolls preservatives could take on the human body. I learned that some preservatives are more poisonous than others. On the hand, the article was very biased which made it hard to determine what was fact and what was opinion. Driver, Dustin. “Good & Bad Preservatives” Ask Men. April 25, 2012 foodcourt_150/181_eating_well.html This article was very useful. It gave insight on both the good and the bad. I learned that while some preservatives can be bad, so can also be good for your health. This article was not very limited; it stated a lot of facts rather than giving opinions. “Food Preservation.” Britannica. 32. 2010. Source number two, found in the encyclopedia, was a look at the preservatives that weren’t so

bad and did not take a negative toll on your body. While using this source, I also thought I might find some natural ingredients used to create organic preservatives. From this source I was able to understand that no all preservatives are bad ones and that although they do use chemicals they are ones that are not severely harmful to the body. This particular article was limited because it did not offer the types of chemicals that were not harmful; it did not give any specific names for chemicals used in organic preservatives. Goldschmidt, Vivian. Save Our Bones. 8 February 2010. 30 April 2012. This source is from a site called Save Our Bones; the purpose of this article was to show me the most dangerous types of preservatives out there. In doing that, I was able to later on find out why these preservatives were so dangerous and what the effect on our health could be. Although this article offered a lot of helpful information, it didn’t offer the reasons why they listed those certain preservatives. On the other hand it gave a clear understanding of what certain foods might include these. Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. New York: Penguin, 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma sparked my interest to learn more about preservatives; it also taught me the process of food from the farm to my mouth. Although the book started off as unbiased, it ended up being biased, which sort of restricted the amount of useful information. Siegel, Rebecca. “Ca: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians” Wiley Online Library 4 January 2009. April 10 th 2012 http:// This article talked about statistics about cancer in the United States. It told me how cancer has vastly exceeded since the year 1985. This article was limited because the information given was not up to date to this year so I was not able to make an accurate comparison. Stone, Chad Ph. D. “The Most Common Food Preservatives.” Live Strong 30 March, 2011 I used an article out of the Live Strong magazine that talked about two of the most dangerous food preservatives, BHA and BPA. This told about the foods that contain this and why it was bad for you. It also goes on to talk about some of the good preservatives, such as Vitamin C. I do not believe this article was very limited because it talked from both perspectives, good and bad. Sung, Evan. “Canning, Pickling, and Preserving” The New York Times. 25 April 2012. This article expanded my knowledge in learning about the different ways that could preserve food. I learned that there are other natural ways to preserve food rather than using chemicallybased preservatives. The downfall of this article was not telling what the health benefits were to using the natural ways instead.

Secrets of the Supermarket 9

! !

Photos courtesy of Dante’ Dobbins 10 Secrets of the Supermarket

Secrets of the Supermarket 11

Food dye causes many problems, from a special bug named Carmine. William Henry mainly to kids. Problems in- Perkin discovered the first human-made organic dye, clude ADHD, ADD, and mauveine in 1856” ( Over time, westhyperactivity. This can ern nations come to use more than saffron and artifistay with the consum- cial dyes quickly replaced traditional, natural varieties. er for the rest of They cost less, they offered a vast range of new colors, their life. Food dyes and they imparted better properties to the dyed materishould


taken als. This offered marketers a wider variety of choices.

out of all foods In 1938 a law was passed stating that all dyes get a mar-


children dyes


toward name and number in order to be classified. If you have

because life

the ever seen on the back of a product FD&C Blue No. 1


or D&C Red No. 17 it means food dye and color or

Food dye is dan-

gerous. With dye and color. Only FDA certified color additives can

statistics and facts from

“WebMD,” carry these special designations. Today there are over

“Center for Science in the Pub-


Inter- 120 discovered artificial dyes all over the world, but

est,” FDA interviews and local food

markets, I

have come to a conclusion that a rebellion against food dye is on the way. The negative aspects of food dye outweigh the good by far. Companies like Starbucks there are only seven legal dyes in the western nations and Nestle have already stop using the dyes. So it according to the FDA. Legal restrictions might be a seems like food dye is slowly fading away due to the result of certain food dyes being just too dangerous, harm it can cause to others.

like the dye Red 40, which comes from petroleum

We use food dye to add color and flavor to our (WebMD)! food. Many companies use food dye to attract the con-

Tests show that food dye can cause ADD

sumer to their product. According to a survey of 100 (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Defipeople with WebMD, organic food dye isn’t as tasty cit Hyperactivity Disorder), and hyperactivity. FDA’s and appealing as those with artificial food dye added. Committee on Hypersensitivity to Food Constituents Artificial food dye makes food look more appealing concluded in 1986 that FD&C Yellow No. 5 might than organic food dye because organic dye can tend to cause hives in fewer than one out of 10,000 people. fade away and the food’s colors become bland and The Committee also concluded that there was no evispotty. Therefore, artificial food dye is in nearly every dence the color additive in food provokes asthma atedible item.

tacks. The law now requires Yellow No.5 to be identi-

It is believed that archeologists found proof that fied on the ingredient line with no exceptions. This food coloring evolved around 1500 BC. “The most allows the few who may be sensitive to Yellow No.5 to popular dyes in 1500 BC were Saffron and dyes taken avoid this. If western nations used organic food dye, 12 Secrets of the Supermarket

sales would not be the same as they are today. This is ADD, ADHD, or hyperactivity have been reported because the colors won’t be consistent, which will ( It is very rare a child to receive a dischange shoppers’ opinion on the item. So even though order from our product. So continue to buy our prodartificial food dyes cause many disorders, it is essentially uct and continue enjoying your food. a big part of the food world. Changing to organic dye instead of artificial dye would be extremely difficult, not only because of taste, but psychologically also, because of appearance. Few people have known about this problem for years, and none bothered to make a movement or step up to say anything about it. Once somebody does, and we start to make a change to organic dyes, the economics of the food world would be a mess. So there is a side: a consumer can choose organic dye with possible industrial collapse or artificial dyes with children are getting affected. Make your decision.

Works Cited The website “” is a website that helps parents get through their child’s disorders. This website also had assistance with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 1991. The website is informational and gives a better understanding of what ADD and ADHD. The website “” is a website operated by a group of doctors who specialize in ADHD and ADD. The website is informational but is not a medical source. The website “” is informational and has a wide variety of scientist from all over the world with FDA’s say in something’s The website “” comes from the 2012 Center for Science in he public in the Public Interest. This website is informational only and is rather reliable with multiple test results from recent studies. They have used 2 different countries. id=13221478#.T6CPid39WNA The website “” is ABC News Medical Unit. This is to interview and aware readers of the epidemic. This is only one news station and different stations have different facts.

Manufacturers of artificial food dye may say ‘keep buying artificial food dye because it won’t affect your child,’ or ‘look at the ratio of children affected – what are the chances of your child being an unlucky one?’ The FDA continues to approve the food dyes so nothing can be wrong with the dyes; the statements have to be false about the disorders it causes. Artificial food dye has been around for years and less than 100 cases of Secrets of the Supermarket 13

Everyday people use sugar. Sugar is known as an everyday essential. Even if you don’t open a pack of sugar every day, you’re always eating sugar. According to Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D. R.D, the largest USA sugar intake is 34.4 teaspoons per day which adds up to 549 calories. The lowest amount of sugar eaten on average is 12 teaspoons per day which adds up to 195 calories. No matter if you use the smallest or the largest amount, everyone takes in sugar. 14 Secrets of the Supermarket

Photos courtesy of Messai Tadesse Secrets of the Supermarket 15

Sugar is actually a type of carbohydrate made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. If we were to go in to even deeper … the essential scientific breakdown tells us that in every molecule of sugar there are: 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, and 11 oxygen atoms (Zalta).

Why are there so many different sugar manufacturers and how does this affect consumers and product sales? First, I had to find some sources on how sugarcane was made into sugar. Then, I had to start looking at prices! I noticed that the organic sugar prices were around 5.50 on average and the normal sugar prices were around 3.80 on average in investigative visits to a Yes! Organic market and a Giant supermarket. Americans demand organic and non-organic sugar, which affects product sales because organic sugar is harder to get. The demand could eventually lead to bankruptcy for organic manufacturers, because more people buy cheaper and tastier “normal” sugar.

Sugar originates back before Jesus was born! It is abs invaded Persia. There they found sugar cane and thought that cane sugar was first used by people in learned how sugar was made. When the Arab empire Polynesia where it then spread to India. In 510 BC, continued to expand, sugar traveled with them, estabEmperor Darius invaded India where he found sugar. lishing sugar production North Africa and Spain. He called it “the reed which gives honey without

Europeans did not have a taste of this sweet dis-

bees.” Darius, like many others, tried to keep cane sug- covery until the 11th century. Only after the Crusaders ar… a secret! He managed to keep the secret but still returned home had talk of a “new spice” started. Even export sugar for a large profit. This continued from though Europe was one of the last to receive it, they generation to generation in Persia. However, the Arab quickly learned to trade. For example, in 1319 the recpeople put an end to the sugary secret. In 642 AD, Ar- orded price of sugar in London was two shillings a 16 Secrets of the Supermarket

pound, which equals about 100 dollars per kilo. Around out a lot of the dirt so that it can be sent back to the the 15th century, European sugar was refined in Venice, fields. Once this is done, the juice is thickened up into a In the same century, Columbus sailed to the “New syrup by boiling off the water using steam, called evapoWorld.” In 1493 he took sugar cane plants to grow in ration. Sometimes the syrup is cleaned up again but the Caribbean. The climate there was so advantageous more often it just goes on to the crystal-making step. for cane growth that an industry was quickly estab- The last step is a crystalline texture. Syrup is placed into lished. Sugar was still a “luxury” - so much money was a large pan for boiling. In the pan, even more water is made that the British called sugar “white gold.” Howev- boiled off until conditions are right for sugar crystals to er, of course the government had to ruin everything. grow. In the factory the workers usually have to throw They noticed how much money was made off of the in some sugar dust to initiate crystal formation. Once sugar and excessively taxed it. For example, in Britain, the crystals have grown, the resulting mixture of crystals after collection in 1781 a sugar tax totaled 326,000 and liquor is spun in centrifuges to separate the two, pounds. After 35 years, the tax had grown to a whop- like washing is spin dried. The crystals are then given a ping three million pounds. This situation stayed in place final dry with hot air before being stored, ready for exuntil 1874 when the British government abolished the portation The final raw sugar forms a sticky brown tax, making it possible for regular citizens to buy sugar.

mountain . It could be used like that but usually it gets

Sugar beet was first identified as a source of sugar in dirty in storage and has a distinctive taste which most 1747 and its discovery would twist the sweet industry. people don't want. That is why it is refined when it gets Like cane sugar, sugar beet was kept a secret ... until the to the country where it will be used (SKIL). Napoleonic wars at the start of the 19th century. By 1880, sugar beet had replaced sugar cane as the main source of sugar in Europe. Sugar has been around for a long time, playing a big parts in organizations and wars. Over time people made sugar in many different ways, but today’s “technique” stands out. Sugar, though treated like a heavenly item, is made with an earthly process. Cane sugar is actually a bit harder to make into sugar than using sugar beet, however it has been around the longest, so you could call it a tradition. The first thing required is extraction of the cane juice. In many factories cane is crushed in a series of large roller mills. The sweet juice comes gushing out and the cane fiber is carried away for use in the boilers. However, the juice is pretty dirty: the factory can clean up the juice quite easily with slaked lime which settles Secrets of the Supermarket 17

Even though that is how cane sugar is made, sugar lot of the non-sugars so that by filtering out the chalk it beet is a little different. Sugar beet is a conical, white, also takes out the non-sugars. Once this is done the fleshy root with a flat crown. Sugar beet is also mainly sugar liquor is ready for sugar production except that it grown in tropical areas. (Comstock). The beets are har- is very dilute. For this last stage, the syrup is placed into vested in the autumn and early winter by digging them a very large pan, typically holding 60 tons or more of out of the ground. They are usually transported to a fac- sugar syrup. In the pan even more water is boiled off tory by large trucks because the transport distances in- until sugar crystals are able to grow. Once the crystals volved are larger than transferring cane sugar. This is a have grown the resulting mixture of crystals and mother result of the sugar beet requiring almost four times the liquor is spun in centrifuges to separate the two, rather land area of that required to grow cane sugar. Because like washing is spin dried. The crystals are then given a the beets have come from the ground they are much final dry with hot air before being packed and/or stored dirtier than sugar cane and have to be thoroughly ready for transporting. The final sugar unlike cane sugar washed and separated from any remaining beet leaves, is white and ready for use, whether in the kitchen or by stones and other trash material before processing. The any industrial user (SKIL and Comstock). processing starts by slicing the beets into thin chips.

Emanuel Kant made the statement, “Change with

This process makes the beets larger to make it easier to your own will, Act like it will become universal” (Zalta). extract the sugar. The extraction takes place in a diffus- He may not have known it, but this quote falls right er where the beet is kept in contact with hot water for into the history of sugar. Around Darius’ time, sugar about an hour. Diffusion is the process by which the was simply bittersweet; it seemed like “nectar without color and flavor of tea comes out of the tea leaves in a the bees” however it didn’t taste as good as honey at the teapot but a typical diffuser weighs several hundred time. Skipping a few decades, we end up in the 15th centons when full of beet and extraction water. The diffus- tury, somewhere in Venice, Europe (SKIL). Many er is a large horizontal or vertical agitated tank in which Americans would not want to have been living during the beets slices slowly work their way from one end to this time period, for today’s food chain, also advanced, the other and the water is moved in the opposite direc- gives us a choice between organic or non-organic sugar tion. This is called counter-current flow and as the wa- (Hamlett). During that time you didn’t exactly have a ter goes it becomes a stronger and stronger sugar solu- choice, because… well, technically there was only tion (also called juice). The beet slices from the diffuser “organic” sugar. They didn’t have a process and they are still very wet and the water in them still holds some weren’t able to cleanse the sugar, which left it brown useful sugar. They are therefore pressed in screw press- and mountain like, however all the nutrients stayed, as es to squeeze as much juice as possible out of them. did the bitterness. Change came in 1747, when sugar The juice must now be cleaned up before it can be used beet was identified as a source for sucrose, a form of for sugar production. This is done by a process known sugar. When sugar beet is produced, it doesn’t require as carbonization (where small clumps of chalk are as many steps; it goes straight to white normal sugar grown in the juice). The clumps, as they form, collect a that we all love, but our bodies hate. So, over 2500 18 Secrets of the Supermarket

years many different things change, however one thing that can stay the same are the healthy conditions and disorders. Sugar is a very tasty item when mixed with the right things, however, as the famous expression goes too much of a good thing can be bad. Many issues lead back to sugar as the cause, but four affect the most Americans (SKIL). One of them is tooth decay. When we eat sugary items, we then allow bacteria to grow in our mouth. The more we continue to snack on junk food the more bacteria we allow into our mouths. Eventually, it will lead to cavities, especially if for people who don’t practice good dental hygiene. Therefore, with cavities, you will eventually be a victim of tooth decay (Hamlett). Tooth decay is a very well-known disease; however one unknown disease that sugar causes is “increased triglycerides.” Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can increase triglyceride levels, and because increased triglycerides levels are one of the biggest causes towards heart disease, this should be a main concern for Americans (Hamlett). Filling up on foods with added sugar, may lead to skimping on nutritious foods, which means possibly missing out on important nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Regular soda plays an especially big role. It's easy to fill up on sweetened soft drinks and skip low-fat milk or

“Obesity series” Amiria Gale (2010) Secrets of the Supermarket 19

water, giving you lots of extra sugar and calories and no hurry to get somewhere. She ran past me and picked up nutritional value. This leads to an unhealthy diet. How- a bunch of things, including a pack of sugar! Now when ever, increased triglycerides and tooth decay don’t come she got up to the cash register, she had the same look as close to our next sugar-caused disorder.

the other man who didn’t want to buy, but she paid for

Usually doctors believe that there is no single reason everything she picked up, including the sugar. VICTOor cause for being overweight or obese, however, sugar RY! Finally the organic sugar had a sale. However, we is one of the largest contributors. Sugar makes many can’t always rely on that one rushing freaked-out person food and beverages “calorie-dense.” I already discussed to unwillingly buy the sugar. There’s a road that every the highest and lowest amount of calories that people food item is on, on this road it drives around, gets imconsume. However, I did not discuss the lowest ported, exported, bought, etc. Organic sugar, has lost amount of sugar taken in by Americans because the the road, however not all hope is lost for there is a way smallest percent of Americans use the average amount to get the little item back on track (Bonnett). of sugar intake. The average amount of sugar that should be taken in is 22 teaspoons, 355 calories. The huge problem that sugar, no organic sugar, is facing is bankruptcy. Organic sugar is continuously shunned and unwanted by many Americans. This is a very serious, but ironic problem, for those if those exact same people who shun organic sugar don’t do something to get a healthier lifestyle they will have a problem and so will the manufacturers. After being in a Yes Or-

Americans need to take charge towards a healthier

ganic store for almost 2 hours, I noticed a few things. lifestyle. The first thing we can do is to lower our sugar First of all, business was great there were lots of people intake is to increase the amount of people who use the coming in picking up a variety of stuff; the only prob- “average” intake – rather than “supersizing” our sugar lem was that nobody was picking up any sugar. Finally consumption regularly. However, the people themselves one man came and got a pack of sugar, however after can’t do this alone we need the higher ups from the going to the cash register he bought everything except manufacturers to take a stand as well. One thing that the sugar after finding out how much it cost. About the CEOs can definitely do is lower these organic sugar twenty minutes later another guy walked into the sugar prices. In this current economy, people are just getting isle and picked up a pack of sugar, but not the same by, so help the people out. If these actions are put forth brand, however when he got up to the cash register, he then we can shrink the amount we pay for organic sughad this stunned, confused look, like he couldn’t afford ar, but multiply sales to keep it in the business. The only it. Therefore, he told the cashier to take off two or three thing that we might have to worry about is how it will items, including the sugar! Finally when I thought all affect the regular sugar industry. hope was lost, a women ran in looking like she was in a 20 Secrets of the Supermarket

Some may argue that sugar is not really a big prob-

lem in America. CEOs should mind their business and

Works Cited

not let other Americans get involved. As for the obesity Comstock, B. Anna. Handbook of Nature Study, Comstock Publishand health issues, well that’s the only arena where Americans should actually be allowed to make decisions. First of all, the obesity problem should be taken care of by Americans themselves. If they want to be fat a** then they should be allowed to be; we call it a “free country.” When we talk about heart disease, that is a big problem, however sugar shouldn’t be counted as the only problem. Also, the organic vs. non organic war can continue. Nobody should come between it. The organic food will not automatically fall by itself. People are already enjoying regular sugar: its taste and the way that it doesn’t affect their pocket like organic sugar does and would. Why should we switch to organic sugar? We shouldn’t, there is no point of doing that. My alter-ego offers a good point saying that Americans shouldn’t have power over sugar companies but only over their own health. One thing that he doesn’t think about is that it’s quite contradictory, his thesis and point. He says that CEOs should keep all of the business problem to themselves, however if Americans want to try and be healthier and they can’t afford organic sugar then whose fault is it? It would be the CEOs problem. Therefore we need to take my plan into action. The truths revealed in this Expo have been availa-

ing Company Inc, 1911. September 1961 The Handbook of Nature Study first came from Ms. A. B. Comstock in 1911, remade 24 times to the copy we have today to be able to use. She wrote the book to inform the readers about different plants and species that exist in mother nature’s “world.” The book is amazing for its variety, however because of the variety of species covered, the book is not very detailed on each species or exact figure. . Sugar Knowledge International (SKIL), May 2011. April-May 2012. SKIL was first started in 1998. It was founded in Europe, and started traveling around soon becoming world-wide. SKIL is the world's leading independent sugar technology organization. This specific website was created to inform the reader of different things about sugar and to persuade them to try and learn more. The website has a large variety of information and every section is always detailed. Hamlett, Shauntelle. “Differences between organic sugar & white sugar.” Lance Armstrong Foundation, May 2012. < Http:// > Ms. Hamlett was very informative, which allowed me to get many differences between the two products, however she didn’t really discuss much of the pricing problem because she was focused a lot on health issues. Bonnett, Graham. Podcast. Publisher? Dates? < http:// > OPVL paragraph critiquing source Zalta Edward. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP). May 2012 This source has helped me in debate and continues to help me, I found many interesting sources that I thought I would never find on this website. The source is one of the most informative sources that I know of and it has no limitations. Yes! Organic Supermarket < http:// ct=All&site_search_qu=sugar&storeI =626D898C04BE4BDF91F7DE5E80E4133D >

ble for a long time; action will depend on the right peo- Giantple to act on the right sugar. linkid=MN

Secrets of the Supermarket 21

“Corn near Muskogee, Oklahoma”L ee, Russell (1939 or 1940). LOC 22 Secrets of the Supermarket

? Americans love sweets “like a fat kid loves cake.” Producers of sweets make it seem as if their food can benefit people. Advertisers find ways to attract adults, teenagers, and children by adding bright colors, featuring celebrities, and not showing the effects of their product. One day, my mother told me to pick up my favorite items from the grocery. I happened to look at the back and I saw that all the products have something called high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in small writing. Why in small writing? Are the companies hiding something? I was fascinated to know that I like so many things with high fructose corn syrup. At first I thought it was healthy . But high fructose syrup is the opposite. High fructose corn syrup can be found in favorite beverages, sodas and flavored drinks—but is HFCS really needed? Secrets of the Supermarket 23

Why do Americans companies continue to trouble er as well. HFCS is a sweetener as well. Companies use our taste buds with HFCS? What attracts people to HFCS as replacement for table sugar due to relative buy these foolish and tasty items (eHow). Recently, sweetness. “High-fructose corn syrup HFCS 90 is many investigations have found a solution about sweeter than sucrose. HFCS is cheaper in the United American’s flavor likes and dislikes (eHow). Research States as a result of a combination of corn subsidies has shown that twenty million tons of corn are grown and sugar tariffs and quotas. Since the mid-1990s, the monthly due to companies wanting more for their United States federal government has subsidized corn products ( Web-based re- growers by $40 billion” (Wikipedia). Both sweeteners search shows that Americans prefer foods and bever- are related to health issues. Table sugar can cause cells ages with more HFCS, over any other sweetener. Films to become starved for energy because they do not have been made on how the evolution of HFCS has have access to the glucose in the long term; frequent changed the way companies make their products. glucose build-up increases blood acidity, damaging Americans love sweets due to enlightened taste buds many organs, including the eyes, kidneys, nerves and and flavor, but it isn’t healthy for the body. Companies heart (Wikipedia). HFCS has been linked to “obesity,

In some years, nearly half the income of America’s corn farmers comes from government checks. It is these government checks, or subsidies, that keep corn and soybean prices low. Isn’t this system doing what it’s supposed to do? Doesn’t it produce cheap food for the American people? The problem is that government policies don’t really give us cheap food. Your soft drink or hamburger may be cheaper, but that’s because taxpayers have already paid for part of it. Lower corn prices drive farmers out of business. Small family farms get replaced with larger industrial farms. Meanwhile agribusinesses like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and food companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s make billions thanks to cheap corn and soy. This policy makes it cheaper to buy a corn-sweetened soft drink than whole vegetables, fruits, and grains. But most of all, this policy helps corn to take over our land, our food industry, and even our bodies. — Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma are making profit; while most Americans put their cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fathealth at risk. Is it really worth it? This product is ty liver disease” (Wikipedia). harming our finances as well as our health.

HFCS evolved over a period of time. People with a

Many countries use sucrose, but the United States sweet tooth have been satisfied since 1977. High frucis committed to high fructose corn syrup. Which is tose corn syrup is derived from corn, and while the better? Sucrose is an organic compound commonly sweetener is usually not in homes, HFCS has become known as table sugar (Wikipedia). Sucrose, or table America’s top sweetener. HFCS was first introduced sugar, is white, has no smell, powder, and is a sweeten- by Richard O. Marshall and Earl R. Kooi in 1957 24 Secrets of the Supermarket

(Wikipedia). People went crazy for this new additive $40 billion in federal subsidies are going to pay corn that made food taste better (eHow). Corn prices were growers, so that corn syrup is able to replace cane sugar. much lower than sugar prices because of government Corn syrup has been singled out by many health experts subsidies and overproduction, so between 1970 and as one of the chief culprits of rising obesity, because 1977, companies began to use HFCS to make a profit corn syrup does not turn off appetite.” In addition, (

“HFCS limits your body’s ability to produce insulin and

Corn goes through long process before HFCS can lepton, making it difficult to metabolize food and regube found in foods and drinks. High-fructose corn syrup late appetite. The pancreas remains insulin resistance to comes from milled corn, which makes corn starch. all types of fructose, including HFCS, severely hindering Once treated with alpha-amylase, shorter chains called appetite control” ( Our habit of conoligosaccharides emerge. Glucoamylase (a mold product!) suming excessive sweeteners expands the waistline. Acfurther breaks down sugar chains to yield the simple cording to a 2004 study reported in the American joursugar glucose. Xylose isomerase (also called glucose isomerase) nal of Clinical Nutrition, the rise of Type-2 diabetes converts glucose to a mixture of about 42% fructose since 1980 has closely paralleled the increased use of

“Son of Jim Norris, homesteader, tying corn into bundles, Pie Town, New Mexico” Russell Lee (Oct. 1940). LOC

Figure 1 shows the parallel in the rise of HFCS consumption with the rise of obesity in Americans aged twenty or older.

and 50–52% glucose with some other sugars mixed sweeteners, particularly corn syrup ( in” (Wikipedia). All of this HFCS takes a toll on the Figure 1 shows the same conclusion—HFCS is a big body.

part of our nation’s obesity problem. HFCS can also

Research has shown that HFCS has created prob- lead to diabetes “due to obesity and an irregular fluctualems like obesity, poor immune systems, and tooth de- tion of insulin” ( Then, there’s the fact cay. An American researcher has shown that “roughly that “foods that consists rich sugars and sweeteners, like Secrets of the Supermarket 25

HFCS rot teeth.” ( The use of HFCS has been an American problem over a long time period. Can it be solved? The government should put a restriction on how much HFCS can be used in foods and beverages. Immediately, a diet change can help many who; a good first start lies in eliminating HFCS. While it's still arguable the level of harm this additive may cause, many people report improved health, weight loss, and a general sense of feeling better upon eliminating this substance ( Even though the government should take a stand, people can watch what they are eating and be more disciplined. Some opponents may wonder why they should stop eating HFCS. People can even stop eating HFCS and eat more sucrose or table sugar. Americans like sweets. There are many substitutions for HFCS like beet sugar, cane sugar, and honey. Companies and producers are supposed to try to make profit – that’s their job. HFCS, table sugar, honey, and several fruit juices all contain the same simple sugars. So HFCS is safe and no different from other common sweeteners like table sugar and honey; it has the same number of calories and is equal in sweetness to table sugar. Some even argue that it enhances fruit and spice flavors, helps retain moisture and keeps food fresh. The choice is yours. Works Cited This source is a web-based source that was written by Matt Schrodinger on October 2008. The purpose of this source was to inform readers about the danger of HFCS and its causes. This web-based source provides good information on why and how HFCS have a negative effect on the body. This helps me because it gives me firm and supported facts. This source was used on the internet to help readers. The source was created on June 17, 2009 by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, Editor of This is valuable because it provides infor26 Secrets of the Supermarket

mation on how HFCS can cause diabetes and obesity. Mike Adams limits the source by only giving supporting evidence. This web-based source was written by This was written to give background information on HFCS history. The source limits information on how the production has changed. However, provides lots of decent information. While, lacking details this website gives lots of facts and is recommended to be used. This source was written by Wikipedia in 2006. The source was helpful to me because it gave me information on both HFCS and table sugar, which helped me complete the compare and contrast paragraph. This source provides a valuable perspective about the process about the change over time. However, this source limited evidence on their facts. This magazine source called History of High Fructose Corn Syrup by James Radar Jr,; contributor was used to help people gain information about the evolution of the corn making process. This source was productive because it helped me complete my process paragraph. While, being helpful this source limited information on how long HFCS takes to be made. This website was used to help readers gain information on sucrose. This source was affected because it helped me contribute to the compare-contrast section. The source also gave me information on how sucrose can affect the body. This source limited effects and gave lots of causes. This source was helpful due to; giving facts about health concerns that can be caused by HFCS. Even though, this source had many limitations such as not giving many details and results of HFCS it still helped me complete my paper. I utilized the little information that was provided by this source because it had some essential information but, not much. This website helped me complete this assignment by providing cold hard facts on HFCS. The source provided information on how HFCS can have some negative effects. This source was useful to me and I recommend this source to incoming writers of this project. has no limitations because it had all the information I need in order to complete this paper successfully. The Sugar Fix by Richard Johnson This book source was helpful because it gave me information on how HFCS can be replaced. Even though, this source had its limitations, it was helpful. The source provided information that was helpful for me to complete this difficult assignment.

The Romans were the first people on record to use salt as a form of currency. Quite rare, salt was very valuable and often paid soldiers. “Salt is in almost everything we eat, along with some type of corn. On average, Americans consume around 3400mg of sodium daily” (LiveStrong). So what’s it do? Battle for mind control Abusing salt can destroy the human body. Too much salt negatively affects blood pressure and is a major risk factor for diabetes. Salt can also clog arteries. “Healthy adults should consume salt and water to replace the daily lost amount through sweat and to achieve



diet of





sufficient nutri-

ents” (WebMD). Yet too little salt is dangerous as well. Salt helps






which is very important for brain development. Without healthy thyroid hormone are brains would be dysfunctional (WebMd). Salt helps the brain send messages to the body (Kurlansky). So we need just the right amount of salt in our daily diet for normal brain function.

“High fructose Corn Loca” Patrick Martinez (2008) Secrets of the Supermarket 27

“It’s All Corn” as Michael Pollan defined in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. As I read through the book, I saw how important corn



in life

the from

everyday reading

magazines to having a little starch in a meal.

Pollan not only formed me into a food detective like himself, but took me on a food-

You walk into the supermarket, and start searching for your favorite items in the produce section. What will you find? When you go to a grocery store, notice how a lot of people look at the price of the food rather than the actual ingredients. They really don’t know if what they’re eating is healthy. The price of healthy food or organic food is more expensive, which causes people to select foods that are not always healthy. —Dashane’ James

filled journey with just words & diagrams. The book it made me wonder

what I am eating? I was truly stunned to find out how corn played a big part in our everyday life in America. Corn is America’s true natural gold. Pollan just doesn’t scratch the surface, but he goes to the farms where everything starts. Pollan wants to know everything that happens to the food on his plate. Pollan takes you on a journey , but he goes deep where no one has gone, to farms, and seeing some parts of a slaughter house. I truly enjoyed the quest of learning what happens to the food before it hits my plate. — Shannon Hunt

28 Secrets of the Supermarket



Bag” —

Patrick M

artinez (2


? It’s 8:00am and I’m at my table drinking a cup of Tropicana orange juice with a egg and ham breakfast sandwich before I leave for school. While I’m sitting there, I decide to read the back of the carton for ingredients



Recommended websites, such as and Con-

wonder, is orange, and recommended books widened my re-

juice healthy? Is it as natural as it says? Does it cause health issues squeezed mixed?

? or




search. Then I want to Giant and Shoppers to compare prices on oranges. Since Tropicana and other leading brands are using synthetic flavor packs and mislabeling products, the Pepsi company will lose a huge profit, and there will be a lot of consumers filing complaints due to the misinformation. When I go grocery shopping with my mom, the first section we go to is the fruits and vegetables aisle. There I see overpriced organics and store brands who try compete with the imported product prices. I compared four different orange brands from two different stores. The first store I went to was Giant; there I found Jumbo Navel Oranges for $1.00 per pound and Giant’s brand of oranges which were 10 for $10, which I compared to Shoppers. At Shoppers, I found California Navel oranges, selling 10 for $10, Shopper’s brand Juice Oranges at $3.79 per pound, and All Natural oranges which they were selling for $2.99 per pound. Giant sells their brand of oranges for a cheaper price. Unlike Giant, Shoppers sells their imported oranges from California for a lower price, but sell their own brand for a much higher price. Secrets of the Supermarket 29

Many may think that oranges comes from Florida, where

as deep as the root contain-

the sun is always shining and the fruit trees always look deli-

er, which is about 3 feet

cious, or that oranges are just small round of goodness, but

wide. The soil must be

oranges have a lot more history. An orange is a hybrid of an

well drained. The tree is

ancient cultivated origin, between pomelo (a crisp citrus fruit

then planted with the root

native to South and Southeast Asia) and mandarin (a small

crown above the surface of soil

citrus tree) ( Orange trees usually grow up to

and the tree must be weeded fre-

nine to ten meters in height and are usually found in tropical

quently for the first 3 years of its life,

and subtropical climates., such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Brazil and the US states of

and if not weeded can quickly kill the tree (eHow). The soil

California and Floriaâ&#x20AC;? in 2008 (Wikipedia). Oranges are said

should be tested and monitored to make sure it has the cor-

to have originated from Asia, but some sources are not really

rect balance of nutrients. The fertilizer is applied three times

sure. Sweet oranges were grown in China for many centuries.

per year. Shortly after, the tree should begin to bloom as it

In 1493 Columbus purchased the seeds of oranges and even-

begins to fruit. In the fall the trees are covered in mulch to

tually he started a colony in Haiti where he planted orange

protect it from cold weather. Trees are occasionally chemi-

orchards (eHow). The sweet orange was cultivated in the 16th

cally treated for fungi and pests (eHow). Oranges are left on the

century in Eastern Europe. In England oranges were a sign

tree until they are ripe. The time of harvesting the oranges de-

of wealth and were used during the holiday season for deco-

pends on the variety. Oranges in Florida are thrown onto the

rations (eHow). Then, in 1841 William Wilfskill planted the

ground, which is said to speed up the harvesting process (eHow).

first orange tree in Los Angeles. He shipped them around

Preparations for shipping takes place in packing houses. The re-

the world via railroad and also sold them to gold rush miners

moval of dirt, sooty mold, spraying residues and scale insects in

(eHow). Today, they are squeezed to make orange juice,

washers, takes place in the first house. The finishing of oranges

which is sold around the world in different forms. The skin

which do not develop the typical orange color, but instead remain

is often used to make zest, which is used for baking and

pale gold, green or with green spots in a dye bath at temperatures

cooking uses. Orange are used to make sweet orange oil,

of 45-50C, takes place in the second house. Fruit treated in this

which is made by pressing the peel of the orange (eHow).

way must be marked accordingly with a stamp (colored added),

Many think that oranges are easy to grow and that they

which takes place in the third house. Then the oranges are coated with a layer of wax and treatment with preservatives and marking accordingly. After the fruit is graded by size (gaging) and color which takes place in the fourth house. Now they are ready



to be counted, weighed, and packed. The marking of each package with details of the number of fruit, quality class, variety and origin, takes place in the fifth house. Finally, they are stored until shipment to stores ( The map above shows a series of

look the way they do on Florida Naturalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s juice cart. Well,

climates that occur in subtropical areas, were there is hot humid

there is more to the process of planting and harvesting or-

summers and mild cool winters and where most of all our orang-

anges. Oranges are grown on trees which can only be grown

es are grown and imported from to come to our local grocery

in subtropical areas, due to climate changes. What is shown


on the map above. An orange tree is planted in a large hole 30 Secrets of the Supermarket

Overconsumption of oranges can affect your blood sugar

levels. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. Consuming

testing stores and revealing to other buyers or supporters the

vitamin C regularly retards or delays the hardening of the arteries.

mislabeling and misinforming on ingredients. A California

“A compound in oranges called liminoid, which has been found

mother is taking a stand by filing a lawsuit against Orange

to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin lung, breast, stomach,

Juice Giant Tropicana for allegedly over flavoring packs and

and colon” ( A high intake of flavonoids and vitamin

not making their product ‘natural’ as they say. Tropicana re-

C has been known to halve the risk of heart disease. Consuming

sponded by saying, “Our juice is safe and nutritious” they go

vitamin C reduces the risk of stomach cancer. The abundance of

on to say, “We take the faith that consumers place in our

polyphenols (organic chemicals) have been shown to provide pro-

products seriously and are committed to full compliance with

tection against viral infections. “Consuming excessive amounts of

labeling laws and regulations” (abcnews.go). On Tropicana’s

any citrus juice can leach calcium from the body system, causing

website they said each 59-ounce container of Pure Premium

decay of the bones and teeth” (

has 16 fresh-picked oranges squeezed into it (abcnews.go). A

Orange juice companies such as Tropicana, Minute Maid,

customer named Angelina purchases Tropicana for her fami-

and Florida Naturals tell consumers lies about orange juice and

ly and says she buys the orange juice based on

how it’s natural, it’s pure, and is squeezed from oranges grown on

‘representation made on the products label,’ meaning based

trees from Florida. What they don't tell us that most of our juices

on the way they make the front picture of the container look,

or drinks are either produced or processed or just mixed with

by adding pictures of fresh oranges or just having the word

flavored packs. Mislabeling products is a problem because the

‘natural’ written somewhere on the cover of the container, to

advertisers are telling lies about their product, to make us buy

convince consumers that their brand is healthy. You should-

their product. This is a problem for consumers, such as the

n’t have to disguise your product to make larger profits, you

moms and dad who buy these products for their homes and

should tell when there is an extra ingredient or flavored

families. “By selling a product under the guise of a “healthy

packs in your product and stop trying to convince people

alternative,” when really they are just trying to get someone

your product is natural when you’re using a supplement

to buy a container of watered-down juice for the same price

where you don’t even have to use oranges all you need is the

as the regular stuff – it is crossing a line in my book” (J.T).

flavored packs.

Tropicana’s response to this is that, “they are not the only company doing this, but few are as blatant” (sogoodblog). This problem can solved if consumers stand up to those well known brands like Tropicana, Minute Maid, Florida Natural and demand to know the true ingredients behind their product. If there was a supporter or buyer who was misinformed and buys the product, not knowing all the ingredients, they bring it home to their family and someone has an allergic reaction, the first thing they are going to do is to sue that label or company. Then the reports and articles will go out revealing the scandal and their company or label will have major losses in sales prices and profits. If there was

You’re not out of produce just yet—check out those berries.

only one person who wanted to change how the large manufactures or labels treated consumers, filing a lawsuit or proSecrets of the Supermarket 31

? | The most beautiful flowers and fruits belong to the rose family. Guess the most valuable fruit: strawberry. The plants produce an edible red berry that is juicy and sweet. The red flesh has tiny little seeds and has a heart shape with a green leafy top. The fruit was perhaps originally called strewberries because they seemed to be 'strewn' amongst the leaves ( Others believe the strawberry got its name from the practice of putting straw around a growing plant for protection.

Strawberries provide various nutrients which can prevent high blood sugar, certain cancer types and cardiovascular disease. 32 Secrets of the Supermarket

More recently, strawberries outranked other foods. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When only fruits were considered, strawberries came out 4th (behind blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries). Strawberries came out 3rd among all U.S. foods including spices, seasonings, fruits, and vegetables!â&#x20AC;? (George Mateljan Foundation). ~1900 | Berry gains popularity in California 1800s | Cultivation begins in Europe 1714 | French engineer discovers strawberries

Secrets of the Supermarket 33

Whether organic or conventional, the farming proStrawberries offer three major health benefits: cardicess decides whether the final strawberry is healthful or ovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular disnot. With a conventional system, profits grow. Organic eases, improved blood sugar, and prevention of certain strawberries use less non-renewable sources than con- cancers. ventional systems and are healthier because farmers use Strawberries contain antioxidant and antiless toxic chemicals. The organic system is also benefiinflammatory nutrients which protect the heart cial to the soil, but weeds and others can be managed in and blood vessels from damage. the conventional strawberry system. Both conventional Researchers found that polyphenols, a type of and organic systems return less energy in producible antioxidant in strawberries, help regulate blood products than the amount of energy that they require sugar. In fact, strawberries can decrease risk of for inputs ( These two systems are pritype 2 diabetes. marily distinguished by use of nonrenewable resources. Creating a healthy strawberry requires a process. When planting strawberries it needs rich soil and fertilizer, so most plants are nourished with artificial fertilizers before and after harvesting. When the fruit is harvested it needs to be ripe. “Berries that were fully ripe, not over ripe will have more nutrients. Berries that are under ripe and over ripe lowers vitamin C and decreased phytonutrient” (Swift).

The berries can prevent breast, cervical, colon & esophageal cancers. On the other hand, strawberries contain an amount of oxalates, naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and humans. Over-concentration of oxalates in body fluids can cause health problems and may interfere with absorption of calcium.

Nutrients in Strawberries 1.00 cup 144.00 grams 46.08 calories

Vitamin C

Amount 84.67 mg

DV (%) 141.1

Nutrient Density 55.1

World's Healthiest Foods Rating excellent


0.56 mg





2.88 g



very good


34.56 mcg



very good


12.96 mcg



very good


220.32 mg





18.72 mg




Vitamin K

3.17 mcg




0.09 g





Omega-3 fats

Figure 1 | This chart graphically details the % DV, Daily Value that a serving of Strawberries provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Strawberries can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. The DV, Daily Value shows how much nutrients you should eat per day which is provided in strawberries. This chart also provides what kind of nutrients of what a strawberry provide and how much of that particular nutrient’s amount.

34 Secrets of the Supermarket

Strawberries are very healthy, but picking a good batch may cause problems. Another problem is that strawberries can be expensive in some stores. The main solution for “picking a good batch of strawberries is to identify the strawberry if it is fully red, plump, and firm” (Pick Your Own) To pick the perfect strawberry it must be free from mold and have shiny, deep red color and attached green caps. A good batch sweet and fresh berries. The solution to the problem with strawberries being expensive is to save money, go to farms and pick them from there. “Strawberries are charged by pound which the price is increased” (Lush). For organic strawberries, freshness, size, weight, and texture determine price. The weather can also decide the price for strawberries; cold weather increases prices because cold delays the harvest. Direct from farms, prices are cheaper because strawberries are grown fresh.

http:// 8150437_ process -growingstrawberries.html > The article “What is the process in growing strawberries?” on the website ehow which is written by Dannah Swift who is an ehow contributor. The writer wants to explain the process in growing strawberries. This website is a good source because it is very informative of the process in growing strawberries to farmers. Swift does not explain the ways to maintain the strawberry growth. Pick Your 7 April 2012. 9 April 2012 < http:// > This website called “Pick your own” was created in 2012 and written unknown. This websites informs the ways to identify a good edible strawberry. This website is a good source because it gives the qualities to find in a good strawberry. This website does not tell a shopper were to find the best strawberries at. This website is biased for strawberries. Article: Lush, Tamara. “Strawberry prices drop as late harvest hits market.” USA Today (2010): 1 page. This article Strawberry prices drop as late harvest hits market by Tamara Lush in 2010. Lush is a journalist. Lush wants to inform customers who consumes strawberries. That the prices have been lowered than the original price. This article is a good source because it provides the price of the strawberries and what the cause of the decrease of the Works Cited strawberries’ price. Lush does not explain why the prices of strawberries decrease other than Florida. Book. Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets behind What You Eat: Young Readers Edition. New York.: The Penguin Group, 2006 The Omnivore’s Dilemma is written by Michael Pollan in 2009. Pollan is a journalist and was curious about where his food came from. Pollan wants to inform young American consumers about their daily diet. Also, Pollan explains the evolution of the food industry. This book is a good source for learning about healthy eating, food choices and the process food goes through. Pollan conveys many perspectives. Pollan does not talk about human labor to create our foods. The writer is biased against corn and meat processing. Encyclopedias / Dictionaries: Pohl, Richard. “Strawberry”. World Book. 18. 1979 “The edible red berry of a small plant, that grows on the ground.” Def. A Student’s Dictionary. 9th ed. 2005 Radio: “Is Organically Produced Food More Nutritious?” 3 September 2010 Ira Flatow wrote a radio entry called “Is Organically Produced Food More Nutritious”. Flatow is a reporter of NPR. The writer wants to inform strawberry eaters that farmers do use fertilizers and pesticides. This radio podcast is a good source because it contains details on whether or not organic farming produces nutritious foods. This website does not give evidence if all farmers use fertilizers and pesticides for their crops. Websites: The World’s healthiest foods. The George Mateljan Foundation. 2011-2012. 5 April 2012 < genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32 > The website called ‘The World’s healthiest food” was created by the George Mateljan Foundation in 2011-2012. This website informs strawberry consumers about strawberries health benefits, history, and process of growing. This website is a great source for learning about strawberries. The writer does not suggest why consumers should eat strawberries. George Mateljan Foundation is biased for strawberries. Swift, Dannah. Demand Media, Inc. 10 April 2012 <

Alright, so maybe you’re thinking of growing your own fruits at home. There’s more to learn. Carry your basket or push your cast over a few aisles into the breakfast section …

Secrets of the Supermarket 35

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coffee 101â&#x20AC;? Daniel Holt (2012), view at

Take a look at your watch. Then wait for one minute. In that time, 240,000 cups of NESCAFE coffee were consumed worldwide ( Studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and a variety of medical conditions. The results are mixed concerning the potentially harmful effects of coffee consumption. The condition seems to relate to the amount of coffee that a person drinks. People who drink a lot of coffee often have gas reflux and migraine headaches. High cholesterol is also a big problem. People drink coffee because of the boost of energy that comes with consuming coffee. 36 Secrets of the Supermarket

Coffee has a long and rich history. Believed to have big companies strip picks the coffee. This is where all of originated in Ethiopia, most people credit Sheik Omar the berries are harvested at the same time regardless or with the discovery of coffee (Castle and Nielsen). There ripeness. After picking the cherries, the coffee is proAn old story about “sheep eating the wild cherries and cessed by one of two different methods. These methods acting hyper” made people consider coffee a miracle include the dry and wet process. The dry process is simdrug with the power to give energy for weeks. Its power was noted in many different ways. In East Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in religious ceremonies. According to the Great Coffee Book, the Ethiopian Church even “banned its consumption, a ban in effect until the reign of Emperor Menelik 2nd of Ethiopia.” Coffee was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons.” Coffee is an organic product. According to Ukers, “the type of soil in which the coffee is grown determines the taste of the coffee. The traditional method of planting coffee is put to 20 seeds in each hole at the beginning of the rainy season, and half are eliminated naturally.” Brazil uses a coffee growing method that raises seedlings in nurseries that are then planted outside at six to twelve months. Coffee is often grown with

Figure 1 | Many people in the US drink coffee every day. US companies grow beans in other places and import them here for roasting and packaging. Many people love Starbucks Coffee but it isn’t the most popular coffee in this country— Folgers is the leader.

other food crops, such as corn, beans, or rice during the ple and requires less labor, while “the wet process infirst few years to help the plant grow. Moreover, coffee corporates breakdown by bacteria into the process that farming was done in the “shade of trees that provided a a yields mild coffee” (Castle). Then berries are sorted by habitat for many species have been planted as well. ripeness and color, and most often the berry flesh is (Castle), referred to as the traditional shaded method, or removed, usually by big machines. The seeds are called “shade-grown.” Starting in the 1970s, many farmers beans. “They are then fermented to remove the breakswitched to sun cultivation, or coffee grown in rows down residue” (Castle). under full sun with little or no shade cover.

Many coffee companies offer Fair Trade brands.

Making coffee is a very long process. Coffee berries “Fair Trade labeling, which guarantees coffee growers a and their seeds go through several processes before be- negotiated price, began in the Netherlands” (Ukers). coming roasted coffee. The cherries are picked by hand, Even Starbucks Coffee uses some Fair Trade coffee. which adds up to a lot of labor. The berries are picked According to “Starbucks Serves up its First Fairtrade at their peak ripeness. So, pickers have to be very selec- Lattes and Cappuccinos,” “the company has many Fair tive and only pick the best looking berries. Most of the Trade agreements with nations that grow their coffee, Secrets of the Supermarket 37

including Costa Rica and Kenya. Since the founding of organizations such as the European Fair Trade Association, the production and consumption of fair trade coffee has grown as some chains started

to offer fair trade

alternatives.” The Fair Trade system makes sure that farmers have a fair chance to make money and not be taken advantage of by big companies. According to one study done by the Harvard School of Public Health, “the overall balance of risks and benefits of coffee consumption are on





fits” (Ukers). Other studies suggest drinking coffee reduces the risk of being affected



“Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhosis of the liver, and gout “Ghetto Grocery” Patrick Martinez (2006)

are some of the diseases that coffee lowers the risks of” (Castle). Coffee contains several compounds which can be very harmful to human body chemistry. Even though coffee has some bad health risks, it is consumed for its high amounts of caffeine. Caffeine gives people extra energy. However, “Drinking too much coffee can cause liver cirrhosis and iron deficiency anemia in mothers and their children” (Castle). People who drink lots of coffee can have gas reflux and migraine headaches.

38 Secrets of the Supermarket

Works Cited Starbucks Corporation. Company profile from Hoover's. Hoover's. 2010. The company Starbucks was established in Seattle Washington in 1971. The company is still working and in process. Starbucks is run by Howard Schultz. Schultz is currently the CEO. He is in charge of the total management of Starbucks. The perspective of Starbucks Corporation is from someone who may have worked with Starbucks, or someone who studies Starbucks. The purpose of Starbucks Corporation is to inform the reader about the background information of Starbucks, and what it is currently doing. The sources value information is the information about where Starbucks originated from. The source also tells who runs Starbucks. The Limitations of the article was who specifically published the article, and did the person or people who published this article had any relations to Starbucks. Cousin, Tracey L (June 1997). "Ethiopia Coffee and Trade". American University The organization the produced this article was were students from American University. The time period of this article takes place from 1993-1997. The perspective of this article is from someone who studied about the subject of coffee. The purpose of this article was to inform about the origin of coffee. The purpose was to also explain what it tasted like and who drank it. The value of this article is to get a better understanding of coffee. “Starbucks Serves up its First Fairtrade Lattes and Cappuccinos Across the UK and Ireland London.” Fairtrade Foundation. September 2, 2009. Castle, Timothy; Joan Nielsen (1999). The Great Coffee Book. Ten Speed Press. The person who is the author of this book is James Castle and Joan Neilsen. The time period takes place around the 1600s to 2012. The perspective is from those who have studied the subject of coffee. The purpose was to put their experience with coffee and the facts of coffee into one book. The value of this book is to gain a different perspective about coffee and the history of coffee. Ukers, William Harrison (1922). All about Coffee .2nd Ed... Gale Research. The person who created this article is William Harrison. The time period of this article takes place from 1622-2012. The perspective is from a person who studies that background of coffee from very long ago until now. It is the study of the evolution of coffee. The purpose is to explain how coffee has evolved. The purpose of this article is to give readers background information of coffee, and the current process of coffee.

As humans, we choose cheap foods over the more expensive healthy foods. We look at the special savings price instead of the ingredients. The cheaper food contains high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, and other artificial ingredients. —Antonio Daniels Coupons. Neighbor’s recommendations. News stories. Magazine articles. Back-of-the-box recipes. Diet fads. Scientific reports. Recommendations on what to eat seem to come from all directions. That’s “the omnivore’s dilemma”—too many choices and not enough expertise. What should you choose?

Secrets of the Supermarket 39

40 Secrets of the Supermarket

The more anxious we are about eating, the more likely we are to listen to claims from food marketers. Food companies make more money if they can get us to change our eating habits and buy their processed foods. They spend billions to create a constant stream of these new foods and then spend billions more to get us to buy them. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Michael Pollan, The Omnivoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dilemma

Secrets of the Supermarket 41

Why do companies such as Giant, McDonalds and Famous Dave’s advertise the most fattening foods? Using dieting sites and the New York Times, I discovered that food companies do not advertise fattening foods more, that’s just what happens to be cheaper. Since the recession, people are trying to be smart and tight with money. When people make poor choices with food, they often don’t know that it’s affecting their health. If they did know, they would probably make different decisions. Food companies advertise what they know we will buy. Everyone deserves the right to eat. In fact, the “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognizes the ‘right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food’ as well as the ‘fundamental right to be free from hunger’” ( Many people face “no organic selection, low income; rotten food, new EFP; not enough advertisement” (Food Justice). As a result, people try to get the cheapest things they can get their hands on, which isn’t always the best choice. Modern advertising doesn’t help. For example, in a Giant or Shoppers cereal aisle, what’s at eye level for kids? The most sugary cereals, like Fruit Loops, Captain Crunch and Frosted Flakes. Kids pick those cereals because the colorful boxes, pictures and games catch attention. Parents buy the cereal because it fits in a nice price range. Food companies don’t necessarily advertise junk food more— that’s just where people spend their money. People choose unhealthy foods because they are more appealing to the eye. “Junk food is cheaper when measured by the calories and that this makes fast food essential for the poor because they need cheap calories” (Bittman). healthier A majority of the world eats unhealthy food, so companies advertise their un42 Secrets of the Supermarket

healthiest food rather than the healthy items. If they don’t give us what we want, then consumers don’t respond with what they want—money. Advertising hasn’t been around terribly long. “Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries” (Wikipedia). More recently, “spending on advertising was estimated at $142.5 billion worldwide” (in response to “changing business demands, media technologies and cultural context” Wikipedia). At McDonald’s looking on the Dollar Menu, one finds a McDouble, french fries and other fattening foods instead of a nice chicken salad or even a real fruit smoothie. In fact the salad costs about $6. Why is that? That’s because they don’t care what happens to our bodies, they figure as long as they getting paid it don’t matter. Consumers can also get more for less: “When you go to McDonald’s it’s for a burger, so when you don’t have a lot of money of course you get more calories from that dollar” (Ornish). The problem is that people are being persuaded to buy the wrong foods for themselves and their families. First, the healthier the food is, the more expensive it gets: “The survey found that higher calorie energy dense foods are the better bargain for cash strapped shoppers. Energy dense munchies cost on average $1.76 per 1,000 calories compared with $18.16 per 1,000 calories for low energy but nutritious foods” (Bittman). Daphne Oz remarked, “One of the first things I noticed when I started food shopping for myself was how expensive healthy food can be. Even between a conventional item and its organic version, the price gap can be astounding!” It seems that the money a person makes decides how well they eat. Second, farmers may be struggling to provide nuSecrets of the Supermarket 43

tritious, fresh produce. “Earth’s human population

Works Cited

grew 293 percent in the 20th century–and farmers Bittman, Mark, ed. "Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?" The New York Times [New York City]. 24 Sept. 2011, New York Edition ed., SR1

couldn’t keep up” ( Eating better will re- sec. Http:// 25 Sept. 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. < some sacrifices. food-really- cheaper.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all>. Either food companies or people can start budgeting their money. Eating healthier gives us more strength and energy, while “overeating and not exercising can lead







tions” ( It’s not necessary to give up cake, ice cream or pizza. It’s better to eat these less often, stick to low-fat or low-sugar versions, and have milk or juice instead of soda, or diet soda. In the end it might not save a whole lot of money, but you will be satisfied. On the other hand, some people don’t have a problem with money; they just don’t want to eat healthy foods. Does it have something to do with advertisements? Yes. Ads persuade people—to buy unhealthy foods.

44 Secrets of the Supermarket

The source came from The New York Times Magazine, between 2011 & 2012 in New York. The source was created to inform us about what’s going on with our food. The newspaper shares valuable information by helping us figure out the answer to my research question. The source left out specific quotes that would’ve been helpful. Magee, Elaine, RDWebMD Expert. "10 Best New Healthy Breakfast Cereals." WebMD. WebMD. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. <http://>. The source came from in April of 2012, this year. The purpose of this source was to give us background information on the different cereals we eat daily. This sources info was helpful because I found out most of the cereals my parents buy for me to eat aren’t as healthy. They leave out evidence to support their facts. Mahfood, Robin "Food for the Poor." Web. 08 May 2012. <http://,_Inc.? qsrc=3044>. This source came from Wikipedia Sites this month. It’s here to inform us about how the poor has plenty of opportunities to get food. They tell us about their many fundraisers and more that they did to help raise money to feed the poor. The source doesn’t leave out anything. "Advertising." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 05 June 2012. Web. 08 May 2012. < Advertising>. This source also came from Wikipedia and it hasn’t been published yet. It was created though to give us a little background on advertising and how it works. It’s useful because I couldn’t type a paper without knowing background on the main subject. The source lacked evidence and examples. Kinnucan, Henry W., Hui Xiao, Chung-Jen Hsia, and John D. Jackson. "Effects of Health Information and Generic Advertising on U.S. Meat Demand." JSTOR. Web. 08 May 2012. < uid=3739704>. This source came from these four men that wanted to inform us about the foods we eat and how it’s affecting our health. It’s helpful because it’s very informing on what the foods we eat do to our bodies. This source doesn’t leave out anything.

Corn is in most of the things we eat in our daily lives and we do not know it. But what if we can put another plant or crop instead of corn into those products to give us some diversity into what we eat. Can potatoes replace some of the jobs that corn does? Do you like french fries? Tater tots? Imagine having a little bit of flavor from a potato in the products that you consume.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grand Grocery Co., Lincoln, Nebraskaâ&#x20AC;? John Vachon (1942) Secrets of the Supermarket 45

Somewhere, behind the brightly colored packaging, underneath the labels covered with information, there is a mountain of corn. I’m not talking about corn in the produce section. That’s easy to recognize. Keep looking. There’s still a lot of corn hiding. How about those long aisles of soft drinks? Made from corn. That freezer case stuffed with TV dinners? Mostly corn. Those donuts and cookies and chips? They’re made with a whole lot of corn. It’s all corn. Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes your steak. Corn feeds the chicken and the pig. Corn feeds the catfish raised in a fish farm. Corn-fed chickens laid the eggs. Corn feeds the dairy cows that produce the milk, cheese, and ice cream. See those nuggets in the freezer case? They are really corn wrapped in more corn. The chicken was fed corn. The batter is made from corn flour. The starch that holds it together is corn starch. The oil it was fried in was corn oil. But that’s not all. Read the label on any bag of chips, candy bar, or frozen snack. How many ingredients do you recognize? Maltodextrin? Monosodium glutamate? Ascorbic acid? What are those things? What about lecithinand mono–, di– , and tricglycerides? They are all made from corn. The golden food coloring? Made from corn. Even the citric acid that keeps the nugget “fresh” is made from corn. There are some forty-five thousand items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them now contain corn. This goes for non-food items as well–everything from toothpaste and cosmetics to disposable diapers, trash bags, and even batteries. Corn is in places you would never think to look. It’s in the wax that coats other vegetables in the produce section. It goes into the coating that makes the cover of a magazine shine. It’s even part of the supermarket building, because the wallboard, the flooring, and many other building materials are made with corn. — Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Corn is used for many things all around the world such as for food, medicine, chemicals, biofuel, and ethanol. Corn is found in all types of food from liquids to solids, corn is mostly used in Hispanic foods such as tortillas, and atole. Corn is used in like sodas, cereals, plastics, and even for entertainment (Pollan). Look at the back of a regular Coke can: corn syrup. At the back of a cereal box: corn starch. Corn is served in salads, side dishes, and many other food items. Most of the United States corn is grown in the midwest in states such Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri (Pollan). Surprisingly corn is even used for entertainment such as “corn maze” tourist attractions.

Figure 1 | US Department of Agriculture averages show the United States leads global corn exports, distantly followed by Argentina, Brazil and Canada.

Corn is the United States’ leading crop and is found in most products. Corn, also known as maize, is a domesticated variant of teosinte, with the first grain dating back to 1100 BCE (Pollan). Olmecs and Mayans began using corn as food in Central and South America and spread the crop. When the Europeans came to the Americas, they took it back to Europe and introduced the plant to other countries. Corn is a crop of choice worldwide because it can grow in different cli-

46 Secrets of the Supermarket

mates (Minnesota Corn Grower Association). Corn is much the same the most grown crop in the Americas; on average 332 way they are in million metric tons are grown in the Americas alone. modern times as Half of the world's corn is grown in the United States, a culinary item and Figure 1 shows that the US also exports the most.




Potatoes and corn are similar in their processing, plant.


purpose and consumption, but different in shape, originated in Peweight and form. Potatoes may not be as popular as ru and Northcorn in the United States but potatoes can do most of eastern


the jobs that corn does. For example there is corn between


starch and there is also potato starch, which is a bit and 5000 BCE thicker and sweeter. Potatoes and corn can be substitut- ( B r o w f a r m ) . ed with each other and this is what usually happens in There are almost the food processing industry due to price and availabil- six


ity. Potatoes could also replace corn in the culinary types of potatoes business because of how many different dishes there are and the count is such as french fries, fish and chips, papa rellena, and still


other dishes. Potatoes offer more medical benefits than They are usually corn, such as pain and burn relievers. Corn is healthier broken


than potatoes, but potatoes have a very good amount of into colors such

“Children gathering potatoes on a large

vitamin C. Potatoes have eighty percent of water and as red or blue. farm” and “Trucks outside of a starch factory” near Caribou, Aroostook County,

they have no fat in them. They are called a fat food be- There are also ME.” Jack Delano (Oct 1940). LOC cause of how they are served, specifically as french fries, genetically modified potatoes that are grown in Europe; tater tots, and other fat, unhealthy foods (Browfarm).

they were also grown in United States, but were shut

Potatoes have been around since 8000 BC and came down because companies like McDonald’s, Burger from South America, specifically Peru (Browfarm). King, and Lays were not going to use them. Processed There are five thousands types of different potatoes in potatoes such as canned potatoes, french fries and tater the world. China produces the most potatoes, making tots are really not that much different from the regular about seventy three million metric tons every year. It’s potato; they are just packaged and frozen. easy to grow, it is first plant to be grown in outer space.

Potatoes go through a process that is rather fast and

The potato is also a plant when used raw, can be con- very simple. For example french fries are peeled, cut, sidered a medicine. They are used as pain relievers for and then frozen; tater tots are peeled, smashed, shaped, headaches, and relieve and cure burns. Potatoes are and frozen. Potatoes are usually good enough to proused in liquid products too, like wine and vodka.

cess straight out of the ground. Potatoes usually take

Potatoes have been around for many years, used about six weeks to fifteen weeks to grow. Potatoes are Secrets of the Supermarket 47

usually grown to the size of an egg, and then they are sent to supermarkets. There are no hidden steps to growing a potato because of how easily they are grown. The effects of the potato on health would be a tiny bit negative because it's a fatter crop than corn. We might have a little problem because of the fats but it offers a lot of vitamin C, and of course a reduction in the amount of corn we eat on a daily basis. Changing from potatoes to corn would pose no problem to the environment. Corn is grown more in the United States and produces forty percent of the world’s corn, while the amount of potatoes grown in the US is in global fourth place (Browfarm). Putting potatoes into our products might give us diversity and some more vitamin C but potatoes might hurt our economy because we might have to pay extra for getting potatoes from other countries if we need them, unlike corn–we have a lot to spare because of how rapidly it is produced. Some might think using potatoes instead of corn is a bad idea because of money issues and the hassle. Potatoes would not replace everything, but only replace some items corn is in. Yet the potato idea is more logical–think about how much corn is going into our bodies annually! Potatoes could replace corn is some ways, but we need corn for certain things and potatoes for others. Corn is the higher and more important crop in the comparison because of its uses and worldwide popularity. We could not completely replace it, but make some products with potatoes. Works Cited “Minnesota Corn Growers Association.” Minnesota Corn Growers Association. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. <>. The Minnesota Corn Grower's Association (MCGA) began in 1978 and has evolved into a website and a larger group. The source comes from the perspectives of farmers in Minnesota. The source was created for Minnesotan farmers to stick together and thrive. This sources shares information 48 Secrets of the Supermarket

about corn, ethanol and more. The have a good perspective because Minnesota has some of the richest soil in the United States. Some limitations are that this site is very specific in some areas and it's more of a group website. Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat. New York: Dial, 2009. Print. The Omnivore's Dilemma came from journalist, Michael Pollan, based on modern times. The book is written from Pollan's perspective using information gathered throughout all America, mostly the mid-west. The book was created to inform people in the United States about “The secrets behind what you eat.” The Omnivore’s Dilemma entertains well because of how the story is told, and the fact that it is written from the first person point of view. It persuades well because the book goes into revealing cold truths. It shares information as well; the book is well-organized, such as the part of the book I used,“Part 1 The Industrial Meal: Food From Corn.” The book has little limitations but I only used it for corn, because it does not have much information about potatoes. “Growing, Harvesting, Storing, Cooking.” All about POTATOES. Web. 07 May 2012. < potatoes_about.htm>. The brow farm website is about crops, plants and modern farming with machines and modern techniques. The perspective of this source comes from farmers, and it was created to inform people about plants and crops farmers make. This source shares information by stating facts and explaining how crops work. It is very useful because it's coming from the people who make potatoes and corn. This source states basic things about potatoes and that is the only real restriction. It would be more useful if it were more specific with what plant or crop they are talking about. “Tumbledown Farm .9 Acres (give or Take an Acre or Two ).” P otato. Web. 10 May 2012. <h ttp:/ / w w w . t u m b l e d o w n f a r m . c o m / d r u p a l / Cyclopedia_of_American_Agriculture/Crops/Potato>. The source comes from a pastor and farmer who, when he is not farming, writes tips and information about plant and crops. This source was created to “preserve and re-publish the primary sources of knowledge about 19th and early 20th century farming and gardening, to rediscover the best of traditional farming and gardening skills and techniques, to increase the number of diversified farms, to gather a community of support for those who want to learn how to farm and garden in the old ways, and to create a network of experimental field stations to provide advice for the creation of sustainable, suburban micro-farms.” It shares valuable information by stating facts and explanations. The source has a good perspective because it's being told by an actual farmer. The source lacks specificity in information. “Corn.” HowStuffWorks. Web. 10 May 2012. <http://>. This source came from a popular site between 1998 and 2012. It is written from an outside perspective because it was from a reporter to show how corn is made. It is very well organized into sections and it has good details and pictures. It shares good info because of how well it is written and organized. The article has very few limitations; it just lacks some information on history corn’s uses.

Like any morning before school, I grabbed a glass of soy milk and began to intensively analyze the back of a Frosted Flakes cereal box. I asked my mother, why “we switched from dairy milk to soy milk?” she replied, “It’s now healthier for you.” When she walked away, the information completely baffled me. Thinking back on all of the clichés about milk, like how “it builds strong bones” or how “it’s


enriched with calcium,” I thought, “How on earth is this dairy milk alternative better” and “What happened to make this milk alternative ‘now healthier’ for me?” I pushed my box aside to do some quick research and I discovered something absolutely spine tingling—read the next sentence to find out! The cunning dairy industry causes cows (the gentle creatures that produce the product) to suffer torment and abuse, while dairy product consumers still buy the product so support the milk industry’s ‘daily practices.’ Secrets of the Supermarket 49

The question that inspired this research project is to 1969 to promote California dairy products in an everknow why there is a sudden decrease in dairy milk con- growing and competitive marketplace.” The Happy sumption. For the people still buying milk, I wonder if Cow campaign promotes the idea of cows living happily they know their choice is causing a bigger effect on the on family-owned farms. Their advertisements show that world? Asking why each and every person became their cows live a peaceful life, which was extremely beturned off by milk or why aren’t they turned off by lievable and convincible just to buy their dairy products. dairy milk is somewhat a vague, leading to no point. On their website they have many videos and pictures of However, I want to know what is the dairy industry or the families that harvest the cows, and many include the dairy product itself doing to have people not want- bright all-American children. By the looks of their webing to buy the product or reduce dairy consumption? site, it seems as though their cows are the healthiest, The two top commodity brands are magnified through- flawless, happiest creatures the world can offer. Howevout the research project to answer my question. The er, the website shows a bias, is all cows blessed to live dairy industry is doing things morally wrong, which on these family farms, and are all CMAB farms like the makes them cunningly evil; people buying dairy produce ones shown? are supporting their doings; and cows are suffering because of the mass need for their product.

Similar to the CMAB, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) is also known for creating one of the

Milk production began approximately 6000 years most famous commodity brands in the United States. ago and has been an integral part of the human diet ev- Whether it’s the famous milk mustache advertisements er since. Milk, the most suitable food for young mam- or the famous celebrities wearing the mustache, the mals, provides both energy and the building materials “Got Milk?” campaign is familiar to us all. Before the necessary for growth. Fast forwarding to the 1870s is CMPB established their campaign, milk consumption when the milk industry expanded in California. By then, had been steadily decreasing in the United States even big land was being purchased, cows were being milked, though the CMAB was pushing milk since 1969. Acand the finished product was shipped to other parts of cording to the “Got Milk?” website, “In 1993, fluid the United States. In the 1890s, the organic process of milk processors in California agreed to allocate 3 cents milk quickly started to die as food safety, needed sur- of each gallon sold to fund efforts to promote the conplus, and sanitation became a bigger issue. Today, Cali- sumption of milk […].” Just like the CMAB, using the fornia farms and dairy farms all over the world have 23 million dollar budget they raised, the CMPB pronew technology, new equipment, and many tools to in- motes dairy milk through marketing, advertising, and crease production, keep safety alive, and care for the public relations. As a result, milk consumption has imcows. The California Milk Advisory Board was created in

proved. Now, because everyone is getting health cautious

1969 and is the proud creator of Real California Milk and becoming animal friendly, the two top commodities and Cheese, as well as the Happy Cows campaign. Ac- in the U.S.A (CMPB and CMAB) are getting a lot of cording to their website, “The CMAB was formed in competition, rivalry, and most importantly threats in 50 Secrets of the Supermarket

losing dairy product consumers. According to dietician no health concerned consumer wants hormones in their Katelyn Ranch, milk consumption has declined because milk. In 1994, the Food and Drug Administration there are so many alternatives. As shown in Figure 1, (FDA) approved the use of the rBGH. According to an milk consumption has been steadily decreasing since the article entitled ‘Milk: America’s Health Problem,’ 70s. In the graph the trend is falling. The California “injections of rBGH cause cows to produce up to 20 Milk Processor Board and the California Milk Advisory percent more milk […] Genetically-engineered bovine Board constantly compete against dairy milk alternatives growth hormone (rBGH) in milk increases cancer like soymilk, hazelnut milk, almond milk, or coconut risks.” Reading the article made me want to know how milk; which is sold everywhere. Writer Ray Latif states, rBGH milk containing Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 “[…] the market for dairy alternative beverages reached (IGF-1) affect humans? As stated by the article, “After $1.33 billion in 2011[…] the growing popularity of dairy the rBGH milk is consumed, IGF-1 is not destroyed by alternative beverages comes as consumption of cow’s human digestion. Instead, IGF-1 is readily absorbed milk continues to decline.” So, if milk from cows is slowly losing sales, there must be a reason as to how this came to be. Why is there a rapid amount of money flowing towards dairy milk alternatives? The rapid amount of money is

Figure 1 shows how dairy milk consumption in the U.S has been declining since recorded in 1978.

going towards dairy milk alternatives are because people are getting health concerned and the treatment of the cows is appalling. To differentiate organic farming verses industrial farming you would have to analyze the process in making the product. Industrial farmers inject the female cows with Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), a hormone that increases the cow’s milk production, and Secrets of the Supermarket 51

across the intestinal wall.”

of their milk. However, I wondered how come we can’t

Unlike industrial dairy farms, organic dairy farmers see the pus? do not inject their cows with rBGH and the product contains low levels of IGF- 1. You can differentiate organic and industrial milk by the content, the process, the treatment of the cows, and the price. A traditional organic farmer named Jon Bansen from New Jersey treats his farm and cows beautifully. Bansen has a grassy open field, healthy looking cows and he states that he does not use any drugs on his cows, he just treats them

The pasteurization process is often used to mask low quality milk. The heat from pasteurization destroys most of the bacteria in milk which allows for poor dairy practices, cleanliness, dirt and pus (ewww) to be disguised. ‘To combat the increase in pathogens milk goes through […] ‘filtering’ […]. Each of these treatments uses heat ranging from 100-175 degrees Fahrenheit. Dairies count on many heat treatments to mask their inferior sanitary conditions: milk filled with pus , manur e and debr is (Deliciousobsessions).

right and milks them twice a day, unlike mega dairy So then I thought, although the pasteurization process farms who make their 8,000 cows milk up to 250,000 causes the pus, blood, and bacteria due to the mastitis liters each day according to an undercover investigation to go away this process also destroys vitamin C, water inside the dairy industry by The Ecologists. Their video soluble B vitamins, calcium, milk enzymes, protein and explained how the mega dairy farm’s milk is not very antibodies, and other minerals which pretty much rengood because the cows aren’t good, and explained how ders the milk useless, as far as nutrition goes. the farms affect the environment around them as well.

Now, the thing about the milk industry that is con-

The video also shows that the cows’ horns are cut off in fusing is why do consumers have to heavily research the industrial farms most popularly by burning them what is in their dairy milk. The cunning CMAB and off. This ‘standard practice’ of farms causes the cows a CMPB advertise the good qualities of milk and fail to get deal of pain especially due to the fact that most tell the whole story. However, PETA (People for the farmers don’t give pain killers. The Ecologists explained Ethical Treatment of Animals) shares the whole truth. how the farms bring an excess amount of flies around Most of the cows on the CMAB and CMPB farms are its area and infest their drinking water with nitrate—the treated badly and live in deplorable conditions. Accordenvironment suffers.

ing to the PETA, “Some [cows] spend their entire lives Since milk comes from a lactating female cow, they standing on concrete floors; others are confined to masare artificially inseminated, and then their calves are sent sive, crowded lots, where they are forced to live amid to veal farms or other places -- the typical practices of their own waste”. PETA mimics the CMAB slogan an industrial dairy farm. The cows are significantly af- ‘California Cheese Comes from Happy cows’ and fected by people’s need for milk. The rBGH affects the changed their slogan to ‘California Cheese Comes from cows, “through increased rates of mastitis, an udder Miserable Cows’ to promote the ethical treatment of aniinfection […] resulting in the contamination of milk mals as shown in figure 3. with significant levels of pus” according to Samuel S.

So, dairy milk and dairy milk farms effects many

Epstein. Plus, not too many people appreciate pus in things. Dairy milk (which was once proven to be their milk or the slightest possibility of pus being inside healthy) is now being called unhealthy, especially the 52 Secrets of the Supermarket

milk from industrial cows. Due to the pasteurization process (which is used in all industrial farms and some organic farms), the milk becomes useless as far as nutrition goes. And although the mastitis is not shown in the milk after the process, it still makes you think about the animals that are suffering because of it. The mastitis is very painful to the cows, and because most of the farmers won’t treat the cows, the cows have to deal with the pain. The industrial dairy farms also affect the community as well, by infesting their drinking water with nitrate. To stop all of these problems just spread this information to people and you tell them to tell others to stop buying industrial dairy milk. When the industries like CMAB and CMPB realize the drop in sales they will want to ask the consumers why. There are so many dairy milk alternatives that taste better and are better for you that you will not miss dairy milk. All of the facts about the consumption of milk are true. However, not all industrial dairy farms are nemeses to the environment or devils towards cows. Some industrial farms actually care for and take pride in their cows and do not involve in most of the ‘standard practices’ of dairy farms. And not all industrial dairy companies are evil and cunning. Works Cited Organic Dairyman- Part 1: A Family Tradition (video). Rebecca. Jon Bansen. Cooking up a Story, Apr 20, 2007 This video was created in New Jersey on April 20, 2007 on YouTube by Cooking up a story. And this video was created to show viewers how organic farms operate. This source gives me a view on how organic dairy farms operate and it’s important to have since I am comparing organic verses industrial. Although, the limitation in this source is that it doesn’t explain the life of industrial cows. Exclusive: Undercover inside the U.S Dairy Industry. Jim Wickens. The Ecologist, September 20, 2010 This video was created by the Ecologist on September 20, 2010. The video was created because Europe was starting to establish mega dairy farms and the makers wanted to show how mega dairy farms are by going to the original source, in California. I found this source useful because it the video took me inside the world of industrial farms. However, the

source does not offer information about if there is any good in industrial farms. Ray Latif. January 20, 2012 1:29 pm. Sponsor not listed. May 1, 2012 <> This article was created by Ray Latif on The purpose of this article was to inform people how much the economy and the consumers has changed, and what people are now starting to want. This source values my paper because it offers well needed facts for my article and it provides reasons as to why this sudden want for dairy milk alternatives took place. The limitation of this article is that it doesn’t share everyone’s view on dairy milk alternatives Interview. Ranch, Katelyn. Personal Interview. May 8, 2012 Katelyn Ranch is a local dietitian at Council-Responsible Nutrition who I chatted to briefly. Her job is to help people eat healthier. Because she knows about food, her input was valuable. The limitation of this source is that Katelyn didn’t share her ideas on pro- dairy milk only pro- dairy milk alternatives. (Author’s name not shown) (Date published not shown). California Milk Advisory Board. April 04, 2012. This source was mad by the many workers of the California Milk Advisory Board and was updated in 2011. The purpose of this source was to inform people about the California Milk Advisory Board and about their mission. This source is valuable -- it gives me information about their history and about their many farms. The limitations of this source would have to be that it doesn’t give the entire information only half of the truth. It gives me information about how the CMAB wants their image to be like. Samuel S. Epstein. Date not found. Cancer Prevention Coalition. May 1, 2012 http:// The author of this source was by Samuel S. Epstein. The purpose of this source was to warn people about the dangers of drinking milk contained with Growth Hormones and to let people know that it may lead to cancer. This source had benefited my article because it shares how some dairy milk may affect your health. Though this source may explain how some milk affect your health however, the author does not explain well enough how some milk may cause cancer. Jessica. September 11, 2010. May 3, 2012. Delicious Obsessions <http://> This article was created by Jessica on September 11, 2010. I found this article to be extremely helpful in helping me know more about of raw milk over pasteurized milk and vice versa. The purpose of this article was to inform people about the similarities and differences of raw and pasteurized milk. This source was very informative, however the author had only wrote lists it would have been more useful if she actually explained the two items in sentence form.

Secrets of the Supermarket 53

Photos courtesy of Samuel Wartel

54 Secrets of the Supermarket



"There's no way you'll be able to play Game 5," team doctors told Jordan just before game five of the NBA finals. The series was knotted up at two a piece. With that kind of pressure, there was no stopping Jordan from getting on the court. Jordan, drinking Gatorade, not just played while suffering from flu-like symptoms, but led the game in scoring with 38 points (Harvey). Some say it was just will. But it was more than that: science. Many are still searching for answers to how Gatorade works: most think â&#x20AC;&#x153;electrolytes,â&#x20AC;? not knowing what an electrolyte actually is. Gatorade is well marketed and well run: it has brand recognition, legitimacy, and product standardization.

Secrets of the Supermarket 55

How did Gatorade conquer the sports-drink market never felt the need to use the restroom” (Kays and Philand is Gatorade actually a better choice than water lips-Han). Cade then ‘deduced’ that athletes lost so when working out? Those two questions lead my re- much fluid via sweat that they no longer had any to urisearch in every direction to grasp the core, or central nate. After research Cade and his team hypothesized understanding of the topic which required searching that the electrolytes (mostly potassium, a metal found through magazines, films and web-based articles to in bananas and sodium, or salt) players were losing in reach the information needed to thoughtfully and thor- their sweat offset the body’s ‘chemical balance.’ Cade oughly provide the solution. This research consists of was allowed to test his hypothesis by giving the freshboth primary and secondary sources from athletes, sci- man team what is now called Gatorade while the B entists, scholars, and journalists. A range of resources team had water. The result? The freshman team came helps to reduce the amount of biased interpretations (of back from being down 13-0 and ended up with a blowfacts) included in my final text. Web-based research out victory. Soon after, Gatorade became standard on helped answer these questions by providing valuable the Florida sideline and presently just about everyone background and informational text on the subjects of else’s. hydration and dehydration, company history and mar-

The sports-drink market mainly consists of Ga-

keting techniques. Testing film(s) helpfully reveals an- torade, PowerAde and Vitamin Water, who produce other perspective. Magazines provide different opinions workout and recovery drinks. Gatorade, being one of and showcase the media’s view of the product. Ga- the three cooperate giants in the field, has control over torade took over the sports-drink market by taking ad- a large portion of the entire market, more than seventyvantage of their authenticity, creating a standard which five percent. According to the New York Times, Gatorade has strengthened by sponsoring sport’s best “Gatorade has about 81 percent of the sports drink and most popular athletes, but also by marketing their market” (Elliot). Another source reports, “Gatorade product’s effectiveness. Along with marketing, Ga- […] sell(s) 12.2 million bottles per day […] which works torade provides an edge in athletic sports that water out to 142 bottles per second” (Konecy). But, how did doesn’t; Gatorade is scientifically proven to hydrate and rehydrate athletes quickly by supplying electrolytes, water and sugar. Gatorade was invented in 1965 at the University of Florida by Robert Cade and his fellow researchers Danna Shires, Jim Free and A.M. deQuesada. The idea originated from both Cade and Dwayne Douglas, who was at the time an assistant football coach at University of Florida. Douglas told Cade “he […] lost as much as 18 pounds during a game, but 56 Secrets of the Supermarket

Gatorade reach that point of domination in the market?

every test RG3 performed at a higher level while drink-

Gatorade has legitimacy in the market because of its ing Gatorade than he did with water. After testing, Grifauthenticity. Gatorade’s authenticity comes from their fin in an interview mentions that the tests don’t just story, which leads to a Gatorade ‘standard’ in our socie- help Gatorade but also help him find weaknesses or ty. A standard is essentially something that not ques- flaws he can work on. tioned and known by most people. Gatorade is definite-

Gatorade has strengthened their marketing cam-

ly a standard; some doctors even recommend that pa- paign by adding popular athletes to their side of the tients drink Gatorade when sick to prevent dehydration. playing field helping them maintain their ‘top dog’ posiGatorade’s authenticity originates from it being created tion in the industry. The two athletes who contributed for a football team and also being the first sports-drink the most to Gatorades recent success are Michael Jorwith electrolytes. This shows Gatorade as being innova- dan, former Chicago Bulls superstar, and Usain, also tive and gave them a jump start on their competition, known as ‘Lightning’ Bolt, and the fastest man in the allowing them to be multiple steps ahead.

world. Jordan is thought of by most as the greatest play-

Gatorade also markets the effectiveness of their er to ever play the game of basketball and even had his product by sharing research that was gathered at Ga- own line of Gatorade, while Bolt meshes well with Gatorade Sports Science Institute. That sharing of infor- torade’s lightning shape logo. This helps create brand mation to the public presents Gatorade as an open and recognition and creates a stronger image of connection truthful product which appeals to consumers and allows in the consumers mind. them to know what is in the product along with why

Now, one of the most controversial issues among

and how it works. The Washington Post released a vid- sports and nutrition scientists is water versus Gatorade. eo of Robert Griffin III or RG3 at GSSI helping to test Gatorade contains electrolytes, an ion which restores the effectiveness of Gatorade by performing a series of the energy that lost when sweating. The most abundant tests that involved; strength, speed and endurance. On electrolyte in Gatorade is potassium. The potassium

Secrets of the Supermarket 57

also keeps salt and water in the body. Water, on the and potassium that is lost in sweat, sugar to help you other hand, has no calories or sugar making it a better keep a balance blood sugar ratio, and water to combine choice for a short or less intense workout. It is natural, with salt to replace what is lost in sweat. Those propercheap and abundant. With sports-drinks, if “too much ties are what make Gatorade the superior product and a […] (is consumed it) dilutes your blood, Dr. Winger better choice than water. Along with that Gatorade uses says” (Kuzma). Overall, Gatorade is the way to go when legitimacy to control the market and influence consumplaying competitive sports. It keeps your blood sugar ers to buy their product. up, while the calories prevent too much weight loss. Most importantly, Gatorade prevents dehydration dur-

Works Cited RG3 Tested at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. A.J. Chavar,

ing intense exercise by enabling the body to retain opti- The Washington Post, 2012. perf. Robert Griffin III. Video. The video of NFL rookie, Robert Griffin III, was filmed mal amount of fluids. Gatorade also brings another just days before the article was finished, when Gatorade thing to the table: taste. Gatorade’s sugar and flavors keep the athlete downing the drink which GSSI has proved “will […] help prevent (voluntary) dehydration” (RD, Morocco, and Mack). The GSSI implies that Gatorade’s taste actually helps athletes perform by getting them to stay hydrated, keeping them coming back for more before dehydration kicks in. Water can only rehydrate athletes up to a point. However, athletes lose electrolytes through sweat (Konecy). Not having enough electrolytes will result in dehydration regardless of how much water is taken in. This is where the advantage of Gatorade comes in. Gatorade replenishes the electrolytes necessary to stay properly hydrated. This is why Gatorade is almost universally used by participants in strenuous athletic completion. This is also why it has been validated by numerous studies over the years, starting with Gatorade themselves. Gatorade has a product that is both effective and well-marketed; it combines a perfect blend of legitimacy and superior product. With electrolytes Gatorade has changed the landscape of sports, allowing players to play longer without losing much speed or strength to fatigue. It does so by replenishing the body with salt 58 Secrets of the Supermarket

was researching the effects of their product. The video was shot in the GSSI Lab in Florida and shows many different perspectives of how the information can be interpreted. It shows scientist in action, the media and public relations version of the story, and the athlete. The purpose behind the video is to inform consumers and sports fans about all of the work and attention to details of science they put into their products. This video exemplifies valuable information by showing you a behind the scenes view of the testing and giving an interview with the athlete directly afterwards. The limitation of the video is bias, it comes directly from Gatorade. Wemble RD, TS Morocco and GW Mack. “Hydration and Performance.” Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Gatorade, 1997. Journal Article. April 29, 2012. The article Hydration and Performance was written in the late 90’s from the view of registered dietician and two other scientists. The three all work for GSSI and their information comes directly from the lab. The source is rich in facts. It offers over fifteen facts with high level interpretations along with a lot of very important context specific words. The source leaves out information on water, it only shows sports-drinks strengths. Joe Kays and Arline Phillips-Han. “The Idea that Launched an Industry.” UFL Research. University Florida, 2003. Journal Article. April 29, 2012. The article from the perspective of UFL researchers, Joe Kays and Arline Phillips-Han, “The Idea that Launched an Industry” is a great source of information straight from the University of Florida (where Gatorade was created). The article was written in the early 2000’s to inform readers about Gatorade in general. It shows through as a pretty well rounded source of information, going in depth into the history and story behind the product in its early stages. The source does lack information on the current affairs Gatorade is involved in along with a natural bias because it was written for the university that created the product. “Gatorade Still Champ in Sports Drinks.” The New York Times, Newspaper Article. August 29, 1991. April 29, 2012. The New York Times article “Gatorade Still Champ in Sports Drinks” was published in the early 90’s and shows the perspective of a professional journalist who has heav-

ily researched the topic. The articles main purpose is to inform the reader about the economics behind Gatorade. The source proved to be valuable by explaining the economic situation of the product and how it created the sports drink market as well as monopolize it. The limitation of the source is it not being a good source of easily interpretive facts. Gatorade. Remember Michael Jordan's '97 flu game? How do you #WinFromWithin? #GOAT, Twitter. The photo off of Gatorades twitter, a popular social media site/ tool was taken in the 97’ flu game in which Michael Jordan played sick and thanks to Gatorade was able to stay hydrated to play and ended up making the game winning shot. The photo entertains viewers with a historic story and persuades the viewer to drink Gatorade. The source is valuable be-

(SI) one of the top sports magazines in the US. The article was published in the early 2000’s, the purpose of the article is to inform readers about Gatorade and water. This source shows value by offering numerous interpretations of facts and provides background information along with a comparison between products. The limitation is the bias towards Gatorade over water. Tim David Harvey. Michael Jordan: The Flu Game, The Bleacher Report. November 24, 2011. May 10, 2012 http:// This article was written last year but, based upon an event in the late 1990’s. The purpose of this particular article is to both inform and entertain the reader. This text provides a detailed history of the Flu Game. The only limitation is having are too many small and unnecessary details. Cindy Kuzma. “Are You Drinking Too Much Water?” Men’s Health, September 11, 2011. April 28, 2012.

cause it shows how Gatorade links up with top flight athletes to attract fans to their product. Chad Konecky “H2No.” Sports Illustrated July 19, 2006. April 29, 2012. h t t p : / / article/web/ COM1 0479 39/ index.htm “H2No” comes from

Sports Illustrated Secrets of the Supermarket 59

Bananas are a good snack to eat. They provide potassium. They are good for muscle health. And sometimes they are just a tasty snack. Now you may not think it, but your banana has been through a lot. Few know that with these delicious pieces of fruit comes big problems. What problems? Well for one, multiple diseases that can be extremely poisonous or fatal. Bananas also endure a cruel market that does anything to sell the beloved fruit, and is in danger of being genetically altered. The problems donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t end there. The workers farms of the plants have been mistreated and abused by this big industry in Costa Rica.

60 Secrets of the Supermarket

These findings came from research inspired by Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which stated that many industries alter their foods and buy them cheaply to take advantage of the growers and to profit off of the consumer. Naturally, the finger was pointed at the biggest banana monger in the world: Chiquita. The question began as: How have the actions of Chiquita altered a banana from say, a fair trade banana? Research started in the least obvious place, Chiquita’s own website. They did nothing to incriminate themselves and provided little information. Further research on Chiquita’s involvement in the banana industry led to a wealth of information. Notably, there is a stark contrast between decisions by Chiquita as opposed to Fair Trade companies in banana trading. The bulk of this research was done on the internet. Topics varied from the banana’s history to its effect on people’s lives today. My information was acquired from articles, essays, websites, and radio programs. Research altered the question to: How have the actions of corporations and governments altered the purity of the banana’s business, growth, transportation, and taste?

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The meddling of corporations such as Chiquita, as well as industrialization of the banana business by countries such as the United States, have altered the banana’s transportation and taste for the worse, and corrupted the business. Likewise, banana farm companies need to give their workers protective equipment to defend against illnesses and diseases from pesticides and the plants themselves. They need to stop treating them like slaves. Bananas were traded and well-liked for over 1300 wasn't long before the banana became popular throughyears before modern times. If a person, group, or civili- out the Caribbean as well as Central America. The fruit zation had an excess of bananas, they would trade the was first introduced to the United States in 1876 at the fruit off to other civilizations who took the lavish fruit Centennial Exhibition in Pennsylvania celebrating the in exchange for a necessary item, like ivory, silk, or dye. signing of the Declaration of Independence. Mass proThe first banana came from southeast Asia. Some histo- duction started in 1834 and became a popular growth rians even speculate that the banana was the original industry in the late 1880’s. Today, the banana has 300 forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Curious visitors different species such as the Lacatan, which is a red bato India discovered their deliciousness and Arab con- nana shown by its reddish-brown peel and tinged red querors toted them west. Eventually they were put into flesh. There is also the regular yellow banana such as the hands of Alexander the Great in 327 B.C. who “relished his first taste of the banana” ( He brought the banana to the West and from there the fruit made its way south to Madagascar. After that, the banana found its way into the hands of Islamic slave traders around 650 CE. Along with the thriving business in slave trading, the Arabs were successful in trading ivory along with abundant crops of bananas. Through their numerous travels westward via the slave trade, bananas eventually reached Guinea, a small area along the West Coast of Africa. The first banana plantation was put together by Portuguese in 1402 on the Canary Islands. The banana was

“Midsummer Day Bronx Park” Bain News Service (circa 1910-1915) LOC When they were first introduced, Americans noticed the banana’s suggestive shape. Recipes involved cutting up bananas and serving them in foil because, as Koeppel states: “eating a suggestively shaped banana was considered pretty uncouth.” So, when Chiquita was founded in

taken further westward by the Portuguese

1929, they set forth with campaign to end the social taboo by putting

Franciscan monk, Tomas de Berlanga who

out postcards with Victorian women sitting in groups all holding half-

took them to Santo Domingo in 1516. It

peeled bananas (Koeppel). The campaign succeeded and people began to eat raw bananas without fear of ridicule.

62 Secrets of the Supermarket

the Cavendish or the Gros Michel which differ in taste, the strength and general health of bones, and also negasize, and peel endurance. There is the plantain as well, tively affects blood clotting, proper muscle contraction, which is a starchier and harder version of a banana and normal nervous system function. The potassium without the sweet flavor. The plantain is utilized in the found in bananas neutralizes the high amounts of sodiCaribbean much like the potato is utilized in Ireland um in one's diet, thus allowing for healthy amounts of and is included in many Caribbean recipes. However, calcium to remain within the body ( B6 in the innocent local use of the plantain is a far cry from bananas also helps the body because it “contributes to the now global use of bananas. For example, the love of the maintenance of the lymphoid glands that ensure the bananas grew so much globally that banana producers production of healthy white blood cells that protect the started importing illegal immigrants to work the farms.

body from infection. Finally, the vitamin B6 in bananas

The process of growing bananas is less complex plays a pivotal part in cell formation and proper nervthan their transportation. Bananas thrive in a tempera- ous system function” ( So bananas emture of 80° F and above, without much rain, deep and power the body to protect against disease protection. porous soil, and fresh, circulating air (Greenearth Pub- Laastly, the banana is a household remedy for constipalishing Co.). Being clones of each other, in addition to tion, hangovers, morning sickness, mosquito bites, ulhaving specific parameters for growing, bananas grow cers and warts ( The banana is truly wonin limited locations. Due to their rate growth, however, derful for your health. For this reason alone it is a good producing great amounts of bananas does not require idea to transport it across the world. The down side: it much space. Like coconuts, bananas grow downwards is also a great source of strife in the world. and are actually prone to falling from the stalks, which

While bananas are considered one of the world’s

can damage the fruit. Unlike coconuts, bananas are not most popular fruits, (American consumers eat, on avergrown from trees; the banana plant is actually the age, twenty-eight pounds of bananas per person per world’s largest herb. Like other herbs the health bene- year and bananas is the fifth largest agricultural comfits of this fruit are great in number and value.

modity in world trade) banana farming in many areas of

In addition to its taste, the banana has several health the world is contributing to the destruction of tropical benefits that add to its appeal. Composed of mostly car- rainforests- one of the most diverse ecosystems on our bohydrates, bananas are fairly filling (Self Nutrition Da- planet. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the earth’s biodita). One serving of a banana, of 126 grams, has 13% of versity lives in these forests, and because the majority of the recommended daily source of Potassium, 17% of bananas






recommended Manganese and has 23% of the recom- (plantations in which they are the only type of vegetamended daily dose of Vitamin B6 (Self Nutrition Data). tion), as well as areas of cleared rainforest, banana farmSpecifically, the potassium and vitamins in a banana ing is playing a big part in the loss of biodiversity. achieve great feats of health improvement. In particular, Monoculture farming creates a major problem because high sodium intake, which is typical of many American once the land has been devoted to agriculture for a sindiets, can cause excessive calcium loss, which threatens gle species, soil fertility diminishes. In the case of banaSecrets of the Supermarket 63

nas, banana producers are forced to continually expand the plants, the mist of chemicals can cause breakout on their fields to make up for the diminished production the skin, and when inhaled, can deteriorate the lungs. which causes more deforestation and stripping of rain Another factor is that the banana’s pesticides need to be forests, and the cycle of destruction continues. Mono- washed off, and when the workers wash them by hand, culture plantations pose another problem. They keep they run a high risk of getting fungus, as well as other the bananas from developing immunity to many devas- rashes and diseases. These diseases can really jeopardize tating diseases. Within the past few decades, certain a workers’ health which makes it necessary for banana viruses, pests, and fungi, have spread in epic propor- producers to provide proper equipment for their plantations, forcing banana farmers to rely heavily on agro- tion workers. They need should include gloves, masks, chemicals and toxic pesticides. These chemicals are and skin wear to protect them. harmful to the surrounding environment. After leaking

Bananas are costly, tampered with in the transporta-

into the water table, the toxic substances find their way tion process, and have had their natural growing prointo local aquatic systems, making the water an unsuita- cess altered. Most don’t consider the process that the ble habitat for many types of wildlife.

banana actually takes to get to the fruit bowl. In addi-

As a result of these pesticides and chemicals, some tion to all bananas being cloned from the Cavendish on banana plants carry diseases., such as ‘Panama Disease,’ monoculture banana plantations, the bananas also uncaused by a fungus that grows inside a banana tree’s dergo shipping. During shipping, bananas are kept in a roots. This is dangerous for the workers with no protec- refrigerated container with high humidity, deprived of tion because just touching the fungus can cause infec- CO2, dipped in an antioxidant bath and put into a sterition. ‘Banana Bunchy Top Disease’ (BBTD) is said to lized container in order to prevent bug infestations and be the worst disease of them all. This deadly virus disease from destroying the crop. A single larvae cozy comes from the plant and can be spread through bana- inside of a banana can ruin an entire banana crop. For na shipping (only if a green sticker is not on the infect- this reason, drastic measures are taken to protect the ed plant), and through insects taking the sap and fruit. In addition, the container itself must be kept in a spreading it on the trees and on the workers. ‘Black cool, dry environment. Once the bananas have reached Sigatoka’ is another disease that creates a growth on the their final location, they are unloaded and shipped to a leaves, which is more noticeable than the other diseases.

supermarket. This entire process cost great amounts of

The effects of these chemicals are not only harmful money since bananas are transported from places like to the bananas, but are also harmful to the farm work- India, the Ivory Coast, Honduras, and the Caribbean as ers. Men become sterilized and children are born with far as Germany and the U.S., and have to be kept in birth defects such as deformed fingers and joints. These peak conditions the whole time to arrive in selling contragedies are not limited to the sphere of permanent dition which, according to the Transport Information deformity. Banana diseases can be spread through Service (TIS), is yellow with green tips because this is spores that fly in the air and can be inhaled by farm the “Best condition for retail sale, as the fruit can still be workers. Also, when chemical pesticides are sprayed on kept for several days.” 64 Secrets of the Supermarket

Given that bananas are grown mostly in developing In the past, big banana business and governments were nations, banana farm workers are the lowest of eco- cruel to the lands in which bananas were produced and nomic brackets. The jobs have unfair and dangerous their inhabitants. The government, caving to interests working conditions because the people in these coun- of banana business, enslaved entire nations for the sake tries are so desperate for money that workers are easily of cheap bananas. As Koeppel points out, “Any leader replaced. It is estimated that the majority of banana who was either against the banana companies or even farm workers and their families in Costa Rica are living simply wanted a fair wage for his people would be inin slums which is directly related to the very low wages stantly deposed, sometimes murdered, often humiliated, these workers earn. Some companies give a few people and this happened over 20 times between 1900 and higher salaries but make their work hours longer due to 1955.” Ironically, this was the same time span in which competition between banana companies. Workers are Chiquita made its strongest advertisements for bananas pushed beyond legal limits. Banana competition is high, and knocked apples out as far as fruit bowl domination. so as sales drop, so do the salaries of the workers.

For example, when President Arbenz was democratical-

In the banana business, workers are treated like ani- ly elected as president of Guatemala, he worked to get mals, by big businesses such as Chiquita. Governments his people the land that Chiquita had used up and comlike the U.S. enabled these companies not too long ago. pletely killed. Chiquita frowned upon him and made

“Children of FAS-RR Borrower?”Jack Delano (Jan 1941 or 1942) LOC Secrets of the Supermarket 65

him an example (Koeppel). Arbenz’ country was bom- cases were forced to change their policies—the compabarded with anti-Arbenz propaganda; the U.S. called ny still lays off workers and get away with it. Producers him a communist and marched in to remove him. How- use black mailing tactics to force farm workers to join ever, even though he defeated the American small-scale associations that automatically give the company rights invasion, he was thrown out for fear of a bigger attack. to lay off workers, and if they refuse, the company He was stripped, exiled and replaced with a dictator threatens to deport them. Companies also discriminate leading to a civil war in Guatemala. Although a closer against women by giving them lower salaries, longer eye on the U.S. has restrained this type of behavior, the hours, and less protection from pesticide. They are sexbanana companies like Chiquita are still ruthless. ually harassed throughout the work day, and are forced Chiquita workers have reportedly had attempts at creat- to leave their children in places where they are abused. ing worker’s unions thwarted by their employers. In ad- Banana companies even employ some underage childition to this, Chiquita has admitted to paying known dren to do dangerous tasks in violation of national laws. members of U.S. State Department's list of Foreign

Costa Rican workers in the banana industry have

Terrorist Organizations such as the Revolutionary been putting in complaints about violations on plantaArmed Forces of Colombia as well as the National Lib- tions. However, the banana producers have influence eration Army for employee “protection.” Chiquita’s ac- with the local and national governments. Attempts by tions were harshly looked upon by lawyers such as Ter- the farm workers to unionize are often unsuccessful and ry Collingsworth, a lawyer with International Rights Ad- sometimes become a matter of life and death. In some vocates who stated, “This is a landmark case, maybe the parts of Latin America, farm workers fought working

We have a real opportunity to reduce the negative impact our eating habits have on the environment in some of the world’s most productive and valuable ecosystems. biggest terrorism case in history. In terms of casualties, conditions and were able to win collective labor agreeit's the size of three World Trade Center at- ments that brought improvements. However, as govtacks” (Armand). In addition, executives of Chiquita ernments and companies emphasized trade competition continued even after they lost 25 million dollars. They in recent decades, and companies looked for cheaper continued to undermine their workers by refusing to production, labor protections decreased and wiped out answer union demands, spraying workers with harmful small banana producers. Another factor to consider is pesticides, and using a local militia to intimidate work- that continents like North America and Europe (leading ers. Effectively, Chiquita enforces a code of silence to banana importers, like the United States alone, which prevent workers from telling and to ensure continued consumes 6.4 billion pounds of bananas per year) dework at peak efficiency for the Chiquita executives. This mand “perfect” fruit, which leads to hundreds of banacruelty begs the question: how do we stop the evil going nas being wasted. on in the banana business?

The unhealthy and unsafe work conditions, slave

Even after these businesses are sued—and in some wages, and horrible environmental practices can only be 66 Secrets of the Supermarket

pass labor laws which allows for banana farm workers to freely form unions. Union representation can help the farm workers receive fair wages and working conditions. Another possible solution is to improve the trading of bananas, which may be difficult because of the capitalistic market and its push for competition. Governmental regulations and trade agreements could be modified to ensure more environmentally responsible practices in growing , and fairer treatment of banana workers. The problems Chiquita caused can be stopped through global action against big banana business. The workers at Chiquita aren’t allowed to speak, so others must be their voice. Unfair treatment to workers can be ended by first making U.S. citizens acknowledge that there is a problem. Once we have all banded together to be the voice, get the banana farmer’s voice into it. We need to get the farmer’s to share their personal experience while they were working for Chiquita. These farmers must also be admitted into the Fair Trade Banana Cooperative. These programs ensure that banana farmers are paid fair wages for a quality product. In addition, extra profit from Fair Trade is put towards community improvement projects for ( They Photos courtesy of Blake Bond

offer everything from healthcare to school improve-

attributed to ‘big businesses. The banana production ment funds. Farms are checked on yearly by Fair Trade business is so competitive that companies have been in order to ensure that fairness and happiness reign. willing to sacrifice the environment, as well as the safety Fair Trade bananas might be a bit more expensive at and health of its workers to make a profit. I would like the supermarket. Consumers might not be happy with to see these companies to begin caring less about the the price increase and the disappearance of the standard money and more about the human rights of their work- ‘Chiquita banana’ from the supermarket. Choosing Fair ers. These workers need to have a good working envi- Trade options may lead to better lives for banana farmronment with better protections to keep them healthy, ers and the knowledge that you are helping a good and a better salary to keep them from getting into deep cause as your reward. Likewise, banana consumer, can poverty. One possibility is for these governments to try to do their part in protecting the environment by Secrets of the Supermarket 67

purchasing organically grown bananas. Although the buying bananas that were grown for the people and not price of organically grown fruit is generally about 30% for the big companies that are simply using people as higher than typical produce, it is a modest increase. Or- human puppets to serve nefarious purposes. ‘Pesky’ ganic bananas may not look as perfect as those that pro- morals win again. No one should live with being the duced with pesticides, but their quality is no different. cause for a worker’s torment. Don’t support them or But not everybody sees this as the best course of action.

enable them in their mission for banana business domi-

Some may argue that big banana businesses still nation at the cost of their humanity, or their workers’ provide us with our delicious bananas, so their past lives and happiness. Fight back by not buying Chiquita, crimes might be overlooked or even justified. Chiquita but Fair Trade instead. Hit them in the wallet where it hasn’t been charged in the last five years for any crimes really hurts and send a clear message. as far as worker’s rights being dismissed. They have

If we continue to demand perfect (unblemished)

continued to produce delicious bananas that many fruit, big businesses will spend the extra money on Americans use in their homemade recipes. Also, since chemicals to give us what we want. And although some Americans have never really been introduced to such of the same big banana producers who produce organic high quality bananas such as the Lacatan and have only bananas produces the chemically treated bananas, indiever experienced the Cavendish, it can’t be said that viduals can stay informed and purchase reasonable they are ‘banana snobs’ (what Koeppel calls himself). amounts of products from companies with ecologically Americans aren’t picky and snooty, so they can contin- and socially sound practices. We have a real opportunity ue to eat the bananas that they see in their supermar- to reduce the negative impact our eating habits are havkets. As for the workers who are mistreated by Chiqui- ing on the environment in some of the most productive ta; natural selection explains the simple fact that these and valuable ecosystems in the world. people were born into poverty and the executives at Chiquita were not. The workers on those farms can

Works Cited

work their way up in the same way that the founder of Arias, Pedro The World Banana Economy 1985-2002. 2003. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome.

Chiquita found his first banana plantation while work- 9 May 2012. y5102e00.htm. ing on the railroad. If he can find success, so can a simThis source is a global–wide information source that ple banana farmer. The idea that only the strong, fortunate, and smart survive is very appealing. However, it is the animalistic way of seeing things. Humans have ‘pesky’ morals which strongly suggest that one shouldn’t be okay with the idea of enslaving another human being or purchasing food that ensures the continuation of such actions. Those ‘pesky’ morals actually say that we should help our fellow human beings in any way we can, such as 68 Secrets of the Supermarket

was created, in Rome. It was finished in 2003 and encompasses information from 1985-2002 about the factual progressions of the banana in the economy. The purpose of this source is to inform the reader of the social, economic, environmental, and technological trends that the banana has been following recently as well as import and export information including countries and magnitude. The value of the source is its unbiased and factual account of many different aspects of the banana in the world as well as its statistical graphs and charts detailing this and more information. The limitation of this source is its age being that it was completed in 2003 and might not accurately explain or show recent developments or trends of the banana economically if at all. Armand. “More on Chiquita, Centered in downtown Cincinnati.”

Chiquita International. 28 Nov. 2007. 25 Apr. 2012. http:// -a5b7-4e98-a583793d82e40a23. This source was made by Armand on November 28, 2007 and lacks any perspective and is a purely informational article. Armand himself lives in the United States in Seattle. He wrote this article as an expository article to inform readers of the actions that Chiquita has done besides producing some of America’s favorite bananas. The value of this source is that it provides information of Chiquita’s crimes extensively enough to give the reader and idea of the regression of the company from the illegal circuit of business. Its limitations stem from its lack of the perspective of Chiquita themselves. 2012. CCIN Advertising Network. 25 Apr. 2012. was last updated in the year 2012 and is written by as a community page for lovers of bananas. So, all the information is glorifying bananas and the perspective is that of the banana lover. The site is a global site and it doesn’t seem to have a base of operations (at least, not a listed one). The site serves to inform its reader of the many wonderful things about bananas including its multiple uses in the medicine cabinet as well as in the kitchen. The source’s value is tied into its readers love for bananas, and their wealth of knowledge. Although, the legitimacy of this information is uncertain, it is likely to be true. As for limitations, the article doesn’t support anything against the banana, so a banana hater would most definitely not be allowed to create any type of input on the site, despite the value of the input. Greenearth Publishing Co. 25 Apr. 2012. http:// The information on banana growth shared from this site is very descriptive and exact on what you should do to ensure the bananas grow up healthy. No perspective is shown. Although a date is not available on the source, banana growth techniques have not changed since its advent in America in 1876. It doesn’t have a location associated with it either. The purpose of the article is inform the reader of the bananas way of growing. The value of this source is that it is full of descriptive accounts of the several factors that come into play and how they should come into play when trying to plant a banana plant. Its limits are that it does not have many sources which; the legitimacy of this information questionable. It also lacks pictures of what the steps should look like. Bananas, Bananas, Bananas!. 2012. Squidoo. 25 Apr. 2012. http:// This source was made in an unknown time (although it is recent enough to have a “Despicable Me” clip featured) and from an unknown location. The perspective of the author seems to be that bananas are excellent as a source of nutrients, interesting history, and entertainment. The source sets forth to inform the reader and viewer about bananas and to entertain them with some features of bananas in videos being used for mascots, fighting, etc. The value of this source is a summary of the helpful nutrients found in

bananas and their uses as well its history. The limits of this source are that it is not very supported and is biased again towards the positives of bananas, even in pop culture. “Bananas: The Uncertain Future Of A Favorite Fruit.” Fresh Air. NPR. WHYY. 30 Aug. 2011. Terry Gross holds her interview Dan Koeppel on the 18th of Febuary, 2008. She holds the interview in her broadcast station in Philadelphia. While she holds no bias due to her lack of information about the topic, Dan Koeppel voices his perspective as a banana snob. His purpose here is to inform the listener of the bananas plight with a new strain of a banana killing fungus spreading throughout the world. He also mentions the danger of the world of banana trading and transporting as well as growing and simply gives small facts about bananas. This source has good value because it talks about historical events and facts about bananas all coming from an expert in all things banana. This source is limited because it did not mention any of the farmer’s takes on the Panama Disease being that they are the ones who are dealing with it up close and personal as well as Koeppel’s love for ‘good’ bananas and individual ideas. Chiquita. 2011. Chiquita Brands L.L. C. 25 Apr. 2012. http:// The Chiquita website, last updated in 2011, is most certainly made with Chiquita’s interests in mind with just part of the story. The Chiquita website shown is in English, but Chiquita is a worldwide corporation with its American center in Cincinnati. Chiquita’s website is made to persuade anybody viewing the website that Chiquita is a happy, sunny company that is full of happy people and feeds healthy people. The source has value as a source of Chiquita’s basic information, and it also talks about the products that Chiquita produces and what they have to say about these products. The source is limited by trying to paint Chiquita in only a positive light. In addition to this, Chiquita also limits the information that it shares about its products’ nutritional value. Frundt, Henry J. “Fair Banana.” University of Arizona Press 20 April 2009. This author’s purpose was to show the background of banana industries. This article has a fantastic value because of its great facts and organization. The only thing is that some of the material is irrelevant to the topic. 2009. Green America. 25 Apr. 2012. http:// w w w . g r ee n a me ri ca . o r g/ pr o g ra m s / f ai r tr ad e / pr o d uc t s / bananas.cfm. is based in D.C. and has had its website last updated in 2009. The website is for healthy, natural foods and natural, alternative solutions to problems (as shown in their name). The site was put together to inform the viewer of the healthy alternatives that exist to what they eat and persuade them to eat this food as opposed to what they have been eating. The source has good value in its perspective favoring health to efficiency and its belief in fairness in price, which should be based on quantity as well as quality. The source is limited in its lack of Secrets of the Supermarket 69

non-green company input and its favoritism of farmers that are with Fair Trade or some other green association. Jones, David R. “Diseases of Banana, Abaca and Enset.” CABI; First edition 12 January 1999. This author’s purpose was to give facts about banana diseases. This book has a good value because of its good facts and organization. This author could have done some things better, like added more facts to his article. Kavia, Filbert. “Impact of Banana Bacterial Wilt Disease in Tanzania.” LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing 23 August 2010. May 2007. Pacific Lutheran University. 25 Apr. 2012. This source was made in Tacoma, Washington in May of 2007. The perspective of this source is that the banana has ripple effects as far as social, environmental and economic involvement. The purpose of the source is to inform the reader of the facts of the bananas involvement in these aspects of culture. The value of this source is the information and honest opinion of the writers in their rant against bananas for all of its involvement in culture. The source is limited to these writer’s pessimistic views of the banana’s place in the world and its lack of anyone who can say anything positive of the banana’s use in the world and its ripple effects from this. Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Michael Pollan published his book in 2006 based on his food investigations conducted in America. He shows a disdain for industrial food because it tends to use chemicals which he prefers not to have on his food. He also enjoys the idea of a no-waste, totally organic farm and hunting. His purpose is to inform readers about the actual process of making the food that they eat and what is in it. He also indirectly persuades readers to avoid this type of food. The book has high value as a resource because Pollan (being a journalist) does a lot of research and mentions some of his sources in the book and all of them at the end of it (an extensive list). His research supports his ideas very well. The limitations of Pollan’s book are that it begins with a very factual basis, and slowly becomes more about his personal experience and that of others. His way of thinking shows his disdain towards the choice of ingredients. He also lacks the opinion of any other consumers but himself and the input of any of the leaders of the corn industry. Self Nutrition Data. 2012. Condé Nast. 25 Apr. 2012. http:// This source was made in 2012 by the USDA. No perspective is given to this source. The source was created to inform health conscious eaters of the exact nutrients entering their body from eating the banana. The source is highly factual and informs the reader of the many nutrients, exact in amount and type, in a banana. The lack of perspective weakens the source because it lacks the ability differentiate which nutrients are good and how good from the nutrients that are bad and don’t let us know how bad they are either. Slippery Banana Peels Could Be A Savior For Polluted Water. 11 70 Secrets of the Supermarket

Aug. 2011. NPR. 25 Apr. 2012. health/2011/08/11/139547323/slippery-banana-peels-could-be-asavior-for-polluted-water. This article was written on August 11, 2011 on the NPR website. It was written by Eliza Barclay with the perspective of alternative solutions to wasting our food. The purpose of this article is to inform the reader about the alternative uses for a banana peel besides trash and compost. The value of this source is that it discusses the efficiency of using a banana peel as a water filter for metals instead of throwing it away and the positive repercussions that could come from doing this. It is limited by its lack of discussing anything further about banana peels or bananas in general, especially why we should use our banana peels once they are filled with metals. Sung, Matt. Chiquita Banana Brand Refresh. 16 Feb 2010. Chiquita Banana. 25 Apr. 2012. feature_view?id=47. This source was made February 4th 2010 and updated on the 16th of the same month and year. The article was made in an unknown location and the perspective is that Chiquita is not all that bad. The purpose of the article is to inform the reader of the new movement in which artists are creating specially designed Chiquita banana stickers. They are doing this as a revamp of the Chiquita banana franchise. The value of the source is in its information about the movement and the point of view of the artists themselves. The article is limited in that it does not mention the in-depth thoughts of the Chiquita executives themselves or why they chose to do this and at the time that they did. Transport Information Service. 2012. Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V. (GDV), Berlin. 25 Apr. 2012. banane.htm. This source was made in 2012 in Germany simply for the purpose of preserving fruit and how to do so while transporting it across an ocean. The purpose of this source if to inform the reader about the sensitivity of the banana plant during the process of transportation and how to ensure it makes it in one piece. The value of this source is its extensive report on the exact temperatures and conditions required in order to transport bananas in a way that will ensure that they arrive in good condition. The limitations of this source are that it only applies for cross ocean travel and it is for German transporters, but not for transport to anywhere else in the world.

“The health problems of eating too much hit poor people hardest. That’s because if you count the calories, foods loaded with sugar and fat are the cheapest in the market. In a typical supermarket, one dollar could buy 1,200 calories of potato chips and cookies. The same dollar could only buy 250 calories of carrots and other whole vegetables. On the beverage aisle, you can buy 875 calories of soda for a dollar. But a dollar will only buy you 170 calories of fruit juice from concentrate. These numbers show why people with limited money to spend on food spend in on the cheapest calories they can find. It makes even more sense when you realize that these cheap calories reward our instincts for fat and sugar. King Corn showed the other plants and animals off the farm. Now it is winning out in the supermarket too. It is so cheap and comes in so many different forms, the other foods just can’t compete. As we have seen, it has had a lot of help. The U.S. government (spending taxpayer dollars) helps pay farmers to grow corn and soybeans, but not to grow carrots. That means the government helped pay for your soft drink or cookies, but it won’t help pay for vegetables.” —Michael Pollan

From junk food stamp bans to subsidized field corn, and a supersized culture to food deserts, poverty is a driving factor of malnutrition and hunger. Read on to find out how specific foods affect the poor.

“l.a. is burning” Patrick Martinez (2007) Secrets of the Supermarket 71

2005 to 2010 (Terrero). In the same five years, the federal government dedicated more money to the program—increasing from $28.5 billion to $64.7 billion (Terrero). If food companies would cut down on ingredients like cheese, grease, meats, sauces and sugars, less peoFood companies should cut down on ingredients ple would suffer obesity. Experts predict that over half that make people fat. Giving food stamps for these the United States population will be obese in just three items means people buy junk to get fat. Food stamps years, and many people are fat because of these ingrecome in the form of a card. Based on family size, if a dients (Turley). The US Department of Health and family’s income is less than or equal to $14,000 they Human Services should make a rule stating how much may be eligible for food stamp benefits. If a house- of one ingredient these companies put into their foods. hold's gross income is below $29,000, it does not en-

Opponents might argue that food companies

sure that the family will be eligible for a benefit. EBT shouldn’t cut back on these ingredients because then cards pay for food, with a simple slide through the customers would stop buying the food, causing the card reader, which will automatically subtract the cost companies to go out of business and the industry to of the food from a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance crash. Works Cited

Program (SNAP) account.

Though Pizza Hut says their food is a 100%

Terrero, Nina. “Fast Food Chains Getting into the Food Stamp

healthy with “100% Real Cheese, Sauce made from Act.” vine ripened tomatoes, Premium Italian sausage, natural aged pepperoni, 100% real beef, smoked bacon, all white chicken meat, Hand stretched hand-tossed dough made with wheat from the Heartland,” KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut contribute to this country’s obesity (

epidemic These


food companies are allowed to accept food stamps in some states. In fact, the number of businesses approved to accept food stamps increased from “Obesity City” Khalil Bendib (January 2010) 72 Secrets of the Supermarket

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) working group defines a food desert as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store. A “low-income community” must have either: 1) a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher, OR 2) a median family income at or below 80 percent of the area's median family income; In a “low-access community,” at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract's population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles).

Secrets of the Supermarket 73

Once, an eight year old named Cameron Gardner enjoyed his first McNugget; he thought it was delicious. Americans truck themselves to McDonald’s for hamburgers, fries...





McNuggets! They are less expensive than other meals on the McDonald’s menu and a top-seller. McDonald’s McNuggets are tasty and cheap. How does this food affect the United States? McNuggets cause problems physically and mentally to human beings and the environment– perhaps





| By the 1800s potatoes was a staple crop in the poorest areas of the United Kingdom, especially Ireland. Potatoes gave people the proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins they needed. But in 1845 a potato famine killed over a million men, women, and children. The famine lasted for six years, during which about a million people fled Ireland. Today, people believe that genetically modified (GM) potatoes are unhealthy and can harm your health. People misunderstand that there are no risks to eating GM potatoes. Instead, raw potatoes can do damage to your health. They can start affecting whole systems. When you cook your genetically modified foods for at least 10 minutes you can kill the bacteria that were in the crops, which invaded the cells (

74 Secrets of the Supermarket

I found five sources, including some from EBSCO though. Some researchers believe a “pink substance” is Host with the librarian’s help. I found newspaper arti- part of the composition of McNuggets (CNN). cles on problems McNuggets can cause, such as

McNuggets cause negativity to humans and the

“McNuggets Killed the Rainforest,” “Girl in the Hos- environment. According to the new report, We’re pital because of McNuggets,” and “Emergency, I need Trashin’ It,” by Greenpeace, “chickens supplied to a McNugget.” I also used McDonald’s and Healthy- McDonalds’ United Kingdom locations are reared on websites.

soya grown on land cleared in the Amazon. Cargill, a

When first McNuggest first came out they were major corporation, is clearing much of the land in the not made with white meat. In 2003, McDonald’s Amazon to plant soya. Thousands of acres have been launched a smaller, all white meat product after a fed- cleared in order to cultivate using huge amounts of eral judge called the food “a McFrankenstein creation chemicals that have led to soil erosions, destroyof various elements not utilized by the cook.” McDon- ing acres of natural vegetation.” This could happen in ald’s states there is a difference in new white meat the United States, although currently US chickens used McNuggets. The taste may be different in parts of the by McDonald’s are supposedly corn fed. Whether soy country, but the meat remains white. The coating and or corn, chickens eating cheaper grain become chewy type of oil used can make a big difference in taste.

meats, and sometimes emit strong smells. It has been

Chickens have been a supplier of both eggs and reported that McNuggets put a woman in the hospital meat throughout history. But according to Healthy- for eating them all of her life. She developed heart and CNN, McNuggets come from old chick- problems. Certainly the deep-fried, corn-fed chicken ens that cannot lay eggs. The birds play a big part in can negatively affect physical health. Then again, a texture and taste. Small things like breeding variations woman called the cops three times because she couldbetween countries and the type of feed – or the chick- n’t get her ten McNuggets when a restaurant ran out. ens’ option to eat wild vegetation – determines the fi- Another woman, drunk, pushed two McDonald emnal product. McNuggets might not be just chicken, ployees because she didn’t get her McNuggets. This

| McDonald's Founded in May 1940

in San Bernardino, California by Richard and

Maurice McDonald Serves around 68


people daily in 119


Jay Leno: American stand-up comedian and television host. Pink: American singersongwriter, musician and actress. Macy Gray, a Grammy Award-winning American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record, producer, and actress (Wiki). Rachel McAdams, a Canadian actress that starred in “The Notebook.” Each one served McDonald’s french fries that don’t decompose due to processing, preservatives and pesticides. Secrets of the Supermarket 75

popular McDonald’s product can cause problems to humans and the environment. Yet we do not seem to care about the harm because we are more focused on taste and cost. America can solve this problem by making McDonald’s








year. Consumers can replace McNuggets by buying McDonald’s new McBites snack. It is healthier and there are more in a box than McNuggets. If McBites are successful like the McNuggets, the McNuggets can retire, like another McDonald’s top food item, the McRib. The McNuggets might just appear on the menu from time to time like the McRib. Some may contend that the McNugget is identified with one of the most popular fast food restaurants. It is a big selling item, so it doesn’t matter if the McNugget has harmed the environment or people’s physical wellbeing. It appeals to many different ethnic groups and people do not like change. Perhaps people do not want to get rid of McNuggets. However, if we think of a

Works Cited The Ecologist. “Eat a McNugget Kill the Rainforest. “Vol. 36 Issue 5 Jun. 2006: p008-008, 2/3p. The origin of this is a article that was written by an ecologist in the UK in June 206. Its purpose was to tell people what harm McNuggets can cause so they can stop it. The source provides a valuable perspective of belittling McNuggets. However, they took it too far making it negative which it should be. 1983. Healthy boy. 5 May 2012. The origin of this source is an internet source written by Wikipedia in 1983. It purpose was to tell people about the McNugget in a positive way. The source provides a valuable perspective of making the customers buy it. However, they put too much information of the making of it to hard to understand. Ryan Jaslow. “Woman hospitalized for eating Mcnuggets her whole life. “ Time 23 Mar. 2012: 40-43. The origin of this is an article that was written by Ryan Jaslow in the UK in 2011. Purpose was to tell people that McNuggets do harm people. The source provides a valuable perspective of belittling McNuggets and blaming the nuggets. However, they were right. “Emergency I need a McNugget” New York Times 23 Mar 2012 The origin of this is a article that was written by the New York Times in New York in 9/18/06. It purpose was to tell how McNuggets cause people to ask crazy questions. The source provides a valuable perspective of letting people know the girl is crazy. However they were right. September, 24 2010. 2012 Cable News Network. 9 may. 2012. http://

close to perfect country, with no violence, a healthy environment and people helping others … it would be the opposite of how McNuggets affect the United States.

McDonald’s has a crispy crunch in their fries. Burger King fries are more chewy, but “McDonald's, on the other hand, knows what they are doing” ( McDonald’s is doing the right thing to assure that their fries are the best. But exactly what poison is your body taking to make that happen? French fries are made out of potatoes, canola oil, corn oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, TBHQ and citric acid, natural beef flavor, dextrose, sodium, salt, and dimethylpolysiloxane. The are not just unhealthy because of all the fat inside, but for the toxic substance acrylamide, which has been known to cause cancer in lab rats. French fries are processed. Many processed foods don't decompose and won't be eaten by molds, insects or even rodents. Processed foods are stripped of their natural nutrients and contain additional artificial ingredients and preservatives (healthteacher). There are so many preservatives in french fries that they don't break down like normal foods. 76 Secrets of the Supermarket

Ground Beef ’s Contribution to an Unhealthy Life

Toshiro Jones Nicholas Orji

MMMmmm this tastes pretty good. The best part about this burger is its 100% ground beef patty. Unfortunately what you are tasting isn’t really beef – it is actually a poor mix of ground beef with animal trimmings called pink slime. How could they feed something like that to people? But you’re in luck – there is a vegetarian version that tastes almost the same, with less saturated fat.

Secrets of the Supermarket 77

Which food is mostly associated with unhealthy life styles? Ground beef. I wanted to first see if what I have been hearing on the news was right. It is. So Americans should consume less ground beef to avoid an expensive and unhealthy life. I still wonder what other types of food contribute to an unhealthy life? Ground beef consistently goes through manufacturing problems. One sanitary issue is salmonella, a bacteria that affects parts of cows’ muscles. It is potent to humans, but can be avoided if beef is cooked past 140 degrees; a majority of the time, people cook the product far past that temperature (Alfaro 2). Another bacterial problem in ground beef is E. coli, also potent to humans. It is also more difficult to get rid of because it survives at temperatures close to freezing, and at temperatures that burn beef. Then, sometimes beef products are not 100% beef. Instead, they include pink slime, a blend of animal trimmings that are sprayed with gas to get rid of bacteria, spun and sent through pipes to be refined. Industries shouldn’t feed people things like this because it really isn’t food. The companies that sell these things are fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King and believe it or not even some grocery stores. But that isn’t how the product started out. It actually used to be 100% ground beef. Genghis Khan’s army would have the entire village follow behind the army on great wheeled carts they called "yurts," leading huge herds of sheep, goats, oxen, and horses. As the army needed food that could be carried on their mounts and eaten easily with one hand while they rode, ground meat was the perfect choice. They would use scrapings of lamb or mutton which were

78 Secrets of the Supermarket

formed into flat patties. They softened the meat by placing them under the saddles of their horses while riding into battle. When it was time to eat, the meat would be eaten raw, having been tenderized by the saddle and the back of the horse (Stradley). Though the way they carried and made meat may not have been sanitary, at least it was fully ground beef. It is sad that if I was to eat ground beef in the 13th century, it would have been more beef than what I am eating in the 21st. According to Fussell in Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef, beef cattle reached the United States thanks to Francisco Vasquez Coronado. In 1540, while searching for the fabled Cibola, a city glittering with gold, he brought the first cattle across today’s Mexican border (20-21). Look at packaged ground beef. Notice that most packages do not look the same. In particular, a package of industrial or conventional ground beef compared to organic will reveal a lot more fat. Some will say, “Well, with no fat then you get no meat,” but ground beef is actually animal muscle. Unlike sustainable beef, processed beef has many added ingredients in it but the cattle that make up this beef also go through changes that may not be the best choice for them and consumers. In The Omnivores’ Dilemma, Pollan says that Dr. Mel, a doctor at Poky Feeders (a cattle feedlot), says that many of the antibiotics sold in America are for animal feed, not for humans. The cattle on Poky Feeders need antibiotics because they’re raised in factory farms and fed corn. However, sustainable beef is made from cattle that graze on pasture. Cows have been used to

eating grass for many years. But farmers don’t have to for grinding. Here, the meat is also checked for probwait as long to get more beef since corn can make cows lems. After that the industrial ground beef goes to a gain weight quickly. Unlike corn fed cattle, beef from packaging company that then sells the product. grass fed cattle is good for consumer health and healthy

Processed beef costing less than healthy foods en-

for the animals. Meat from grass fed cows has less satu- courages consumers to buy more beef, which is unrated fat but contains two to six times more of Omega- healthy and could be a cause of obesity . Consumers 3 fatty acids. This is good because Omega-3 may lower that are obese or, that are on the risk of becoming risks of cancer ( Sadly, in- obese, have a few solutions, such as buying more dustrial ground beef surpasses organic in profits. When healthy foods. Consumers can try mixing vegetables people look at the process that industrial companies with organic beef from places like “Yes! Organic Marsend the meat through, it starts you thinking: why do ket” and “Whole Foods Market” for healthy meals. we pay so much for meat that isn’t that well treated?

It may be complicated for some consumers to eat

Cattle that live on Concentrated Animal Feeding healthy foods, especially if they’re used to processed Operations (CAFOs), live in an unhealthy environment. beef and fast food. In fact, some people out there are These CAFOs can cause a lot of pollution and cattle are thinking that the ground beef that we eat today is better bunched up together (49). Since cows eat corn at feed- than 100% ground beef. For example, according to lots, they create manure. But some feedlots don’t dis- Rich Jochum, pink slime “1) improves the nutritional pose of this manure properly so it creates pools in the profile, 2) increases the safety of the products and 3) ground, which can be very toxic and cause pollution. meets the budget parameters that allow the school Once selected for slaughter, cows are sent to a building lunch program to feed kids nationwide everyday.” Some people might think that pink slime is the better route to go because it saves money, it has a better way to supply us with our nutritional needs and finally it is also the product that they claim is better for our overall safety. But unfortunately none of the reasons they gave are actually good reasons to continue to make pink slime. This is because the only money being saved is three cents per pound – not that much. Plus the nutritional value it supposedly gives is exaggerated because it has lots of saturated fats. “Fast Food Addiction” Khalil Bendib (June 2011) Secrets of the Supermarket 79

Works Cited Light Life foods. “Gimme Lean Beef.” 5-10-12 < http:// >. This website is for vegetarians or people that are thinking about being vegetarians. It talks about all kinds of foods that you can consume while you are a vegetarian. The website is also beneficial for people that are looking for a healthier and good tasting version of foods. NewsCore. “Pink slime is good for Americans schoolchildren manufactures claim.” Fox 2012. 5-10-12 < http:// >. This source included very specific, understandable content about pink slime. Stradley, Linda. “Hamburgers-History Legends of hamburgers.” 2004. 5-10-12 < HamburgerHistory.htm > This website is basically about the history of hamburgers and how they have changed over time. This website was very extensive and the dates were almost exact. Satran, Joe. “Pink Slime, Ammonium Hydroxide Fast Food Ground Beef Additive, Dropped By McDonald's Et Al.” The Huffington Post. 2012. 5 -10-12 < http:// www.huffingtonpost.c om/2012/ 01/ 27/ pink -slime-fastfood_n_1237206.html > This source broke down all the things that make ground beef bad and gave scientific terms to make it sound more professional. This source was straightforward. Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma The Secrets Behind What You Eat Young Readers Edition. New York: Penguin Group, 2009. Print. Michael Pollan is the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. From the perspective of farmers and producers, of Pollan wrote to inform consumers about foods they eat. This source shares valuable information on how food is made, how foods are different from each other, and how they affect people in America. This source leaves out some perspectives of the people who sell these foods and focuses more on how the industrial food chain is bad. Fussell, Betty Harper. Raising Steaks: The Life and times of American Beef. Orlando: Harcourt, 2008. Print. Betty Fussell wrote Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef to inform consumers about how beef was used in the west. This source shares valuable information on how cowboys produced and used beef before some of the machines used today. This source doesn’t really explain how other places in the United States could have used and produced beef. "Raising Cattle." Explore Beef. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://>. Funded by “The Beef Checkoff,” this site uses the perspective of cattle ranchers to inform people about how cattle live and are cared for. It also talks about steps in the production of beef. This source limits information on consumers and money on the cattle. Fenske, Alyssa. "Small Cattle Herds Raise Beef Prices." WEAU. 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. < o n t h e m o n e y / h e a d l i n e s / Small_cattle_herds_raise_beef_prices_138439964.html>. Fenske wrote from the perspective of different consumers to persuade people on how beef can affect the U.S. in a drought. This source has information on how the U.S. 80 Secrets of the Supermarket

responded to a drought in some southern states. This source lacks information on how less beef made market prices go up. Murfitt, Kathy. "Nothing to Beef About." Sierra Mar.-Apr. 2002: 24. EBSCO Animals. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://http:// s e a r c h . e b s c o h o s t . c o m / l o g i n . a s p x ? direct=true&db=hxh&AN=6103409&site=ehost-live>. Kathy Murfitt published this article in “Sierra” magazine from the perspective of consumers by stating ways that consumers can be affected by beef. There could be a few problems with the way the U.S. raises its beef. The purpose of this article is to inform consumers about the way America raises its cattle before they are made into foods we eat like ribs and ground beef. This source is good for people who want to learn about organic beef and why it is expensive. This source limits information on how organically fed cattle are treated on farms. Davidson, Paul. "Smallest U.S. Cattle Herd in 60 Years May Raise Beef Prices." USA Today. Gannett, 29 Jan. 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. < story/2012-01-29/beef-prices/52874812/1>. Paul Davidson wrote from the perspective of how small cattle can affect beef costs. This is a good source for more about how the U.S. was affected by cattle and how this effect could cause a rise in beef in the future. This article also explains the beef demands from other countries. This article doesn’t talk about how small cattle here could affect other countries that import American beef. "Obesity Facts, Causes, Emotional Aspects and When to Seek Help." WebMD. WebMD, 18 Jan. 0031. Web. 07 May 2012. <>. WebMD talks about different strategies to lose weight and burn calories. This website is good for people who want to know how to improve their diet. This source also has information on how vitamins and nutrients in different foods affect consumer’s health. This website lacks information on where the food can be found or in what type of stores and markets. Walsh, Bryan. "Meat: Making Global Warming Worse." Time. Time, 10 Sept. 2008. Web. 07 May 2012. < time/health/article/0%2C8599%2C1839995%2C00.html>. Walsh informs readers on how the production of meat can cause a lot of pollution. This is article is a good source for information on fast food, cattle, and feedlots. Fast Food." Fast Food. Web. 09 May 2012. <http://>. This website’s name is Palo “Alto Medical Foundation”. This source gives information on fats food and its affect ion the country. This source was made to inform consumers on how fast food is consumed in the U.S and how many people in America eat fast food. This source is good for people who want to know information on fast food consumption in the U.S. and this website also shares information on nutritious meals. This website lacks information on how beef is processed and on how organic beef is made. Obesity and Exercise." Obesity and Exercise. Web. 10 May 2012. <ht tp:/ / weig ht -lo ss.eme d obesi ty/ obesity - and exercise.html>. eMedtv was made to inform people on what causes obesity, people who have obesity, ways that consumers can avoid obesity and much more. This website is good for people who want to know about how obesity affects con-

sumers. This source lacks information on foods that cause obesity. “SOLUTIONS: Dealing with America’s Obesity Problem." The Washington Times. 16 Aug. 2009. Web. 10 May 2012. <http:// news/2009/aug/16/solutionsdealing-americas-obesityproblem/?page=all>. This article was made to inform people on ways to avoid obesity. This article explains how people become obese and information on avoiding obesity. This source lacks information on beef processing or cattle treatment. Carr, Donald. "Corn Subsidies Make Unhealthy Food Choices the Rational ones." Grist. Web. 10 May 2012. < politics/food-2010 -09-21-op-edc o r n subsidiesmakeu n -

You are out with your friends at the mall and you go to the food court. What could be better after a hard day’s work of shopping then to get a delicious slice of pizza! Americans love pizza. We eat tons of pizza; in fact Americans eat enough pizza to cover the city of Manhattan twice! According to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans eat around 31 pounds of cheese a year, which has tripled since 1970. Kraft Cheese alone makes 7.2 billion slices of just American cheese a year. What most Americans don’t know is that cheese is filled with saturated fat and sodium.

healthy-food-choices/>. “Corn subsidies make unhealthy food choices the rational ones” was made to inform people on how the government pays farmers to make corn and how different ingredients are made from corn. This source is good for people who want to know about ingredients in fast food, but lacks information on how organic and fast foods are different.

Secrets of the Supermarket 81

To find out more about cheese one must dig deep – During the Renaissance people considered cheese to be but not that far. We eat so much cheese that we can unhealthy, so it was not as popular as with the make it in our own homes if we wanted. The internet, Romans, who had spread it all over Eueducational movies and the radio mostly tell people rope. Today there are over 37 differabout how to make cheese. One should use credible ent types of cheese. sources known for having true information. National

Cheese is fairly easy to make. For

Public Radio had an article a few weeks ago had a story homemade cheese, first one must take about a group of people that were against cheese con- whole milk and separate the curd or sumption. An encyclopedia defined some of the words the white substance that forms when that were key to the research. News websites also have one sours milk, from the whey, or left facts so the general public can get information about over liquid. With an acid, like vinegar or what they are eating. I found that the amount of cheese lemon juice, also called rennet, and stirring, we can eat should be rationed because it is the leading it’s easy to separate the curd from whey. source of saturated fat for American children. Rationing But most corporations use fermentacheese, the leading source of saturated fat for children tion starter like the type to leaven in the United States, will prevent the growing obesity bread. After this, one must trend.

press the whey out of the

Cheese was around before recorded history. It “cheese”. Add salt and seasonwould not have been possible without domesticated ing. Next let the cheese age for a animals to milk, thanks to the Central Asians. They car- while – from two to three days, or years – ried milk in cow skin bags that had the enzymes possi- and enjoy! Some people season eat the curd ble to make cheese, which later would lead to the Egyp- and don’t let the cheese age. But what exactly tians knowledge of the dairy product. From there the did you just make? Romans made an art of cheese-making after conquering

Cheese nutrition varies based on ingre-

Gaul, by aging the cheese. After this cheese changed dients and seasoning. Cheese is a very depending on where it was being made. In Switzerland, large source of saturated fat. Saturated the Celtic tribes made different type of cheese that were fat is a fatty acid that can raise choso popular that at one time cheese was the sole export. lesterol, which can lead to blocked Making cheese from cows was the result of the Nether- arteries. Mozzarella made with lands’ fast-paced process. France made many different whole milk has eight more calories, type of cheeses, where soft pressed cheese was desired. two and a half grams more of fat, one 82 Secrets of the Supermarket

gram more of fat, 26 milligrams less of sodium, 37 first choice because we are so used to processed foods, milligrams less of calcium, and two and a half which means the government would make the same or grams less of protein than that same cheese less amount of money as during the premium of promade with skim milk. In comparison, in cessed food companies. The profit, however, would one serving (1 oz.) of ricotta cheese come after a few years when the American people are there are 339.5 calories, 32 grams of living longer because they don’t have as many health fat 207 milligrams of sodium and 20.5 related issues giving them more time to buy more grams of saturated fats. At the same things. Even when Americans got up in age they would time there are 27.5 grams of protein be able to do more because they would be healthier. and 207 milligrams of calcium, so it all depends on how one will weigh the good and the bad. Unfortunately, cheese can be unhealthy and can lead to obesity – it already has. In 1960 around 45% of adults and four percent of all kids ages seven to sixteen were overweight or obese. That was the norm for about twenty years, but from 1980 to 2000 the numbers got twice as high, and in 2001 obesity was an “epidemic”. As of 2008, 68% adults were overweight and in 2010 we were the world’s fattest nation. If people didn’t eat so much and so many foods with unhealthy nutritional value and stores made healthier food cheaper maybe obesity wouldn’t be as be of a problem.

Works Cited Ambinder, Marc. "Beating Obesity." Atlantic Monthly Vol. 305, No. 4. May 2010: 72+. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 11 May 2012. Aubrey, Allison. "Billboards Slather On The Guilt With AntiCheese Campaign." NPR. NPR, 02 Feb. 2012. Web. 11 May 2012. < thesalt/2012/02/02/146299792/billboards-slather-on-theguilt-with-anti-cheese-campaign?sc=emaf>. "Cheese Consumption Continues to Rise." Cheese Consumption Continues to Rise. Web. 11 May 2012. Web. <>. "The History Of Cheese." Cheese History. Web. 11 May 2012. < cheese2/history.asp>. "Modern Marvels." A&E Television Networks. Web. 11 May 2012. <>. "Nutrition Comparison of Cheeses." CNN. Cable News Network. Web. 11 May 2012. < resources/food.for.thought/dairy/compare.cheese.html>. < CheeseConsumption.htm>. "Yogurt and Other Fermented Milk Products." Yogurt and Other Fermented Milk Products. Web. 11 May 2012. <http://>.

Although cheese is not the only cause of obesity, it is one of the leading causes. If the American government were to subsidize healthy foods, they could make just as much money from taxes, as if they continue to aid companies that produce processed foods. The first months would be difficult because healthy food usually is not an American Secrets of the Supermarket 83

If you are what you eat, then you're also what your food ate. — Jennifer Weatherhead Chicken—fried, grilled, baked—is one of America’s favorite foods. This great tasting poultry has been around for centuries and in that time has developed many characteristics. Popeye’s say,s “Love that chicken form Popeye’s!” while KFC says, “Today Tastes So Good,” and Chick-Fil-A says, “We didn’t invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich.” All of these corporations plus America love chicken, but have they ever wondered what’s really behind this “love” of chicken?

84 Secrets of the Supermarket

Which is better for the health, culture and environment of America, organic or conventional chicken? In searching for the answer, I began with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which explained differences between conventional and organic chicken. Next I began research online about how conventional and organic chickens are raised. I found different

"I was almost knocked to the

websites with articles, photos, facts, documentaries, and videos that

ground by the overpowering

helped get me closer to my answer. Next, I took my investigations to

smell of feces and ammonia.

the stores to learn about the expense factor. Lastly, I discovered that

My eyes burned and so did

organic chicken is better for the environment through EbscoHost, a

my lungs and I could neither

search engine for students available through the Carroll library. All of these steps helped me evolve an answer: although organic chicken is better for the health, culture, and environment of America, it should be more affordable to benefit more Americans.





must have been thirty thousand chickens sitting silently on the floor in front of me. They




Today’s chicken is a descendant of the red jungle fowl hybrid, a

cluck. They were almost like

tropical member of the pheasant family. “Chicken as a meat has been

statues of chickens, living in

depicted in Babylonian carvings from around 600 BC. Chicken was one of the most common meats available in the middle Ages” (Wikipedia). It was eaten most by the people in the eastern hemisphere along with other varieties of chickens such as: pullets and hens. Chicken became a

nearly total darkness, and they would spend every minute of their six-week lives that way” (Spector).

more popular food in America in the midst of World War II because of

“Broiler chickens are con-

a shortage on pork and beef at the time. Today chicken is eaten in many


dishes, entrées and meals. Throughout history chicken has been used as

called “grower houses,” that

one of the most common type of poultry in the world. Although chicken has played a major part in the world, there are some hidden steps in the chicken’s preparation. A ‘conventional’ chicken is raised on a factory farm, fed, and kept in




typically house up to 20,000 chickens in a single shed at a density of only 130 square inches





Such stocking densities make

confinement until they have grown large enough for slaughter. They

it impossible for most birds

will eventually make it to stores to be bought and eaten. “Broiler chick-

to carry out normal behav-

ens are confined in long warehouses, called “grower houses,” that typi-

iors and cause the chickens

cally house up to 20,000 chickens in a single shed at a density of only 130 square inches of space per bird. Such stocking densities make it impossible for most birds to carry out normal behaviors and cause the

to suffer from stress and disease”




chickens to suffer from stress and disease.” (Compassion Over Killing). “Chickens and turkeys are the most abused animals on the face of the planet” said Paul McCartney in his narrated film, “Glass Walls” (Peta). Secrets of the Supermarket 85

You would think chickens start from eggs and live things that are used in an industrial/ factory farm, makan organic farm where there is a pasture where ing them better for the health and environment of they can run freely. In fact, GMO chickens America, but not the economy. on farms can’t even leave the barn, ex-

Although organic chicken is better for the health

cept when it’s time to go to the and environment of America, its expensive, which is slaughterhouses. For example if one reason people may not transition from conventionGMO chicken are allowed out- al to organic. Visits to Giant, Shopper’s, Yes! Organic, side, any sickness spreads to the and Wholefoods proved this to be true. At Giant, prices other chickens, because they all ranged from three to ten dollars for conventional chickshare the same DNA and immune en; in Shopper’s the prices ranged from about four to system. Again McCartney gives us ten dollars; at Yes! Organic the chicken prices started at the

insight of these chicken’s lives as: five dollars and Whole Foods’ prices were about the

“Chickens are bred to grow so large, so fast that many same. Many people want to eat organic chicken, but become crippled under their own weight” (Peta Glass either don’t want to pay for it, or can’t afford it. Walls). That’s the reason how turkey during Thanksgiv-

This problem of organic chicken being too costly

ing season are so large. Some people still think that can easily be solved. As of right now in order for a food there is nothing wrong with this because it’s just the to become organic it must first pass the rules of the U.S circle of life. After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I Department of Agriculture (USDA). “Strict guidelines personally want to know what happens to my food, govern the certification of farms as organic, and where it comes from, and what’s in it? Everything isn’t ‘certified organic’ farms must follow them all to earn as it seems, and America’s food is like an optical illu- the stamp. Constant monitoring and data collection sion. You see the chicken. But not the secrets behind it.

makes sure that nothing goes unnoticed.” So the solu-

In contrast, an organic chicken is raised to be a tion(s) begin with the government. A group of Ameri“chicken.” These animals may roam free, and eat organ- cans should get together a petition to lower prices on ic grains. Organic chicken has no hormones that can organic chicken and boycott conventional chicken until ultimately hurt consumers. “Farmers who grow organic the petition is successful. After researching, explaining, produce and meat use different methods to ferti- and proving how organic chicken is better for the lize” (Mayo Clinic). These different methods do not health and environment of America, there may still be include chemical products, but instead all natural prod- some people who think differently. ucts. Organic chicken is better for the health of Ameri-

Some may contend that conventional chicken can

ca because it’s made without “extras” such as hor- also be better because it’s more affordable and like ormones. The chicken also doesn’t have diseases that ganic can be cooked in healthy ways. “Before cooking spread around and eventually cause harm to not only chicken, remove the skin and trim off any fat” (Covoli). the rest of the chickens, but also to the consumer who This causes the chicken to lose some of its fattiness buys and eats it. These chickens tend to use less of the making it healthier for the consumer. In the 1950s, it 86 Secrets of the Supermarket

took 84 days to raise a five-pound chicken. Due to selective breeding and growth-promoting drugs, it now takes an average of only 45 day […] the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture reports, “If you grew as fast as a chicken, you’d weigh 349 pounds at age 2” (Compassion Over Killing). Conventional chicken can also be healthy for America’s environment, if in the process of raising “broilers” processers could keep the lifecycle the length it should naturally be. Farmers wouldn’t have to use pesticides or chemicals to speed up the process and make them unhealthy for America. Works Cited Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Reader’s Edition. New York: Penguin Group, 2009. This source is a book written by Michael Pollan in New York in 2009. Its purpose was to inform people about what’s in their food. This source provides a valuable perspective of “the omnivore’s dilemma” and steps toward solving it. However this source didn’t give many solutions to this problem which limits the source, making it okay for general answers, but not specific details. Pollan doesn’t give the opinions of some outside people or some farmers. “Chicken.” The free encyclopedia. Wikipedia. Org. April 12, 2012. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. May 10, 2012. <http://>. Wikipedia published this journal in 2006 to inform a general reader about the life of a chicken, where chicken came from, and what a chicken is. This source provides valuable perspective of the chickens’ life and process. However this source doesn’t really have too much background information which limits the source, making it harder for people to find information for citing after using quotes or information from this website. “Organic Food.” MayoClinic.Com. 2 Aug 2011. Accessed 8 May. 2012. < NU00255>. This source is a journal entry that was written by Mayo Clinic Staff in 2011. Its purpose was to inform on whether organic chicken is healthier than conventional. This source provides a valuable perspective of whether organic chicken is healthier than conventional. However this source really didn’t give me too many answers as to why organic is healthier limiting this source, making it hard to understand exactly why organic is healthier than conventional chicken. Compassion over Killing (COK). Compassion over Killing. 10 May. 2012. < http://> This source is a website that was written by COK in Washington DC. Its purpose was to inform people about how the conventional chicken really lives, about the behind the scenes torture these animals actually go through.

This source provides a valuable perspective of what these animals go through and how they are treated so cruelly. However this source doesn’t say much about the cruelty of the animals life, affect the human consumer, making this source okay for those who advocate non-animal cruelty, but not for humans part in this whole process. Weatherhead, Jennifer. “Raising Organic Poultry.” 12 Aug. 2011. SHEKNOWS Food. Accessed 10 May. 2012. < how-organic-free-range-chickens-are-raised > This website source was written by Jennifer weatherhead in 2011. Its purpose was told about organic chicken and the raising of it. The source was a valuable perspective because it helped with the research of organic foods. However, this source really didn’t tell me much about how the chickens actually live on an organic farm vs. a factory farm, making the source useful, but not too useful. Snopes. 26 Jan. 2007. < kfc.asp> On Jan. 26, 2007 an anonymous food detective wrote an article on contents of KFC chicken to inform, but also to turn readers away from KFC chicken. This article gives good information about KFC’s name change. The downfall of this article is bias towards KFC and the fact that the author does not cite their work. Glass Walls. PETA. Vegetartian Starter Kit. Paul McCartney. MPL Communications, 2007. PETA’s film reflected on how being vegetarian is good, and healthy. PETA used Paul McCartney to persuade people to become vegetarians. The purpose of this film was to give insight on slaughterhouses in America. This has the limitation of being greatly biased as it only shows how industrial, not organic farms work. Flock, Elizabeth. “Monsanto protested after class-action lawsuit is dismissed”16-4-12.The Washington Post. On April 16, 2012 Elizabeth Flock wrote “Monsanto protested after class-action.” The source was created to inform people of GMO companies, and the author wants the readers to think that GMO seeds are bad for human health. It persuades people to think that farmers using GMO are harming humans. This information gives readers the in sight of some the biggest GMO companies. This source doesn’t show how GMO benefits our lives.

“Girl next to barn with chicken” (1941-1942). LOC Secrets of the Supermarket 87

? Start by looking over the Works Cited included here. Most students took the time to tell more about their sources to let you know both the values and limitations of sources they selected.

88 Secrets of the Supermarket

Bread for the City (DC non-profit organization)

Institute of Food technologists (

Food, Inc (2008 film)

The Salt (a food-focused series at

Watch the History Channel’s Modern Marvels, which often feature food items

PBS special on “Now!” for the week of March 5 2010. Resources available at shows/523/index.html

Films, talks, articles and books by either Eric Schlosser or Michael Pollan (he wrote more than The Omnivore’s Dilemma)

Secrets of the Supermarket  

Research of Archbishop Carroll's English 1 students inspired by Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma.

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