British Journalist Jane Moore’s documentary “Supermarket Secrets” made me see that contrary to the old saying, what we don’t know can actually hurt us. This documentary, which is based on Moore’s investigation of how supermarkets can afford to sell food products at dirt-cheap prices, reveals much information that both surprised and scandalized me. While I have known for a long time that animals were “farmed” in factories, I used to think that these practices of inhumane treatment of animals were confined to the fast food industry.
This documentary certainly changed how I viewed supermarkets and their benefits to society. 1) What happens between photosynthesis in plants and cell respiration in your body? Moore’s documentary made me examine the changes in how and what we eat and how these affect our health and the environment. During cell respiration in the human body, the human body uses the energy trapped by plants in the process of photosynthesis. Hence, I think that cell respiration is the process by which we humans consume the stored energy from plants in order to live.
When we eat meat, we consume less energy because the animals have already used up some of them for their own energy. 2)Where does your food come from that you eat? It is clear that our eating patterns have greatly changed. I observed that most of us now prefer meat from animals instead of plant products such as food and vegetables. This is evident in how some mothers even prefer milk substitutes, which is necessarily cow milk, for their babies. We also get most of our food from supermarkets instead of from the farm or raising and farming these ourselves.
Most of us, however, are clueless that the food we eat now come from factories and we are even more clueless about how this affects us. The presence of many supermarkets and their promise of convenience certainly have its appeal because it saves us precious time and energy by putting most of our basic needs under one roof. Most supermarkets also save us money by selling food at cheaper prices. However, as Jane Moore points out, we should also ask how supermarkets are able to charge lower prices for food and examine if lower-priced food makes us pay for the higher price of our health or from other people’s livelihood.
3) Can nutritional quality of food be affected by how your food is raised? I certainly believe that the nutritional quality of food is affected by how food is raised. Afterall, if we believe that we are what we eat, then we are also affected by what the chickens or the plants eat. Moore’s documentary, for instance, shows that the chicken we buy are of the fast-growing variety, are fed on chemical feeds, and are restrained from movement in order to produce softer meat.
This results to a reduction in protein content, which means that what we eat may be delicious for the taste buds but offer less for our health. 4) Do you think food products are contaminated by chemicals that are not listed on the nutrient label? An appalling issue that the movie showed me was that supermarkets and other food retailers may not be getting the truth of the nutrient labels of the packaged and processed food we buy from them. This really concerned me a lot, given the widespread practice of using chemicals in raising both plant and animal products for food.
It made me realize that when it comes to reading the package for nutritional content, we might be better off asking what the package does not say or what it keeps hidden from us that could be harmful to humans, such as pesticide residue and fertilizers ingested by the plant or the synthetic growth hormones on animals. 5) The setting is in Europe – can you draw parallels here? I believe that the point raised in “Supermarket Secrets” is the way that the consumer mentality has changed the way people eat not only in Europe but all over the world.
I think that the issues raised in “Supermarket Secrets” are as applicable in the United States and in other cultures. The same issues can be seen in our reliance on supermarkets for food. Thus, the documentary’s expose on how the supermarket affects the quality of our food certainly affects us. I was quite outraged by the fact that we have all been led into thinking that the food we buy from the supermarket is much better in quality and nutrition content than say, the products sold from the flea market.
I was certainly horrified to find out how most of supermarket food come from animal factories with dismal conditions, and how the process of raising these animals are far from our traditional thinking. In the end, we should be concerned by these issues not only because we are the consumers but because these issues have a direct impact on our lives as citizens. We should try to make supermarkets more transparent and more accountable with the risks they pose to our health and to the environment because of their lies.