It is with alarm that some perceive a small number of giant corporations increasingly growing nearly all of the food consumed by U.S. citizens. This collection of giant food processing institutions - such as General Mills, Kellogg, Kraft Foods, Pepsico, Coca-Cola, Tyson Foods, Nestle - collectively generate tremendous revenue and exert considerable influence via advertising and marketing.
For others, it is only paranoia and conspiracy-theorists who generate such alarm - seeing these free-market institutions as trustworthy and valuable partners in the daunting task of feeding a growing world population. To these, the suspicions and critiques of the food processing industry are hyped-up and exaggerated worries promulgated by liberal activists bent on agitating and complaining.
Growing research on the impact of the processed food coming out of these industries is also highly contested and charged - given its potential influence over the public conversation about food. Some would contend that the only evidence notraising concern about health effects of processed food is that sponsored or conducted by the industries.
QUESTIONS TO PLAY WITH:
-Is the food industry something that worries you? If so, why? If not, why?
-Do you see Big Food as crucial to feeding America – or getting in the way of feeding America?
-Starting tomorrow, imagine you became CEO of every major company in the Big Food constellation. With all power at your fingertips, what would YOU do differently (or similarly) moving forward?
Living Room Conversation Guide:Food
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