In Wendell Berry’s “The Pleasures of Eating,” this farmer tells eaters how their separation from food production has turned them into “passive consumers” who know nothing about the food they eat, or their part in the agricultural process (3). They are blindsided by a food industry that does not help them understand. Berry argues that the average consumer buys available food without any questions. He states consumers that think they are distanced from agriculture because they can easily buy food, making them ignorant of cruel conditions it went through to get on the shelf. Humans have become controlled by the food industry, and regard eating as just something required for their survival. Berry wants this to change as people realize they
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He uses this value of a “dream home” to show consumers how they do not see the process food goes through, and do not even want to put in the work to go buy it, but would enjoy “shopping from a list of available goods on a television monitor” (6). This also supports his argument by appealing to the emotion of denial because the reader will not want to be called lazy. In response, the audience will be more responsible within the food process in order to prove that they value hard work.
Berry continues to stress people’s ignorance as he reaches consumers’ common sense by listing significant questions they tend to ignore about their food, like “how fresh is it” and is it “free of dangerous chemicals” (3). These questions effectively strengthen his argument that people are unaware of food production because they also plead to the reader’s value of knowledge. People think education is important, and when he shows them how little they know about food he wants them to want to learn more about its history. Berry’s claim that consumers “buy what they want – or what they have been persuaded to want” appeals to the reader’s value of choice and independence (3). He knows people like to think that they decide what to eat, not that they just buy whatever is available, and wants them to see they are actually dependent on the food industry because it determines the price and availability of products. Moreover,