Journal 4: The Omnivore’s Dilemma Part 3

I personal probably won’t be able to make food that I foraged myself. Pollan describes in the third part of the book the challenge of making a meal entirely from things that you’ve made yourself. That means that you use ingredients that you’ve foraged or hunted yourself. As natural human beings, we do not see the need and we have no motive to hunting down animals for food. We grow plants, we genetically engineer food, but we see no reason in hunting down an animal just to eat it. Most of our meat has been genetically modified in some way or another, and that it is probably fake meat that tastes and looks like the real thing. Unlike animals, humans don’t need to hunt to survive. We did not learn how to fish or claw down an animal when we were young. Animals naturally learn from their parents how to survive out in the wild. Some people, like Bear Grylls, were properly trained to survive out in the wild. These people aren’t doing it because they have to; they’re doing it because they want to do it for the fame and the riches. No one, in their right mind, would strand themselves out on a dessert island just because they want to.

However, what if human beings did in fact hunt animals as a natural instinct. What if humans are just like any other animal, having its own place on the food chain and killing whatever is its prey. Knowing what I know today, it would be pretty dangerous for humans to go around eating whatever looks eatable. There could be poisonous mushrooms, insects, plants, and other substances that can cause severe damage to our bodies. “As the case of mushrooms suggest the omnivore’s dilemma often comes down to a question of identification – to knowing exactly what it is you are preparing to eat.” We would also be behind in technology, basically imagine a world without iPhones and iPads and instead of sitting at home playing on the computer or going to school, we are outside in the wild trying to survive every single day. Sometimes, what the food industry is doing doesn’t seem so bad.

If the food industry is not doing what it’s doing today, then we would be in a completely different position in terms of our food growth. However, whether that difference is good or bad, ultimately depends on how you view the situation. If you see the food growth as a negative impact on the world, then you would view the world as a peaceful place instead. However, if you see the food growth as a positive impact, then you would view the world as a place with no technological future. It all depends on how you view the situation and what you plan on doing. “For we would no longer need any reminding that however we choose to feed ourselves, we eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and what we’re eating is never anything more or less than the body of the world.”

News Analysis 4: Fingerprints

My friends have told me before about apple creating a new home key button that requires your fingerprint. At first, I thought that this was pretty cool, being able to open your phone with just your fingerprint, and preventing others from opening it without your permission. The thing is, I’ve haven’t really taken a deeper look into what consequences this may have. “A senior US senator believes the fingerprint recognition technology featured in Apple’s new iPhone 5S raises ‘substantial privacy questions.’” Some of my friends told me that the US government is working with Apple to try to obtain fingerprint scans to store into their database. I think that they’re trying to either collect everyone’s fingerprints, or just have it just in case something important pops up. The thing is, people are worried that their fingerprints might get into the wrong hands. People are questioning the safety and privacy of our iPhones. The following questions have to be assessed by the apple boss, Tim Cook:

  • “Whether the fingerprint data stored locally on the mobile phone chip in encrypted form could ever be stolen and converted into digital or visual form that would be usable by hackers or fraudsters”
  • “Whether the iPhone 5S transmits any diagnostic information about the Touch ID system back to Apple or any third parties”
  • “How well customer fingerprint data will be protected and kept private”
  • “The exact legal status of such fingerprint data.”

There are some hackers out there who want to hack into the Apple’s database to retrieve all of the fingerprint scans. “The website istouchidhackedyet.com, set up by Nick DePetrillo and Robert Graham, lists a number of people offering rewards – including one for $10,000 from IO Capital, a venture capital company – ‘to the first person who can reliably and repeatedly break into an iPhone 5S by lifting prints (like from a beer mug).’” After finding out about all of the consequences that may come with the iPhone 5’s fingerprint system, I do not want to buy one for myself. It’s completely unsafe, and you could get into a lot of trouble just by scanning your fingerprint onto the iPhone. Honestly, I think that Apple might get into a lot of trouble if they were actually working with the US government, they’d be violating people’s privacy, so people can sue them. I like Apple, they make a lot of cool new gadgets for me to use, but I feel that this invention has lost them the trust and loyalty of many customers just like myself.

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24177851

Journal 3: The Omnivore’s Dilemma rest of Part 2

The fact that people don’t want to pay for healthier food really surprises me. I kind of expected it, because our generation consists of a bunch of spoiled brats including myself. We take advantage of everything that we have, not thinking about the consequences. The main reason to why we act like we do is because people are naturally selfish. We are unaware of the fact that money does not grow on trees, and we spend it to our heart’s desire. People are willing to pay more for cars, phones, houses, gadgets but they won’t pay more for healthier food. What good will having an iPhone 5 do for you if you already have an iPhone 4? Not much, just that you’ll probably get more friends because you are following the mainstream trend. However, what good will eating healthier food do to you? It helps you get more and better nutrients that your body requires to grow. You’ll be healthier and won’t get sick as often. Your body will become stronger in general, and you will live a healthier life.

I think that people think that everything has a price, and that you will only pay that price, or lower, for that certain item. Organic foods are supposed to be cheaper than what it is now. However, due to the government’s regulations and the result of high cost processing, it is not. People see this as an excuse to not buy organic foods. They think that because it’s a lot more expensive than it should be, that it is a waste of money. Then I don’t get why people would buy an expensive phone like the iPhone when they can buy a cheaper phone like a Nokia. The point of a phone is to be able to contact people whenever and wherever, so why do people spend so much money buying an iPhone?

In the book, Pollan uses the example of a guy driving a BMW and asking the farmer “why are your eggs so expensive?” The farmer “tried so hard not to get mad” because he didn’t understand why the guy could spend so much money on an expensive car when he can’t spend a little more just for some eggs. The difference in dollars between a BMW and a cheap car is a lot, while the difference in dollars between cheap eggs and the farmer’s eggs is not a lot. This illustrates the fact that people take advantage of their money and that people are born selfish. 

Journal 2: The Omnivore’s Dilemma Part 2

I feel that the food industry has grown a lot ever since people started to contribute different ideas. First of all, I would like to agree with Pollan when he states that organic food isn’t that great. Most people would argue that it’s natural and healthy, which isn’t wrong, and that it’s better for the environment. For me personally, I would like to have more food than have healthier food. “If the sixteen million acres now being used to grow corn to feed cows in the United States became well-managed pasture, that would remove fourteen billion pounds of carbon from the atmosphere each year, equivalent of taking four million cars off road.” The more food that is being produced, the better for it is for our society to survive. Our society has become lazier and lazier as time progresses. I believe that most people do not even consider where the food comes from. In the olden ages, people actually cherished food for its nutritional value. They eat food to become healthy and be strong. Nowadays, the only relationship between the producer and the consumer is the price. They just eat it because it tastes good and it’s cheap. Human beings are naturally selfish, so they do things that they feel will benefit themselves the most. Cheap food will benefit the individual even more because they get to save money. By advertising cheap and tasty food, producers and consumers work together to build the food industry. This whole situation is ultimately caused by our selfishness and being absent minded.

Pollan also states that tags are lying to the consumers. It is so easy to put a tag onto something and claim that it is in fact true. Like in this case, local supermarkets are tagging different foods as organic, making people think that they are purchasing organic food and that they are helping the environment. That is why people should not trust the labels on food cans and products. Food companies are constantly lying to us about things relating to the food. Labels can be very misleading, that’s why companies see through our weakness and use it against us. Pollan uses terms like “synthetic” and “chemicals” to illustrate companies deceiving customers. Food companies only label food to sell it, not to help us. Foods that are labeled organic are probably chemically engineered or altered in some fashion. Why do people constantly feed themselves with food that they know isn’t what they think it is. It is kind of sad that most people cannot see past this delusion.

News Analysis 3: Apple Products

I actually do not understand why people buy products such as the iPhone 5 and what not. Honestly, I think that people are stupid. They buy things not because they want to benefit themselves; they buy it to keep up with modern trends. Everybody doesn’t want to be seen as a hipster, having an old phone and being seen as an anti-social person. The thing is though, what differs the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4? Is it just the length of the iPhone? Or are there some technical changes as well? I feel that most people buy the iPhone 5 because it’s the newest apple product and they want to be the first among their friends to buy it. This gives apple a reason to design more iPhones that please the customer. “Apple is testing iPhone display screens as large as 6 inches, according to a new report.” Apple actually makes use of the customer’s feedback. “Opinions are split on whether Apple will also introduce other products, like a new iPad or a much-anticipated smartwatch, next week.” People like to “one-up” each other, meaning that they want to show off and pretend like they’re better than each other. For me, personally, I love my iPhone 4. It’s small, it’s nice, and I’m just used to having it around. My parents offered me an iPhone 4s and an iPhone 5 but I gladly declined, so they just gave it to my sister. The reason I declined it was because I kept asking myself, “what’s the point?” Will having an iPhone 4s or 5 change your life? The iPhone is a phone, and the point of a phone is to be able to contact people wherever you are. The qualities of the calls and or texts are the same for all of the iPhone versions. Unlike other people, I don’t use my iPhone for games; I use it for texting and keeping track of things. I don’t have a lot of applications for my phone, so there is no need for me to expand the length of my iPhone so that I can fit in more apps. I play games on my computer, not on a little tiny screen that requires squinting whenever focusing. I personally like the iPhone 4 but not the iPhone 5; I feel that it’s too overrated right now. I kind of have respect for apple for being so smart about the situation; I bet that they are making tons of money because of this. 

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/06/tech/mobile/apple-bigger-iphone-screens/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews