Story last updated at 4/2/2014 - 5:52 pm
Duck feathers, human hair, pink slime and more: these are all things the Food and Drug Administration allows in our food. Over the last 10 years, there have been many illnesses and even deaths caused by food in the U.S. A change needs to happen. The FDA needs to institute rules to make our food system safer.
The U.S. food system used to be one of the safest in the world, but nowadays more and more people have been getting sick. Over the past year, over 70 million Americans got sick, 300,000 were hospitalized, and 5,000 died from foodborne illnesses.
Not only have people been getting sick, but it seems like the outbreaks have been most commonly caused by imported food. In 2003, Rich Miller ate some salsa at a Mexican restaurant in Pittsburgh. In the salsa were some green onions that were from Mexico. The green onions carried deadly Hepatitis A, which almost killed Rich.
In all, over 600 people in the Pittsburgh area were sickened. It was considered one of the largest outbreaks in the United States. Since 13 percent of our diet is made up of imported food, it is really important that the FDA takes the necessary precautions to protect us from foreign illnesses in our food. China currently produces about of the world's vegetables, and China and Costa Rica are some of the main sources of the outbreaks.
Hungry driving home from work or school? Chances are that you pull into a fast food restaurant for a cheap, yummy snack. But what people do not know is what is in the foods they are consuming. But it's not only imported foods that are sketchy; some of the additives in fast food are shocking.
It's common knowledge that fast food is not exactly healthy and nutritional, but what people do not know about are the disgusting ingredients are used in their food. Some of the sketchy additives in one of the most common restaurants (McDonald's) are the following: Duck feathers, human hair, sand, wood, silly putty plastic, soil fertilizer, beetle juices, meat paste goop and even more.
Weird additives are not only in fast food, they are in foods we consume without even knowing it. For example, white cane sugar has animal bone char. I personally feel that these additives are not fit for human consumption.
Admittedly, many people see this issue from a different perspective. Certainly fixing this issue would definitely be a hassle. If people are already happily consuming this food, then why change it? Getting the government involved would take years and most likely cost billions.
But I ask you, where is your humanity? Is there not some part of you that screams, this is wrong! Is there absolutely none of you who does not want to consume these things? You have no problem being treated like an animal? I say that we take a stand and put a stop to unhealthy consumption. The FDA needs to make a change, and you could be the one to help make that change.
Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of 10 essays that will be running weekly in the Capital City Weekly. Each year for the past 10, students at Floyd Dryden Middle School compose, edit and pick editorial essays for publication in the CCW. Essays are picked by a student editorial board, and the Capital City Weekly is pleased to donate space for these young writers. The students who served on the editorial board are Andyn Mulgrew-Truitt (Editorial Board Leader), Gabrielle Scales (Editorial Board Leader), Cassie Dzinich, Matthew Edwards, Mason Fowler, Janessa Goodman, Taia Hadfield, Dang Xue Loseby, Luis Medrano, Cierra McCain, Emily Mossberg, Gray Price, Maxie Saceda-Hurt, Abby Schmidt, Anthony Simpson, Colton Tersteeg, Jillian Tracy and Kasey Watts. The Capital City Weekly does not advocate or oppose the opinions expressed here.