In his essay, “The Pleasure of Eating” by Wendell Berry questions about society’s view on food and where it comes from. He pushes the reader to believe about how people just pretend that their vegetables come from farms and their meats come from quaint green pastures. He forces people to become in touch with how their food is grown and treated, stating that passive consumers need to become aware of their food to be free to completely appreciate it and enjoy it. He also talks about the importance and responsibility of eating. Producing our own food would benefit us because we know what we are eating and acknowledge what goes into the life cycle of food. Berry explains that the food productions blind us to what we are consuming and the effect it has on the people. A lot of urban shoppers are telling us that the food comes from farms, but they don’t know which kind of farms they’re talking about. Berry said, “Most urban shoppers would tell you that food is produced on farms. But most of them do not know what farms, or what kinds of farms, or where the farms are, or what knowledge of skills are involved in farming. They apparently have little doubt that farms will continue to produce, but they do not know how or over what obstacles. For them, then, food is pretty much an abstract idea — something they do not know or imagine — until it appears on the grocery shelf or on the table” (65). After reading this, I have come to understand that I’m a part of this group of people that Berry is talking about. I’m a very passive consumer, and I don’t put much attention into where my food comes from. When I was like nine years old in the Philippines, we have a farm there and I think that I’m very lucky to have healthy foods back then because I know where it comes from. Although I don’t think about it much because I am not fully aware of all of the effects that processed into my body. I agree that if I pay attention to what I put into my body then I would touch a deeper relationship with my food. After that Berry talks about politics and how they control the food that we’re eating. He states, “There is, then, a politics of food that, like any politics, involves our freedom. We still (sometimes) remember that we cannot be free if our minds and voices are controlled by someone else. But we have neglected to understand that we cannot be free if our food and its sources are controlled by someone else” (66). He talks about how the food industry has convinced us that we desire quick, pre-prepared food, which is financially helpful to them. Then he talks about how the system of advertising and brainwashing is similar to all kinds of politics. Food politics is particularly dangerous because it manipulates our health in the hands of big food companies. The way he says that eating responsibly sets us free is an intriguing aspect that really makes me think about how I see food on a daily basis. To me, there are times where my parents sit down to a nice homemade meal, and that food is different than the food that I grab on busy days and eat between classes. For me, it doesn’t affect me because I been eating a different kind of foods like different restaurants and it didn’t poison me. I believe that most of the food we eat is fresh and sometimes they put some chemicals on it because to help us to be healthy, I guess. Wendell Berry appears to be very into the aspects of farming and how our meals are prepared, but as someone who has been given a very comfortable lifestyle, it is difficult for me to relate. When I read I find myself to be having several thoughts as this whole time I have disagreed with most things, he said. It’s just horrible because I was poor in like a lot of years and we can’t afford fresh food all the time. For me it’s like this is new to me when I read his essay. The main purpose of this essay is that people take for granted their meals and have no idea the process farmers go through to make our lives cheerful again. Berry is right in telling people which I’m one of them should know more about the process and food we consume each and every day. He does an excellent job of bringing in his arguments with the tone of his essay and repetition of ideas. When Berry makes a point, he wants to “hammer it home.” Therefore, I have to admire him for his writing as he is a persuasive writer with a strong understanding. His position on the food production and the performances that consumers need to play in order to eat pleasurably is good, but some of his views were too far to persuade me. This essay realized me how I can be more protected by eating fresh foods than different food companies. The author uses a lot of positive things about getting a fresh food, but for me it’s not that important because I’m still alive this day. I know that Berry wants to help us and make the world be healthy again. He just wanted to say to the people who wanted to hear and make them be like him. I got to say that he is a fantastic author and I don’t hate him.
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