Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oprah goes Vegan

News that that will lead to weight loss before anemia probably didn't bother her too much in the short run, but what is important is the big way in which Oprah really hit hard and honest the fact that unhealthy diets are a part of American culture today.

Frankly, when I watched the Oprah Vegan videos, I expected to be more angry. They got in on a Cargill processing plant and didn't sit there trying to portray it for anything other than what it really is. Does everyone have the stomach for killing animals for food consumption, no, they don't, but that doesn't mean that killing animals for food is wrong and Oprah's filming of the Cargill plant didn't try to push the issue one way or the other. If you haven't seen a processing plant in video before, this was a great example of how the process works.

Then there is the video link of Oprah's interview with Michael Pollan. Of course, I have a slightly more liberal view of Michael Pollan than many of my agricultural counterparts, but I again found little fault with his critical take on the processed foods which make our trips to the grocery and fast food so cheap every day. I agree that cheap food is a curse, but without it, many people would simply go hungry from lack of ability to feed themselves. So then we end up in the current situation where elitists call for "higher quality" food which costs them more money claiming that everyone should have this because it's a factor in one's quality of life. Well, news flash, but not everyone can afford organic or health foods (note, not one and the same).

Where Michael Pollan then really still gets it wrong is by saying that he only buys meat from small farms. That's great, but that also gets back to a huge problem of whether or not we try to feed the rest of the world. The world is going hungry, and small farms aren't going to do it. He needs to wise up to that or stop making money from his controversial books so that real life can hit him in the face and remind him of just why we still need cheap food. Would farmers love to be paid more for food products? Sure they would, but they also want to make sure that people get fed. I think making more money for their labor is the attitude you see reflected in the few farmers quoted as saying they'll be ready with a higher quality product when consumers demand it in the Food INC trailer, but of course they misused these quotes as well.

Of course, there was some other crap on Oprah's show about how all meat comes from terrible places, yadayadayada, cough vegan cough propaganda cough cough. But again, Oprah was trying to show both sides of the coin, even if one side did get most of the face time. Americans are provided a safe, wholesome product every day, 24/7/365 and there are a lot of people who just don't seem to appreciate how good they have it.

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