You Feed Us Anything, We Feed Your Ego

by HoudRank on February 10, 2015 - 4:04pm

Food; a broad term for sure, many thoughts come to mind when the word food is said. It could drift the attention to diet, obesity, comfort and pleasurable food, all the way to junk food. However, they all boil down to one source; it is the food industry. But how clean and concerned is this industry with people’s health? Probably, not at all.


Many workers, and even owners of food-producing companies do not have a university degree that qualifies them to be selling and feeding people. We as pleasure-seeking humans have become so forgetful and irresponsible when it comes to our diet that we are willing to buy anything simply because it tastes good. Knowing full well that if the ingredients were explicitly known, it might alter our decision to eat it. These companies advertise their food products in a way that is closer to illusion than to reality. They are designated especially to persuade young children since they lack the capabilities of analyzing the intent behind these advertisements. And by intent I mean the company’s profit. Companies take advantage of these children’s innocent presumptions for example through the selling of a “Happy Meal”. The name serves the literal meaning for the “happy” part because there is a gift in the box, but is it a decent and nutritious “meal”? The answer is a no. Young children are extremely prone to unpleasant outcomes because of certain foods. The Mayo Clinic Staff states that a diet “full of fast food and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain” this reveals that fast food companies do not prioritize the health of the consumers.

Here, there is a conflict between companies and their consumers. The problem with companies is that they are inhibiting a teleological way of running the business. Only the ends (money in this case) is what matters and the ends must be pleasurable circumstances; The summum bonum for owners is to make more profit; thus, whether people get their basic nutrition needs or not is not the industry’s responsibility. In the food industry, animals are the means to the end and they are being treated unethically. One study reports that animals are being “genetically altered to grow faster or to produce much more milk or eggs than they naturally would -many animals become crippled under their own weight and die just inches away from water and food” (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Organization). From a teleological perspective, we are advocates of self-interest and not social interest. Additionally, according to Kant, what makes an action moral, is the intent (i.e. the will) and the final products of these companies makes the consumer doubt the producers intent. Is the intent benefitting people and boosting their health or is it simply generating more profit to the company? However, had companies been operating from a categorical imperative standpoint, the food industry would be exceptionally clean.

In the context of the food industry a deontological perspective seems to apply more properly. A list of rules that set decent standards to the quality of food must be available because the importance of health far outweighs the importance of profit.

 

Finally, company owners should aim for laws that satisfy something more valuable than their instincts, and that is our health.



Works cited

"Ethical Dilemmas of the Food Industry." Prezi.com. 28 May 2012. Web. 10 Feb.

2015. <https://prezi.com/s2qx2y-rweha/ethical-dilemmas-of-the-food-industry/>.

 

"Factory Farming: Cruelty to Animals." PETA. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

<http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/>.



"Obesity." Risk Factors. 13 May 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

<http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/basics/risk-factor...

20014834>.

Comments

Your text is well written and easy to follow and understand. The topic you chose is very important in today’s society and I absolutely agree with your statement on how health is much more important than making profit. In an article written by Kelly Crowe that appeared in CBC news, food companies selling processed foods have scientists calculating the perfect amount of salt, sugar and fat that will make us addictive to these foods. This situation makes us clearly understand that food companies are only trying to sell their products while neglecting the health impacts that their products could have on society. The article that I have linked below is quite interesting on how these industries “manipulate” their food in order for customers to get addicted. This would be another interesting piece of information to add in your text.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/food-cravings-engineered-by-industry-1.139...

You seem to have done a lot research on this topic and this is a very well written article.
I agree with what you've said here, I think that these industries take advantage of people, especially children, based on their most animalistic impulses. When you said that people would probably reconsider what they are eating if they explicitly knew what was in their food, it really caught my attention. I know that I am not always careful of what I am eating (honestly I only really pay attention half of the time), and that I probably would eat differently if I really thought about the ingredients in my food and the process by which it was made.

Your use of different sources adds credibility to your factual arguments, and your overall idea flows logically. However, you state that "many" workers in the food industry are not qualified due to a lack of a university degree. Maybe a statistic there would be helpful! Nonetheless, the teleological framework you use emphasizes fast food companies' summum bonum being profit rather than their customers' health. Additionally, you highlight the problem with workers in the food industry displacing the moral responsibility to provide nutritious food onto others, which seems both morally and practically incorrect, as they are in the best position to guarantee the nutritional value of their products. Furthermore, you raise the problem of children being unable to make healthy meal choices due to products such as the "Happy Meal". Nonetheless, that problem could further be explained from a moral standpoint. Why is advertising fast food to children an ethical dilemma? Interestingly enough, instead of offering a solution from a teleological frame, your deontological perspective incites collaboration from the food industry and the government to place a higher set of standards on food production that would follow universal maxims. I absolutely agree that this is the only solution, as the corporate world's intentions can be dishonest. Using a teleological approach could be problematic, as companies would not agree on the same summum bonum as their consumers, i.e. utilitarianism would be more difficult to apply.

It is a really good article that you wrote. You chose one aspect that causes obesity and you explained in depth what it was about. It is always chocking when you see how much the food industry is just playing with us. However, what is the most frustrating is when you look at the population that knows it and still continue to encourage the food industry by buying their products. It is obvious that we have to act both as individuals and as a society. I think a great solution could come from researchers who are looking for crossing between vegetables that could have the tastes that we love the most. Thus, fast food will not be the only food where we can get those tastes. Additionally, those vegetables that will be mixed together will be a natural and healthy way to add a nutritional dimension to different meals. You should read this article http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/how-vegetables-ditched-their-reputation-fo..., you will see that there is some hope for the world’s future concerning healthy food choices.

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