Below are three of my favorite pieces that I wrote in my Honors CAS 137/138 class. Enjoy!
1) Consumer Views and Consequential Effects On the Food Industry
2) Embrace Life: Embrace Rhetoric
3)Deliberating Sustainability, A Sustainable Practice in Itself
1) Consumer Views and Consequential Effects On the Food Industry:
Fact: 72% of consumers admit to knowing nothing or very little about farming or ranching, yet 70% say they absolutely make purchasing decisions based on how food is grown and raised. (USFRA)
When I read this statistic, I started to wonder what other misconceptions consumers have when walking down the isles of the local supermarket or grocery store. As an agriculture enthusiast, I am very aware of the fact that many people have never had the fortune of learning more about where all of our food comes from. I have answered countless questions about animal and production agriculture, and am very happy to talk about "my roots in agriculture." However, the truth is that many consumers are making purchasing decisions not based on how food is produced or processed, or even the nutritional value, but rather on labeling and tradition. In this paper, I discuss some of the food fads that are common in 21st century America, as well as misconceptions that consumers have about the food industry in general. I hope you enjoy the paper, and maybe you will discover some questions you yourself have about food production and processing.
Source: "Nationwide Surveys Reveal Disconnect Between Americans and Their Food." The Food Dialogues: US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Survey Findings Released During “The Food Dialogues” Indicate Americans Constantly Think About Food Production Yet Have Little Connection to Farming or Ranching; Respondents Split on Whether Agriculture Is Improving or Heading in Wrong Direction, 22 Sept. 2011. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. http://www.fooddialogues.com/news/2011/09/22/nationwide-surveys-reveal-disconnect-between-Americans-and-their-food.
2) Embrace Life:
This paper is an analysis of the rhetorical devices used in an informational commercial. This powerful public service announcement is a minute and 29 seconds of intense emotion, that leaves the viewer with not only a powerful message inscribed in their hearts, but a practical solution in their minds. The PSA advocates drivers to put on their seat-belts, with the phrase "Embrace Life" as a motto. In the paper, I describe how the characters portrayed in the commercial, along with the lighting, music, photography, and symbolism make this an extremely effective commercial. Please feel free to watch the PSA before reading the analysis.
3) Deliberating Sustainability, A Sustainable Practice in Itself
In my CAS 137/138 class, we discussed the merits of deliberating and deliberations extensively. In a debate there is often a winner, and a lot of yelling. A nicer and more democratic alternative is a deliberation, where the main goal is having different voices and opinions heard. My class had the fantastic opportunity to dedicate several class periods to conducting a deliberation on sustainability, which was fascinating, educational, fun, and frustrating all at once. I was very interested in hearing the different views of my classmates, as well as finding commonalities among us. This paper advocates what a deliberation truly is, as well as serves as a reflection on the deliberation process itself. I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as we all enjoyed deliberating the future of sustainability and its environmental impacts.