Capitalism & Food

6 Mar

Question: Is the capitalistic model a good one for food production?

Capitalism has existed for a long time and has contributed to the global expansion of products- more specifically food.  In “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Michael Pollan is of the belief that capitalism takes away from the consumers ability to have choice.  In his opinion, it prevents small grass root farmers and companies to create great quality products and and variety of choices for the consumer to select. Capitalism has enabled mass production of agriculture with no real responsibility to the environment or world around it.  Farmers are encouraged to grow their products to the extreme (bigger, better, faster), while consumers are getting used to having products at their finger tips at all times.

It would be incredibly optimistic to believe that the capitalist model that is used almost all over the world can be changed, especially in the agricultural industry.  Is it realistic to believe that food production can be grown for the good of society, rather than the profit of large corporations?  Polyface Farms shows that food production can be done without   the large corporate business model, however, is it realistic to believe that we can overhaul the entire food production system and create a plethora of “Polyface Farms” to produce the country’s food?

In my opinion, in theory, alternative food production systems would be the best route to go.  Polyface Farm seems like a utopian environment in which the plants, animals, and people get along perfectly.  But have we come too far in the capitalistic model to change?  Will consumers realize that the capitalist food production model is doing a lot more harm than good?  Do consumers really want to change?

Michelle

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