Hamburger, soda, and french-fries: This fast food combo is the most powerful trinity in everyday American food. People are attracted to its reasonable price, taste, and convenience. Although most people are still not aware of the issues caused by the production and distribution process of this new age food, the problems are increasingly debated because of the severe repercussions that need to be acknowledged. For instance, the over used containers abuse natural resources, the production of burger meat is known as animal cruelty, and greasy ingredients are accused of a cause of obesity and many illnesses.
More importantly, one of the most popular but simple part of fast food, French-Fries, has many harmful effects on the environment, animals, and humans. First of all, French-Fries production has harmful effects on the environment. For example, irrigation of potatoes and other crops from the Snake River causes a drought directly below Milner Dam, located west of Pocatello. The use of fertilizers and pesticides, which gives potatoes their equal shape, contaminates tributaries.
When potatoes are harvested and shipped with other ingredients, a great deal of fuel is exhausted, creating smog or air pollution. In addition, freezing the potato slices uses ten times more electrical energy than fresh food. This process worsens the greenhouse effect because hydro fluorocarbon coolant, which is used for freezing potato, rises up into the stratosphere and traps heat. Processing potatoes is another factor in pollution of natural water. Because two thirds of a gallon of wastewater is lost during the process, the contaminated liquid pollutes ground water.
Furthermore, ketchup, the French-Fry’s condiment, is packed inside of aluminum and plastic which are non-biodegradable and pollute the land and ocean, adding more negative effects to french-fries. In addition to the cause of unbalanced nature by French-Fries, a second impact appears in animal habitation. Water is an indispensable resource for all creatures, but cultivation of crops dominates the Snake River by construction of reservoirs and irrigation canals. Therefore, eighty percent of indigenous habitat disappeared from its streamside.
Simultaneously, the installation of dams impedes migration of sturgeon and reproduction of salmon because dams block their traffic between the ocean and river. Eventually, sturgeons disappeared from all but three sections, and salmon will follow similar path. Also, the chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, such as TeloneII and nitrogen, result in hazardous effects on mammals and aquatic life. French-Fries production harms environment and animals; however, there is another negative effect to humans.
First, the producer’s profit shrinks because the cost of fertilizers, electricity for freezers, fuel for harvest, and shipping are high. Moreover, farmers will struggle to find water for potato cultivation because the use of fertilizers and pesticides contaminate all the tributaries, including Snake River. The Process of potatoes also creates wastewater, which contains dissolved organic matter and nitrogen, and it sinks underground by rain. Therefore, when it enters in drinking water, some babies develop a fatal illness, “Blue Baby Syndrome, especially in the Tri-Cities area of southeastern Washington.
Spending a few dollars for French-Fries has added a greater cost that damages the earth’s environment, animals, and our future. The production of French-Fries is harmful due to the abuse of water, electricity, fertilizers, pesticides, hydro fluorocarbon coolant, fuel, and other factors. Humans are involved in this vicious spiral because our world is connected, and need to make the effort to correct it. In my opinion, we should continue to produce potato products, but create alternative methods, such as individual agriculture, that can stop abusing our natural resources.
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