Monday, February 22, 2010

Chapter 16 and 17

In the chapters sixteen and seventeen of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan talks about what the dilemma is for an omnivore and the ethics of eating animals. In the sixteenth chapter he goes into detail what the omnivore’s dilemma is to him and I would agree with him. He believes because we know what to eat and what not to eat, we are in a dilemma on choosing what to eat. I agree with this because I always think and choose carefully what I want to eat and sometimes that can be hard to do.
In the next chapter Pollan talks about the ethics of eating animals and if it is ok to eat them. Pollan thinks that as long as the raising, slaughtering and eating is done in a humane way then it is ethically alright but if this is not done then it could mess up the ecosystem somehow. I agree when it comes to the raising and slaughtering that it needs to be humane and clean but how do you humanly eat an animal? The only way I can think of is to cook it and season it just right. I think would be hard to survive if we didn’t eat animals like cows and chickens.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chapters 10 and 11 Omnivore's Dilemma

In part two of The Omnivore’s Dilemma Pollan goes to a farm in Virginia and learns a lot from the owner on how a farm should be ran. Specifically in chapter ten he focuses on the grass part of a farm and how crucial the grass is for the animals. The farmer says that the quality of the grass and fertilization determines the quality of the food whether it be animals or vegetables. This being the basis of his operation, he developed a plan that makes the grass perfect and always in good health. His plan is to balance grazing, fertilizing and rest to make sure the land isn’t destroyed and actually improves the quality of it. Then in chapter eleven he talks about the animals of the farm and how they contribute to the cycle. He rotates the cows everyday to a fresh pasture of grass and has the chickens follow to sanitize the pasture. This strategy works for him very well because he can produce tons of food without hurting the land. If he did want to expand the land wouldn’t be able to take it and eventually run out of important nutrients.
Both of these chapters had a lot of details on how he keeps his farm in good health without using artificial chemicals or fertilizers. It’s amazing that he thought up this system to get the best from the grass without hurting it and that he is able to do this all year long. It makes me wonder if other small non industrialized farms are doing the same thing or if they are just damaging the land, leading into unusable land in the future. In a way it seems the farmer is improving his land by using this system which can only lead to a future of more and more foods that he can sell.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chapter 4 They Say, I Say

Chapter four in They Say, I Say is all about how to respond to someone else’s research or publications. There are three main answers that you can use, they are agreeing, disagreeing or both agree and disagree. It then goes on to describe how you can make your opinion stronger and make sense to whoever is reading your paper. The most important thing you can do is provide fact and details that help support your viewpoint as your own. There is one problem that sometimes comes up when doing this and that is when you agree with something then you will end up disagreeing with something else.
I thought this was a really helpful chapter showing how to respond to someone else’s paper. I don’t think I have written a paper on agreeing with somebody but if I do end up writing one, this chapter will help me so I don’t write a horrible paper. Also I like how it gives templates on how I could make my disagreeing papers better. From now on when I write a paper in response to another person’s paper I will look back at this chapter to figure out the best way to prove my point.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chapter 9

Chapter nine is about the organic farms and how they operate. Pollan talks about how back in the day the organic farms weren’t industrial and they were about the product and not the money. He talked to a company owner that was forced to go to the industrial way of farming because there was no money involved in organics. Next he talks about how organic farms aren’t that great for the soil because in order for them to keep bugs off they need to till the soil more which gets rid of the nutrients.
My opinion of this chapter is that I think the only benefit of organic food is its healthier and pesticides aren’t used. When I go to a whole foods store all the food is way more expensive and there are fewer options to choose from. Also the industrialization of organic foods has some positives but being an industry makes it the same as normal processed food. The food still needs to be shipped and packaged which takes oil. The benefit is it makes the food cheaper because the farmers are growing more of it and most likely selling it for less.