In the book The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan offers compelling point of view regarding sustainable and locally produced foods. The author employs in-depth research to explain the unpleasant and sometimes horrifying truths regarding large-scale, industrialized production of foods. He explicitly argues that people have lost their native wisdom concerning eating, and anxiety and confusion have replaced this awareness. Science today plays an integral role in influencing people's choices as well as well-being. It is thus essential that engineers formulate a better food landscape that will be sustainable for the global food system that will not only meet the society's needs but also create a sustainable food solution.
Michael Pollan (2006) highlights an essential statement regarding the food that many Americans eat today. He stated that the industrial food could be defined as any food that has a complicated or obscure provenance that it needs an expert's help to ascertain (17). While assessing the American food chain, the author found out that at the bottom of the chain is corn, which is the meal, used in feeding the cows that are slaughtered for beef. At this juncture, Michael Pollan mentions that the corn is destructive and the cows grazed on the corn fall sick regularly. This is an act that the American food industry has come to accept as the cost of doing business.
The analysis established by Michael Pollan indicates the role and significance of the engineers in creating the industrialized food landscape. The role of the engineers at all times should be vested in the safety and wellbeing of the general population. It means that these engineers must institute processes and systems ensuring that the natural ecosystem is not tampered with to avoid triggering complications affecting millions of people. The standard role of these food engineers is to assess quality in various industries, but as pointed by this reading, safety starts from the field by understanding the cultivation of the products before they reach the processing stage. As Michael Pollen (2006) indicated, it is these disastrous corns that feed the steers, the chicken, and even people as they talk soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (18). The engineers understand the chemicals that are in most of these meals, but they fail at making sure the quality is safe before these meals are consumed.
Scientists already understand the chemical make-up of these foods, such as corn, as well as how they affect the well-being of individuals. Remarkably, many people rely on these food engineers to offer them with the right knowledge concerning what they eat. However, integrity is a lacking aspect, and as the author severally mentions, the American market is dominated by capitalism, characterized by supermarkets and fast-food franchise. The farming of corn is versatile, and it presented Americans with numerous opportunities. Michael Pollan (2006) mentioned that despite the fact that it is easy to alter the genes of corn to create a desirable trait, which is healthier for consumption, the capitalist market of America are afraid that they would run out of business (31). It shows that the engineers themselves no longer pay attention to the harmful food that the Americans eat. It is, therefore, the role of the engineers to establish strict policies and rules which will govern the practices of the companies ensuring that it is the health and not wealth of the country that comes first.
The highlighted challenges and roles thus point to the fact that the engineers have a role in creating opportunities and solutions for the sustainable global food system. The role of the sustainable global food system is to meet the food needs of the society in the present without compromising the capacity of future generations to meet their demand. The first duty of these engineers entails creating corns with desirable qualities and making the unique seed available to the general population as the food grown from these special seeds will produce more special foods that will sustain the current as well as the future generation. Michael Pollen (2006) pointed that the hybrid seeds of corn could support the whole city life without shortage (37), however, the original species of corn is vanishing as farming is becoming more commercialized (38). Therefore, the engineers have the responsibility of restoring the unique species of corn that can be used in creating hybrids hence maintaining the availability of organic food which will sustain the future generation as well.
The book The Omnivore's Dilemma byMichael Pollan offers insight into the areas of American farming that food engineers need to pay close attention. The book provides the several regions where America food production is failing and how the ignorance of the population puts their lives at risk. The engineers hence have a critical role that they need to play in the current society today to ensure safety and well-being of the people as well as ascertain sustainability of the global food system in general.
Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore's dilemma (1st ed.). New York, NY: Penguin Press.
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