Food Industry and Consumers

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Food Inc. Calls for Consumer Awareness By Lauren McMullan


Summary

Food Inc. is a documentary directed by Robert Kenner and narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser. For the majority of the movie, unjust actions of the food industry were highlighted with the goal of moving consumers to make a vote and make a change. The food industry is controlled by what is called "food democracy" and every purchase is a vote in this system that is currently so corrupt.


Content

             File: food_inc.jpg  Movie poster for Food Inc.
            Photo from: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/food_inc/


Food Inc. is a documentary from 2008 that uncovers the unjust and unhealthy actions of the corporate food industry that not only cause environmental damage, but are abusive towards the animals, workers and even the consumers. It starts by tracing the origins of the industrial food industry from the beginning of the fast food industry which had the revolutionary idea to cut cost and simplify by training workers to do one and only one thing. It also discusses the control of the entire industry that only a few companies have and thus how it is hard to get the companies out of their ways. The lack of options consumers and small farmers have in choosing their foods are also noted and juxtaposed with the lack concern the large companies have for them as the movie unfolds (Kenner, 2008). Starting with the animals, Food Inc. highlights the treatment of the chicken raised for companies such as Tyson and Perdue. Multiple scenes show hundreds of animals packed together with manure covering the ground with sickness among them. These chickens rarely see the light of day and are pumped with many chemicals which cause them to grow at exponential rates leading to developmental problems such as bones and organs not being able to withstand the weight they are gaining. Along with the chicken are the cows that are feed corn instead of grass—this causes their digestive system to work differently than the way it evolved and introduced diseases both to the cow and the food it will later produce. These terrible depictions of mainstream industrial food system animals are also contrasted with the healthy and respectable conditions in which small free range farmers keep their animals in (Kenner, 2008).

File: robertkennerpic.jpg Farmer for an industrial food company in his chicken coop

  photo from: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_pw9QK4mGtiI/S_nzFzJif0I/AAAAAAAABZU/W95S_l3y-1Q/s1600/robertkennerpic.jpg

Along with the animals the workers are also exploited forced to work in conditions only small steps above the conditions of the animals. In “The Chain Never Stops,” by Eric Schlosser, who also contributes to Food Inc., the transformation of the meat packing industry from one which one could make a good living in a decent working environment to being one of the lowest paying, highest turnover jobs in the nation is described. This transformation is attributed to the growing power of the companies and the revolution of the industry in the 1960’s. Due to the nature of the work, including over 40,000 meatpackers injured on the job every year, many of the workers are illegal immigrants. Even workers not in the factories have strict rules imposed upon them and how they do their work (Schlosser, 2008). People are what they eat, and as of now, they are eating what the food industry is feeding them—filler filled meats, genetically modified foods and cheap, empty calorie foods, not to mention the E. coli that has been found increasingly in beef due to the absurd diet of corn (Kenner, 2008). Without opposition, the companies will continue to do whatever they can to get foods to be made faster and produced cheaper. Food Inc. unveiled many things that the food industry has tried to keep covered and hidden from consumers, but more and more information is coming out about the rather disgusting practices of the food industry (Kenner, 2008). For instance, Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show has started to unpack what the meat industry has put in our grocery stores. Recently an episode highlighted the presence of a substance known as pink slime in our ground beef—of course it is washed with ammonia first to make it safe to eat (Stewart). Food Inc. set out to identify the injustices along the food production line from the farmers, seeds and animals to the workers and even to the consumers but the purpose was not to simply identify how these companies are corrupt, but to evoke a cause for change in the American public. According to the free market theory, which is the basis for the economy in the United States, the decisions for production and distribution are based solely on supply and demand. If consumers stop demanding these products, choosing others instead on a large scale, these companies will have no choice but to surrender to the shopper’s wishes and change the food system to make a healthier, more sustainable industry for not only the consumers but also for the workers, environment and animals. It is not up to the small producers to compete with the large corrupt industries—they will be bought out too quickly and are not large enough to make a significant impact on their own—it is up to the consumers who make a decision every time they buy food. Although consumers may not think they are powerful, they are; every purchase is a vote which is evident in the brands of milk carried at Wal-Mart (Kenner, 2008). The Slow Food Movement is an case of an alternative food movement that has already started around the world, especially in European countries who oppose the genetically modified foods popular in America; it considers the environmental and social consequences of industrial foods while seeking to create high quality, good tasting foods that maintain the environment and promote social justice along the production pathways (Sims, 2012). According to Hassanein, the steps for such undertaking include changes and education within alternative foodway movements, between allied food movements, and between movements and their opponents (Hassanein, 2012). “The dominant food system, embedded as it may be in influencing how food is produced as well as consumed, is not immovable...” (Hassanein, 2012), and it is the people who can use food democracy to change the circumstances and thus transform the food industry to one of sustainability. Like the actions done to promote Kevin’s Law in Food Inc., people can stand up and put political pressure to gain greater access and benefits from the food industry (Hassanein, 2012). The more activism consumers can create for new, healthy food options, the more ideas and opportunities there will be to make a change. In the case of the workers and animals, they have little choice but to succumb to the demands of the large food industries, but as consumers we not only have the ability, but also the responsibility to do something about the immoral food industry.

         By Lauren McMullan


Sources for this wiki: Hassanein, Neva 2012 Practicing Food Democracy: A Pragmatic Politics of Transformation. In Taking Food Public, ed. Psyche Williams-Forson and Carole Counihan, pp. 461-474. NY: Routledge Press. Kenner, Robert, dir. Food Inc.. Writ. E. Schlosser, and M. Pollan. Magnolia Pictures, 2008. Film. Schlosser, E. (2008). The chain never stops. In C. Counihan & P. Van Esterik (Eds.), Food and Culture (pp. 441-451). New York, NY: Routledge. Sims, Rebecca 2012 Food, Place and Authenticity: Local Food and the Sustainable Tourism Experience. In Taking Food Public, ed. Psyche Williams-Forson and Carole Counihan, pp. 475-490.NY: Routledge Press. Stewart, Jon, dir. The Hunger Shame, The Daily Show. Comedy Central, 2012. Film.


Industrial Lobbying and Government Nutrition Standards: Emily Bishop


Summary

Factory scale production and globalized food production have created enormous global food conglomerates that, as an industry, spend tens of millions of dollars every year on lobbying expenditures and campaign contributions. This gives them enormous sway in Washington, meaning that decisions on how to feed America are made in the pockets of Kraft and Con-Agra rather than in doctors' offices.


Content

Industrial Lobbying and Government Nutrition Standards In the United States, dollars spent on lobbying by the food processing and sales industries typically totals around $28,622,351 each year with “well-known food processing companies such as Kraft, General Mills and ConAgra -- as well as food retailers and grocery store chains such as Safeway and Publix” contributing hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars a year to various congressional. In addition, $12.1 million was contributed by PACs and “friends” of the industry to 2008 campaigns. There has been a marked increase in expenditures, with the 2004 contributions of $8.6 million to $30.5 million over the course of four years and has shown a rather unremarkable decline following this exponential increase, meaning that money being contributed by the food processing industry than at any point in modern history. Similarly, industry spending in the agribusiness (which includes food processing and sales, crop production and processing, tobacco, dairy, and livestock) saw a large spike in 2008 and have shown very little decrease since then. It is with this intense lobbying that we see a degradation in government based nutritional standards. It is mandated by the government that each lunch served by a school contain five forms of food from the following four categories: meat/meat alternate, vegetables and/or fruits, grains/breads, and milk1. However, many school lunches consisted of pizza, cookies, and over steamed carrots or sugary canned peaches. Parents, nutrition advocacy groups, and the Obama administration spoke up and asked the government to change the policies that allowed such lunches to be fed to their children, asking that fresh fruits and vegetables be featured more prominently and that high-fat and low-nutrient foods be moderated or eliminated from the acceptable foods list backed by a recommendation by the Institute of Medicine. The Department of Agriculture had earlier that year proposed limiting potatoes and salt in school cafeterias and boosting use of whole grains. The response from the food industries (particularly pizza manufacturers and potato growers) was resounding. The top ten frozen pizza brands are owned by only three major companies: Nestlé (whose pizza division is a subsidiary of Kraft), Schwan, and General Mills. These companies spent a combined total of $7,570,400 on lobbying in 2011 alone. In response to the nutritional demands made by the Obama administration, congress proposed the following: Block the Agriculture Department from limiting starchy vegetables, including corn and peas, to two servings a week. The rule was intended to cut down on french fries, which some schools serve daily. Allow USDA to count two tablespoons of tomato paste as a vegetable, as it does now. The department had attempted to require that only a half-cup of tomato paste could be considered a vegetable — too much to put on a pizza. Federally subsidized lunches must have a certain number of vegetables to be served. Require further study on long-term sodium reduction requirements set forth by the USDA guidelines. Require USDA to define "whole grains" before they regulate them. The rules would require schools to use more whole grains.2 This decision was praised by Kraig Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute (whose lobbying expenses reached $543,000 in 2011) who said "this agreement ensures that nutrient-rich vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas will remain part of a balanced, healthy diet in federally funded school meals and recognizes the significant amounts of potassium, fiber and vitamins A and C provided by tomato paste, ensuring that students may continue to enjoy healthy meals such as pizza and pasta.” In the end, the pizza itself was not declared “vegetable” but the two tablespoons of tomato paste per serving, technically one fourth of the necessary nutrients constituting a vegetable serving, was declared a full serving. This was done because increasing the sauce content of a pizza by 75% would be too costly for the companies. Children were denied that 75% of their daily vegetable intake because the government had too much to lose financially by removing the tomato-deficient pizza from school menus. A similar incident occurred in the 1977 when the government decided that “meat and dairy products [were] responsible for rising rates of heart disease during the twentieth century.” and the American Heart Association supported a move to diets “low in saturated fat and cholesterol from animal products”3. It was at this suggestion that George McGovern (D-South Dakota) and the meat and dairy industries revolted. Lobbying records from 1977 are unavailable due to less strict record-keeping laws at the time, but the evidence shows that the influence they held was enough to change the scientifically based “reduce consumption of meat” recommendation originally issued to the more meat-friendly “choose meats, poultry, and fish that will reduce saturated fat intake.” As such, the government was not recommending a reduction in meat as the scientists and statisticians had, but rather leaner meats without prescribing which to eat and which to avoid, an intentionally vague prescription at the behest of those who profit from high saturated fat sales.

        By Emily Bishop


� Citations 1The United States of America. The United States Department of Agriculture. Food and Nutrition Services. School Meals. Food and Nutrition Services. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. <http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/>. 2Jalonick, Mary Clare. "Pizza Is a Vegetable? Congress Says Yes." Msnbc.com. Msnbc Digital Network, 15 Nov. 2011. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45306416/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/pizza-vegetable-congress-says-yes/>. 3Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. New York: Penguin, 2009. Print.

The Government, the Food Industry, and Health: Sameera Nadimpalli


Summary

The current governmental farm policies reinforce agricultural overproduction of basic crops (such as corn), allowing large food corporations to increase portions and produce highly processed food. The result cheap, calorie-abundant, and nutrient-deficient food has contributed to the relatively recent trend toward an increasingly overweight and obese American population.


Content

Our current food system, which emphasizes cheap and abundant food, has contributed to decreasing health in Americans. Established during the Nixon era in the 1970s, this system was developed as a result of governmental pressure to decease the escalating price of food. Earl Butz, the secretary of Agriculture during Nixon’s presidency, in an attempt to reduce these prices told farmers to maximize production, subsidizing commodity crops, including corn (Pollan 2003). These new agricultural policies replaced the previous system established by the Roosevelt administration in order to increase food prices during the Depression by employing a grain reserve to prevent excess grain from entering the market. Today, the same problem of reduced food prices resurfaces (Pollan 2003). Yet, the nation has not considered new policies to facilitate a decrease in prices because of corporate control over governmental policies.

Decreasing prices have been exacerbated by the efforts of large corporations lobbying to maintain the current system of maximized production and cheap food and hence, their businesses. As mentioned in Food Inc., corporations utilize the cheap prices of commodity crops, such as corn and soybean, to produce processed food containing these ingredients in order to increase profits. In addition, cheap grains have allowed for animal farming and slaughtering on an industrial scale, allowing for the recycling of workers as needed to again, maximize profits (Schlosser 2008). Furthermore, corporations that are involved with large-scale food production, including the sale of genetically-modified seeds (such as Monsanto), have contributed to the sad plight of farmers around the world today (Shiva 2000). By either driving out farmers out of business through monocultures that produce more food and profits due to subsidies (as stated in The Global Banquet) or patenting seeds to force farmers to buy new genetically-modified seeds each year, corporations have contributed to the deterioration of the food system today at all levels, from the traditional producer (farmer) to the consumer.

The actions of the government and the influence of large businesses on policy-making have resulted in numerous consequences, including increase in the energy necessary for production, packaging, and transportation of food from large, industry farms (Schlosser 2006). Because of the current depleting sink of natural resources, increases in expenditure of energy will damage the food industry.

File:Food_and_energy.jpg

In addition, large companies have contributed to an unfortunate decrease in the health of Americans (Pollan 2003). Decreased prices due to excess production of food that contains little nutrition has initiated deterioration of health in our country. The resulting cheap prices of common crops have allowed for fast-food companies to incorporate processed ingredients containing these crops into their food. As Pollan argues, these companies can increase profit, despite low cost of food, by increasing portions to “compete for the consumer’s dollar”. In addition, by industrializing food production, including meat, any small problem regarding quality can have a large impact on every individual that consumes the food, increasing the dangers and downstream health concerns of our current methods of food production.

Health also contributes to larger problems that plague the country as poverty is exacerbated by reduced health. Because cheap food is preferred by poorer families and eating at fast-food restaurants often saves money in the short-term, many families choose to consume fast food, resulting in the obesity epidemic that we see today. For families below the poverty line, hunger and malnutrition become additional issues. However, as proposed by Poppendieck, hunger is merely a symptom of poverty. In order to tackle the problem of poverty and indirectly, hunger, one preventative health measure that can be taken is increasing the quality and diversity of food to all Americans. However, in order to do so, changes must be made at both the corporate and governmental levels in order to increase access of nutritious food to all. This transformation of our food system is not only necessary to address larger issues that affect our nation but will also be, as suggested by Hassanein, slow and incremental. However, reinforcing food democracy such that Americans are actively taking a role to change the system we currently have is crucial. By make a choice with every meal, as suggested in Food Inc., it is possible to stand up against the corporations that support our current corrupt system.


        By Sameera Nadimpalli

� References

Pollan, M. (2003, October 12). The way we live now: The (agri)cultural contradictions of obesity. The New York Times Magazine, Retrieved from http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/the-way-we-live-now-the-agricultural-contradictions-of-obesity/

Schlosser, E. (2008). The chain never stops. In C. Counihan & P. Van Esterik (Eds.), Food and Culture: A Reader. New York, NY: Routledge.

Shiva, V. (2000). Stolen harvest: The hijacking of global food supply. Cambridge: South End Press.

Poppendieck, J. (2008). Want amid plenty: From hunger to inequality. In C. Counihan & P. Van Esterik (Eds.), Food and Culture: A Reader. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hassanein, N. (2011). Taking food public: Redefining foodways in a changing world. Routledge.

Schlosser, E. (2006, November). In P Singer (Chair). The true cost of cheapness. Food, ethics, and the environment.

Image from: McCarthy, J. (2011, March 23). How much will the rise in commodity prices reduce discretionary income?. Retrieved from http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2011/03/how-much-will-the-rise-in-commodity-prices-reduce-discretionary-income.html

Alternative Food Lifestyles and the Adaptive Industry: Brittany Reyes


Summary

Today more than ever before there is a growing population of people who identify with alternative food lifestyles, particularly those that are vegan and vegetarian. With this change in eating habits, there is a clear change in the food industry that is learning to be flexible to these changes. The demands of consumers are changing along with many of the products that are being advertised with a clear peg in the interest of people who do not consume meat. Although, coinciding with this argument, is varying conflict from consumers as to whether the obsessions with these new eating habits are a form of actual interest or a method to gain privilege and entitlement from others.


Content

Grocery Stores Making the Change

File: grocerystores.jpg The typical "meatless" display one would find in a grocery store. This image was taken in a Target. [3]

          Photo from: File:Http://questions.thoughts.com/thoughts sharon/vegetarians-can-you-help-me-out/

In many grocery stores when walking down certain aisles it is not uncommon to see special “meatless” areas with products that are directly targeted towards individuals who abide by special eating habits. This is certainly a change from the past, as most stores did not acknowledge this growing trend that currently permeates our society. Most of the companies that are becoming household names like Amy’s Kitchen, Boca Burgers, and Morning Star which were established in the 1980’s, did not truly start making an impact in grocery stores until the years after 2005 [1]. It is evident that, “traditional grocery stores are dedicating more dollars and shelf space to meatless products for the nation's growing number of vegetarians” [1]. Businesses realize that this is a growing group of people and while the demand for meat is still high, one cannot ignore what is becoming a rather large number of consumers taking the world by storm with new demands.

It is not that vegetarianism and veganism has not been around for a while or that it is just suddenly becoming popular. One could say that education surrounding the lifestyles is dramatically different. This is a new generation of people following these lifestyle patterns, and children are being raised by the individuals who led the revolution years ago. As of 2010, youth alone made up 6% of the population who called themselves vegetarians [2]. It is important to note that numbers of vegetarians of all age ranges are in fact growing on a much bigger scale today. The Vegetarian Resource Group, an organization that has been polling individuals for over a decade, has noticed quite the upward trend. They note that as of 2009 there are approximately 12 million people who identify as either vegan or vegetarian [2]. The numbers of people who are interested in vegetarian meals or eat half of their meals with no meat is incredibly high, with percentages of 55% [2]. The interest is clearly there and even if people are not fully committed to the lifestyle as of right now, does not mean that they will not follow the idea into the future. This should be all the incentive for grocery stores to be interested in having a wider variety of foods available to consumers. It can increase their overall success in the field and allow for a wide branch of educational value to extend to their consumers.

Some believe that grocery stores are not taking full advantage of this market, as they could, by offering a full range of products that are typical of consumption. Take for instance many different kinds of grains, dairy-free substitutions, and complete meal alternatives as other stores are like Whole Foods, which specializes in selling these sorts of foods [1]. On a positive note, by more grocery stores offering these foods to their consumers they allow for them to dismiss any stereotypes they may have previously held in terms of vegetarian foods being odd and unfulfilling. The placement of these products within the store does create a separation, simply from the meat items in the store, but it does not establish a complete line of separation, still making the items very accessible to anyone willing to give them a try.

Alternativeness as a Form of Entitlement?

File: veganshopper.jpg A cartoon depicting the typical vegan shopper. [5]

          Photo from: File:Http://eco-health.blogspot.com/2011/06/crtique-of-consumption-centered.html

There is an ongoing argument as to whether or not people become vegetarians and vegans simply as a method to create separation from others to get more personalized attention or for true intentions of living the lifestyle. One of the primary arguments is that people do this a means to exclude themselves from others, although as Eugene Anderson points out in his book titled, Everyone Eats, people view their food lifestyles as an identity [4]. It is the manner in which they “communicate something special, distinctive, and personal about themselves” [4]. It is necessary to educate people about the fact that there are more alternative consumption methods that are becoming popular and being mindful of them is necessary.

Society is changing and it is up to individuals to educate themselves, as well as to open up to the idea of what may be new norms of lifestyles. The great thing about embracing these changes is the opening of one’s mind to new traditions. When in big gatherings with individuals, it is not uncommon for food to become the sole form of communication and fill the barriers between individuals, “language may lose almost all of its communicative function and here food often takes over the role” [4]. There are many different forms of identity in terms of food developing into a new culture within our society and it is important for individuals to recognize this fact. Changes in the manner that people treat those who do not have the same kind of consumption methods as themselves would allow for all to have a better experience with our transitioning society.


        By Brittany Reyes

� Citations 1. Van Dusen, Christine. "Meatless Products Gain Space on Shelves." United Poultry Concerns [UPC]. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11 Aug. 2005. Web. 11 Apr. 2012. <http://www.upc-online.org/health/81805meatless.htm>. 2. The Vegetarian Resource Center. "Vegetarian Business." The Market for Vegetarian Foods. The Vegetarian Resource Center, 2011. Web. 11 Apr. 2012. <http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/market.htm>. 3. Thoughts, Sharon. "Vegetarians Can You Help Me Out?" Vegetarians Can You Help Me Out? Thoughts.com, 14 Dec. 2011. Web. 11 Apr. 2012. <http://questions.thoughts.com/thoughts_sharon/vegetarians-can-you-help-me-out/>. 4. Anderson, Eugene. "Me, Myself and the Others: Food as a Social Marker." Everybody Eats. New York City: NYU, 2005. 124-39. Print. 5. Villamayor, Carolyn. "The Vegan Consumer." Vegan Mainstream. Vegan Mainstream, 1 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Apr. 2012. <http://www.veganmainstream.com/the-vegan-consumer-image>.

How the Food Industry Profits off of Women and Diet Foods: Rachael Vargo


Summary

The food industry plays a significant role in how nutrition habits are shaped in North America. Millions of dollars are spent to advertise particular foods high in calories and fat, while the same industry that benefits from such advertisements also profits from marketing diet foods, especially towards women. Women, bombarded with today's image of the “ideal female body type” of being “slender and thin,” and contradictorily also bombarded with advertisements encouraging them to purchase unhealthy products, are therefore stuck in a confusing position as consumers of food.



Content

Despite the fact that we have more nutritional information out our hands than ever before and we should be consuming some of the healthiest diets of all time, more than 1/3 of American adults are now obese [3]. However, Americans, and largely American women, also spend about 35 billion dollars a year on weight-loss products [2]. While women are insured to have an abundance of food by today’s food industry, they are also encouraged to make educated decisions about what kinds of foods they consume and to restrict what they ultimately put into their bodies. Food companies seek to allure women as consumers of their products with their well-thought out, detailed advertisements in ways that allow the food industry to ultimately make a hefty profit from female consumers.

Companies in the food industry have worked to gain a greater share of the market with large food companies now dominating by monopolies, and with many food processing companies lobbying to the American government at totals over $28 billion a year [7]. While the food industry is further removed from consumers, this leads to a lower quality of foods available. The average number of items in a supermarket now exceeds 38,000 [4], and without advertisements, few people would even be able to decipher the purposes of many of these products. More is now spent on advertising food than any other product category. In the United States, the food industry spends 3 percent of the cost of the food directly on advertising and promotion; another 13 percent of the food cost goes for packaging [6].

The most high profit foods that can be produced are those with inexpensive ingredients and a long shelf life, and processing food increases profits although nutrients are lost in the process. With the food industry's well thought out advertisements, consumers are often confused about what kinds of foods actually constitute as part of a good or healthy diet. Studies that food producers support also tend to minimize health concerns that are associated with their product [6] and recent documentaries, such as Food Inc. have shown some of the ways that the food industry has attempted to cover up some of its practices. The food industry often deliberately works to confuse consumers and seeks to put consumers in a position where they are left feeling as if it is useless or unnecessary to modify their diets. Many companies also manipulate the findings that studies show in order to keep consumers confused about which products are good for them and which are not. Therefore, consumers often put less emphasis on making healthy food choices because they feel that ideas about what foods are most nutritional may change over night, and that it is useless to put time and effort into following a particularl, "healthy diet" that will likely change [6].

While consumers, and particularly female consumers, are often discouraged by the food industry to put much thought into the kinds of foods they purchase at one end, they are also pressured to maintain a thin body image through a "healthy" diet at the other. Women are often made to feel as if particular food items are more "feminine," and appropriate for them to consume, while other foods are "masculine" and should be avoided [1].


An advertisement from a women's magazine for Kellog's SpecialK products

File:343877_YZoqPsRXllAR7o5m73uzlYBvm.jpg‎


Photo Retrieved From: http://www.coroflot.com


This idea is perpetuated through food advertisements that pair women of the "ideal body image" with "feminine" foods, which are often directly marketed as diet foods. Unfortunately, when women do look for healthy food and diet products, the food industry is able to make profits off of those as well. Many food companies will repackage their foods and emphasize new ingredients or vitamins added in their products to appeal to people seeking healthier options. This allows the food industry to take its unhealthy, processed foods, and turn them into nearly the same products with slightly different nutritional information and resell them to consumers [6].


Advertisement geared towards women promoting weight loss through "Hostess 100 Calorie Packs" File:Hostess-article2-waistline.jpg‎


Photo Retrieved From: Http://www.sheknows.com

Women, often seen as the main target consumers by food industry, are put in contradictory positions with the messages different kinds of food advertisements send to them. The food industry has become dominated by manipulative monopolies that often go unnoticed by the uneducated or uncritical consumer. Without the proper knowledge, the food industry has the ability to profitably take advantage of its female consumers and trick them into buying particular products that may not even be good for them.


        By Rachael Vargo

� Citations

1 Adams, Carol. "The Sexual Politics of Meat." 248-260. Print.

2 McNamara, Melissa. "Diet Industry Is Big Business." CBS News. CBS, February 11, 2009. Web. 07 Apr 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-2222867.html>.

3 "U.S. Obesity Trends." Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Data and Statistics. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, February 27, 2012. Web. 07 Apr 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html>.

4 "Supermarket Facts." Food Marketing Institute. Food Marketing Institute, 2010. Web. 11 Apr 2012. <http://www.fmi.org/facts_figs/?fuseaction=superfact>.

5 Voiland, Adam, and Angela Haupt. "10 Things the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know." Health. U.S. News, March 30, 2012. Web. 11 Apr 2012. <http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/03/30/things-the-food-industry-doesnt-want-you-to-know>.

6 Grewal, Inderpal, and Caren Kaplan. An Introduction to Women's Studies. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002. 526-530. Print.

7 Bishop, Emily. "Food Industry and Consumers." University of Pittsburgh Women's Studies Wiki. N.p., April 10, 2012. Web. 11 Apr 2012. <http://www.wstudies.pitt.edu/wiki/index.php?title=Food_Industry_and_Consumers>.

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