Essay about Effects of Processsed Foods

1928 Words 8 Pages
Faster. Easier. Cheaper. Today’s American culture demands food that satisfies and provides convenience for a fast-paced lifestyle, but at what cost? Processed foods are a staple for most of society, but these seemingly innocent foods can come with heavy consequences. The use of genetically modified (GM) ingredients, the overuse of corn and soybean products, and the excess of salt in processed foods have considerable effects on the environment, society, and human health.
Processed foods have taken over the American diet (Moss, 2013, xi). These foods are marketed to be delicious, easy, and affordable, often using colorful cartoon characters or eye-catching advertising to pull the consumer in (Moss, 2013, xi). This is especially effective for
…show more content…
Higher “energy dense” foods tend to “contain less water and fiber but more added fat and sugar, which makes them both less filling and more fattening”; this allows individuals to afford more calories per dollar of junk food compared to more wholesome foods (Pollan, 2013).
Areas that lack stores that sell fresh or healthy foods are often referred to as food deserts (“Freshmobile”, 2013). Food deserts occur in rural communities and inner cities with “low socioeconomic status” where residents are not in walking distance of a supermarket; this adds to the obesity epidemic in these areas (Pollan, 2013). Additional health problems such as dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased cancer risks can all be attributed to the “expanded sales of highly processed foods” (Neal et al., 2013, p. 49).
Food companies do recognize these problems; in 1999, 11 food industry leaders met in Minneapolis to discuss their roles in feeding America (Moss, 2013, xi). They agreed “it was society that had changed, changed so dramatically that these snacks and convenience foods had become a daily—even hourly—habit, a staple of the American diet”, and this is what was causing processed foods to be a problem (Moss, 2013, xiv). Although immoderate consumption is a major factor, it is not the only problem linked to processed foods.
Most Americans are unaware that they consume GM foods on a regular basis; 60 to 70 percent of processed foods

Related Documents