Adit i Bhargava Page 1 FOOD CHOICES What do the starving people of a third world country like Ethiopia have in common with the elite society of the West? The need for food. The only difference is that while Ethiopia still views food as “a means to biological survival” (par. 1), the account executives, lawyers and professionals of the western world regard the food they consume as being indicative of their status in society. Food and its quality and quantity appear to have a bearing upon every aspect of their lives.
This is the theme of the sarcasm laced humorous essay “Food Worship” by Barbara Ehrenreich published in 1997. Catering distinctly to an audience that is well-versed in North American culture, the author employs figurative language such as tropes and humor, compound – complex sentence structures and unique juxtaposition of common aspects of everyday life to state her arguments and make this essay effective. At the same time, however, her assumption of a specific audience and the larger issue of “the gluttony of a few and the chronic hunger of the world’s many” (par. 10), are not addressed throughout the piece and leaves the reader much to speculate about. One of the most effective techniques used by the author to arouse the reader’s interest is sarcasm. In paragraph two she writes, “I am thinking of substituting food emporiums for museums on my children’s Sunday outings.” By using this hyperbolic statement on the importance of food and stating that food has “gained a foothold in academia” (par.
Genetic Modification The idea of genetic modification is one of the biggest and most controversial issues in modern times. It is the manipulation of genes, transferring genetic material from one organism to another. The question we ask ourselves is it really necessary and is it cruel to the animal involved. Yes, the method behind genetic modification is that it may take up to 40 sheep just to ...
2), the author has clearly ridiculed the trends in western society. She describes each individual as having “hunger of deep and savage 2 proportions” (par. 5), and expresses shock at how gluttony is no longer considered an excess, being justified by “wild aerobic fallings and desperate five-mile runs” (par. 5).
Innovative and startling metaphors such as “Exercise is the yuppie version of bulimia” (par. 5); pita bread and salad bars have “sedimented” down to Burger King (par. 3); and the reference to a possible “gastrointestinal revolution” (par. 6) keep the reader amused and curious of what the author is trying to highlight.
She also establishes her credentials to comment on this new fad by admitting “to having occasionally dined- on other people’s expense accounts” (par. 3) while characterizing these “other people” as “upwardly mobile” (par. 3) and “upscale people” (par. 4).
Here, Ehrenreich forges an instant bond with the reader as she makes it apparent that she is not a member of this overindulgent brigade that is apathetic to the rest of the world. Unusual comparisons have been made by Ehrenreich to support her contention that the priority given to food has increased over the years.
Hard hitting analogies such as “exercise is to eating in the eighties as contraception was to sex in the sixties” (par. 6), the entirely new meaning given to exercise (burning the weight of extra calories rather than maintaining fitness); and that the food a person thinks is in vogue can be used as a yardstick for measuring the potential of a possible life partner, successfully emphasize this point. The comparison of our diet to that of the tiny shrew in itself describes the obsession that people have for food and how it has come to be an expression of man’s decadence. The compound-complex sentences present many facts and ideas in a running manner to support conclusions. A cause and effect argument is sometimes presented in a reverse sequence with more telling effect; for example, in paragraph four 3 “Upscale people are fixated with food because they are now able to eat so much of it without getting fat, and the reason they do not get fat is that they maintain a profligate level of calorie expenditure” (par. 4).
Genetically Modified Food Genetically modified foods are the plants that are modified in the laboratory through procedures of improving their nutritious picture and developing the new and improved species of food that people will later consume. People have been doing this for ages by natural ways of plant selection and natural matching of different kinds of plants, for example creating new kind of ...
The correlation of profligate expenditure of calories with exercise comes in the last part of the next sentence where “the run at dawn”, the “mid morning aerobics class” and “racing on a stationary bicycle” are laid out in a running fashion. Though the style is effective, the sentence structure is complex and appears difficult to comprehend at first. However, the style makes the conclusion pithy. Punctuation has been used in many paragraphs to expand a concept or idea, and even simply for effect-for example the use of hyphens in “and — as food history, food criticism, etc. -gain a foothold in academia” (par. 2).
Similarly commas and colons have also been used to skillfully emphasize sections of prose throughout the passage. There still exist issues in this essay which have not been discussed to their full potential. The message that Ehrenreich may be trying to convey to her audience is that more needs to be done to aid the food-deprived areas of the world as we have the ability to do so. But talking about Ethiopia in the introductory sentence and mentioning India in the last paragraph does not emphasize this point enough. She also assumes her readers have grown up with the Western culture; terms like “jazzercise” or the mention of Jane Fonda’s videotapes have no effect on a reader who has no prior knowledge of these trends and icons. The narration of incidents, trends and anecdotal bits are effective to the extent of making the reader aware of the current state of affairs, but this article may suffice to be a humorous exposition on the eating habits of the ‘newly arrived’ in Western society..