This class has taught me a lot; for example, the intersection between food, the ethical life, culture and citizenship such as what food is, what is a food product, what is the environment, and so on. Food is a huge part of our lives and essential to life, culture, community, and health. So, my view has changed extremely regarding industrial animal agriculture and the ethics of eating animals and products since taking this course.
This class gave me an opportunity to think about killing animals for consumption. Many people eat meats or fishes almost all every day for managing to lead happy, and healthy lives. Some people do not want to eat those foods by culture, vegetarianism, and religion. I am wondering how many people in the world think about eating animals, except researchers. In fact, I had never thought about it until I leaned foods this class. In the book, Michael Pollan provides the same experiences of suffering between human and animals. People kill animals to eat without resistance and they throw out them easily when they feel full. There is also a problem of mass abandonment of food. I believe that every living being should be given the respect and freedom they deserve. However, we know this is so difficult in modern society because eating animals for humans is common and cannot be stopped. That is why it is really important to appreciate food and learn the origin of food.
Also, I had an interest in many issues of producing foods. I learned it needs a lot of grains, water, and land to product foods. Especially, meat production seems to be inefficient, because we have to prepare a lot of food and water to grow up animals. Also, I had heard that giving them stress cannot produce delicious meats, so I think that a huge area is also necessary. In addition, there are many problems which we have to solve immediately such as public health, world hunger, water pollution, air pollution, and deforestation. The problem of food will cause a bigger issue such as global warming. I think that it is important the connection between human and animals. Some animals such as dogs, cats, birds are cherished as pets, so we also have to treat animals such as cattle, pigs, and fish like them. It is normal to eat some animals, but I believe that it is the first step of solution that we reduce the quantity or do not capture them more than necessary.
This was the first time to read the book by Thich Nhat Hanh and I thought I met a wonderful book. Thich Nhat Hanh said mindfulness is one of the energies to notice and wake to present moment. I learned he experienced the Vietnam War, then he carried out relief activities and continued training as a monk at the same time by looking him up on the internet. So, I think he found the mindfulness for all the experiences that occur in life as well as for meals. In his book, he presents is learning to be aware of breathing which is a key method in the mindfulness, then he said what it means to eat and why eating mindfully is important. In the class, we did the clementine exercise following his book. I realized how happy it is to eat foods. Also, I was able to feel delicious, as if foods that I normally eat were different. I think that mindful eating can contribute to a healthier society, and lead to the best health and weight. In addition, it suggests diminishing waste which is a big problem in the food environment. Moreover, he shows that people who are following the mindful eating contribute to feeling happy, good health, and living longer.
I know the practice of mindfulness is popular the American modern society on the Internet. It is caused the mindfulness medical stress reduction which is MBSR by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Many programs such as colleges, prisons, hospitals, and so on recorded the benefits of mindfulness. He said mindfulness can support to deal with stress anxiety, pain, and disease. I think he is very similar to Thich Nhat Hahn. Or he continues to tell the mindfulness to the present society and people by taking over his thoughts. He thinks mindfulness is a kind of meditation with yoga, sexuality, breathing and so on. I think the studies by him and Thich Nhat Hahn can give people great influences on eating food.
According to Berry, health is at once wholeness and kind of unconsciousness. I think it means that if your body is healthy, you can do what you want. So, health is the best thing to live longer. If you get illness or disease, you cannot do anything. Diet is a cause of disease because food is necessary for humans to live. Then, when people pay attention to the relationship between human and foods which nature, they will find the importance of eating habits. In fact, my grandmother had a lifestyle disease caused by a diet; however, her disease was improved by conscious of what to eat. Based on those, he claims that the process of producing food is important to select healthier food for the body. Almost all people just eat food, it means there is no conscious of anything about the food. Actually, many people are involved in the process of making food. So, it is important to eat responsibly. For that reason, we need to know about the manufacturing process and cook themselves. Then, we will be able to the appreciate for eating. On the other hand, Thich Nhat Hanh thinks how to eat is the key to consider about foods. As I mentioned before, the clementine exercise is the best method to think about food and people can enjoy eating.
The omnivores dilemma means we can eat anything, but how do we know what to eat. I the book by Pollan, there is a tendency to rely on information by expert opinions, government programs, and books of meals. He said that they make it difficult it eats and select food. It is called the anxiety of eating by Pollan. In the book, scientists said that the rule which can dominate our appetite is important to manage food styles. The rule also contributes to the anxiety of eating. I think there is a big problem in world society. Healthy food such as vegetables is more expensive than fast food, so it is hard to get. For example, McDonald which is a famous food store in the world, Big Mac is just $3.99. In contrast, Southwest Salad is $4.79. The same trend can be seen in many restaurants including supermarkets. In addition, I feel that the influence of advertisement is very big. People receive a lot of information on food on the Internet or television easily, but that information makes it difficult to choose food.
I learned the decisions we make regarding what foods we get, where we buy them, and how we eat them are by many backgrounds such as the environment, political, economic, moral, health and agricultural issues. I think almost all people do not think that information when they select foods. In fact, when I go to the supermarket, I just think what want to eat. However, food choices have very large implications, so we have to consider the background information. For example, it is huge elements that whether we should eat animals such as meats and fishes, or the food includes pesticides and herbicides and artificial fertilizers and so on. That is why I think it is important to learn how to produce food, and components of food. Also, I believe it is most important to make good processes that are known to everyone, and they try to know about food more, then have gratitude to eat foods.
On the other hand, Michael Pollan says we should pay more attention to our food culture which is the culture of fast food. Also, he mentions that public health is a big problem such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease from poor eating. Recently, there are farmers markets and food gardening. These can help change the food culture because people can touch more fresh food. When I came to America, I was surprised by the area of the vast land. In Japan, my home country, there are few houses with gardens, and food gardening is difficult because there are lots of buildings. I thought it would be a good idea if we improved the unused land and use it for the cultivation of food. In addition, cooking dishes is also significant to change our culture. People do not want to cook for me. But they may be wanting to cook a meal for other people. I think cooking and eating with someone are the beginning of a reform in our culture.
I am pleased that I considered about foods seriously through food philosophies books. Previously, I ate food without considering anything, and selected foods I want to eat. I think what I learned in this class such as the choice of food, gratitude to animals, the process of food production, and so on will help me to change the diet. Also, in order to solve many problems related to food, it is necessary for many people to know the current situation of the food environment. I send out a lot of information as my next role and I want to help to solve problems even a little.