Free Writes Michael Hanson

Food Issues (January 27)

I read the food labels very rarely, every once in a while if I feel like I haven't exercised in a while I will read them, but I don't have much of a weight issue to deal with.

I know that the government requires companies to put nutrition info. on the food that they sell

There is a movement to have companies include whether the food has been artificially enhanced in any way on the label as well

I'm happy we have food labels, I might use them if I'm looking to get some more vitamin C in my diet one day, or if I want to eat something that's filled with protein after a work out.

i definitely think that the labels on energy drinks and pre/post-workout drinks should be required and regulated. As of right now they don't have strict rules on what they need to put on the labels of these products.

Food Labeling (January 29)

I feel that foods should be labeled for what is in them and if they are artificially enhanced in any way. The artificial enhancement isn't to necessarily demote the food, but instead to keep the people purchasing the food informed on what they're getting. I want to know if the beef I am buying is true, well-cut beef or if it is just the scraps thrown into a centrifuge and bathed in ammonia to make it "healthy" enough that it's safe for consumption. If I go someplace like McDonald's or Wallies I assume that I'm going to be getting a lesser grade of beef (you get what you pay for) but in a store setting I want to know which meats have been purified in the way of pink slime and which meats are truly high quality. The FDA and the USDA should have a collaboration to decide what is on the food labels; just tell the consumers what you already know.

Pink Slime (January 31)

When it comes to the pink slime debate a tend to be a little neutral but giving the edge to being pro-pink slime. I feel that the labels should be on the packages so that you know if what you're buying is indeed pink slime or if it is genuine ground beef, but it does seem like a great way to get use out of a product that was originally just discarded or used as scrap. I am slightly biased coming into this, being that I'm a chemistry minor and think that the whole process of making it healthy is awesome, but I truly think that it should be used with labeling. In the past when people were making sod houses in the middle east they were frustrated with the flammable liquid that came out of the ground and thought that it should just be disposed of. We call this substance gasoline today. Progress is necessary and with all of the worries about food shortages and affordable meat options pink slime gives a good alternate option. But it has to be labeled and people have to know what they're paying for.

Topic of Paper (February 19)

Problem and direct conditions
investment interest
societal attitude, fears, value, either in support or against
The problem with the idea of genetically modified organisms is that the different additives and enhancements could potentially alter the health of the food that we are consuming. It is also frowned upon because transferring genes hasn't been done before and anything new is always scary for people. People just want to know what has been done to alter their food by having it on the label, but companies don't want this because they fear that writing down that they use GMOs will turn consumers against their product even though they don't believe that GMOs cause any health risks. You can see this same thing happening with the sugar vs. high fructose corn syrup debates.

Companies definitely have an invested interest in GMOs, GMOs can save crops from pests and have saved crops from being affected with cold weather. It has also made crops more plentiful and it has made it so food can be sold cheaper and they still get a handsome profit from the GMOs. Some people who try to smear GMOs, however, like to spread the idea that GMOs are unhealthy so that people will buy their products that haven't been enhanced or changed in any way.

Society on a whole fears change and doesn't like things that are out of the norm. This is why many people do not support the use of GMOs and question their safety. However, in Europe they ban GMOs and there is a strong front saying that the banning GMOs is banning the way of progress in Europe. It seems that people fear change but also always want to disagree with what the established law is. People love to be on the disagreeing side and people love to get together and complain about the way things are. In the U.S. people are afraid because they don't think enough research has been done on the health hazards of GMOs and latch on to possibly biased studies that say that GMOs are extremely bad for you. In Europe people are angry because they think that GMOs are healthy and are banned for no good reason and latch on to possibly biased studies that say the GMOs are not bad for you.

Solution for Problem (March 21)

  • What solution to your crisis can you propose? How will your solution address specific elements or causes of the crisis?

The solution to my crisis is to put labels on foods that have GMOs. This would address the issue of ignorance that has been given to the American public and it would also help people that truly want to know what is in their food. It would also urge different food companies to find alternative ways to get their products without the use of potentially harmful GMOs.

  • How is your solution particularly practical, logical, manageable, ethical, humane, or economical?

This solution is practical because it's only adding a label to foods. It's not something that's going to break the bank on companies and it encourages people to research more into what they're eating. I believe that it is logical because it's easy to see that people want to know what they are buying or eating and this just gives them more information. It is also humane and ethical because it could warn people if the product has genes from other things that they may be allergic too; it could also help them if they want to stay away from a particular food source that may have been implanted into the food that they were eating.

  • What else has been tried or proposed? Why is your solution the solution your audience should embrace?

Other solutions that have been proposed is the overall ban of GMOs. i believe this is too drastic of an approach because GMOs actually do have some benefits to them and it may actually be a detriment to try and ban them altogether. It has also been proposed to just encourage companies that don't use GMOs to label that instead of having everyone label them. I believe that this approach wouldn't be very successful either, just because then the public would have to guess on the products without labels as to whether they have any GMOs or not. I believe that my solution is one to be embraced because it seeks a common ground between the 2 sides of the issue and it wouldn't be that hard to implement.

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