Comparative analysis: Don’t Blame the Eaters (David Zinczenko) Vs. Freedom from Fries (Michael Specter)

Introduction

There is an elevation of the global intake of fast food. With the change in economic times, the only viable business undertaking is the fast food industry. There is, however, a negative effect of the intake of fast food as claims have percolated tom it causing diabetes, overweight and cancerous diseases. With this trend there has been an increased concern on the intake of fast foods, especially, but not limited to U.K. The articles by David, on Don’t Blame the Eaters and Specter’s article on Freedom from Fast Foods, tend to analyze and argue as to the viability of the subject matter on fast foods.

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Arguments

David Zinczenko in his article, Don’t Blame the Eater, argues that, much as the freedom to eat whatever one chooses to eat exists, there are not many choices to choose from (“Don’t Blame the Eater - The New York Times”). Also, for him, the producing companies are to be blamed for not providing adequate information about their product compositions. In short, David argues that there is no freedom when there is a lack of information and a pool of choices to choose from and that people what they eat because there are no other options, regardless of quality. He also poises to a lack of competition in the food delivery market

Michael Specter, in his article, Freedom from Fries, argues that people have taken control of what they want to eat (“Can Fast Food Get Healthy? - The New Yorker”). He says there is a global trend with people moving from the once known producers of fast foods to the newly developing delivery restaurants as a show of resistance to the services of the giants, like McDonald (Hollander). His argument seems inclined towards quality control by consumers and global institutions involved. Simply put, Specter’s claim is that the responsibility of providing quality fast food lies with the producers, who cannot be trusted to do so without control from the consumers.

Appeals to Logos

David uses few empirical data and statistics to derive and back up the thoughts of his articles. He sites from a few statistical data that he has interpreted on his own. He does not give the sources of his references. He merely quotes his data, and this makes his work seem like an opinion. He deals on a single problem statement of justifying suing of the McDonalds by the consumers. He also uses his personal experience as a victim of fast food consumption, and therefore give speculative opinions about the whole issue. He does not seek to give an extensive view of other concerned parties, therefore, narrowing his work to a monolog.

Specter used a wide range of books and articles as the reference to his claims. Because he deals with a wide variety of issues surrounding the fast food industry, he goes as far as collecting first-hand data from the consumers of the products and the manufacturers themselves to give an accurate report on the subject at hand. He also draws his statistics from organizations that are much concerned with the global effects of the food industry. He doesn’t fall short of sources as he date backs his research to historical documents, gives the ancient view and the origin of the whole idea of fast foods.

Appeals to Pathos

David talks about the problem of fast-food intake from his personal perspective when he was young. He talks about the factors that lead to the high intake of fast-foods, siting lack of alternatives to choose from and the social dynamics – like for him the family breakdown contributed to his health issues (Schlosser). By seeking to question the obligations of the entire social fabric to the issue of healthy products, he challenges the imaginations of the folks who think that the problem of health that bedevils those he call, “fast-food patrons” is entirely a matter of choice. In this light, his appeal to pathos seems to work for people who already are inclined to his views on the subject matter.

Specter is a researcher who is inclined in getting views of numerous people without actually having to take a stand (“Can Fast Food Get Healthy? - The New Yorker”). His article bears no definite stand point. In his article, the only thing being pursued is the trend the consumers are taking to ensure that they are served what will guarantee their health. His article pits consumers against the producers and seeks to find what the producers are doing about the concerns of the consumer. He also gives the responses of the consumers to the actions taken to guarantee the quality of the products they consume.

Appeals to Ethos

Apart from having a first-hand experience with the problems related to the intake of foods with a lot of calories as a child, David runs, as president, Galvanized Brands - a global health and wellness media company. He is the chief editor of Men’s Health, the world largest men magazine brand. His extensive experience in matters of health and fitness has seen him author many books on fitness and health, most of which have featured as bestsellers. He has appeared on health and fitness talk shows on Dr. Oz, Oprah, Ellen, and Good Morning America.  It, therefore, suffices to say that his view on the intake of fast foods and the resentment of the producing companies’ ability to produce honest and reliable information on product quality are logically thought and deductively reasoned, with similarities of an expert opinion.

Specter has no firsthand experience in matters of health. He has a wide experience as a freelance writer and a reporter, frequently reporting about diseases prominent in developing countries like AIDS, TB and Malaria. He has also been involved with issues of agriculture and other epidemics in the developing countries. He has appeared, not once, in shows of Dr. OZ, Peter Singer, Larry Kramer, among other shows to correspond on the issues of health and development in developing countries. He has also worked as a reporter in many print companies in the western regions like Washington post, New York Times and won many awards as a reporter. He has no experience of health issues with regards to first food, and perhaps this was his first article on the matter. Specter only gives his experiences of interacting with the problem at hand.

Organization

David’s article is part of his work in health. The article is organized as a simple article, with no academic complexities of a research paper. He uses simple English and simplified data to articulate his claims. It is fairly precise and bares no complex terminologies of a research analyst. He goes straight to tackle his argument and does not give the chronology of the problem statement, or even the surrounding factors.

Specter’s work is quite elaborate for an article piece. While the article is written in the simple, understandable language, he uses the format of a research data collection. His article has very many discourses, and at some point, the meaning of fast food gets lost or mixed up with the contemporary views. Because of the many sources, he derives his article from, there are terminologies that can pass the laypersons understanding, like “globesity.” He seeks his claims from primary and secondary data sources and presents them as a report, only explaining the thoughts of the data sources. He gives a direct quotation from the sources, and this ensures that information is understood firsthand and distortion is minimized. His articles come in as a questionnaire to rather than a whole research work. .

Acknowledgment of Other Views

David, at the onset of his article, seeks to tackle a question he only seeks and answer to. While he acknowledges and engages booth views on who is to blame for the plight of health issues, his conclusion is drawn to the question of who should take responsibility for fast food health issues.  While he does great to accept the argument that the shortcomings of the healthy issues surrounding fast foods lie in the hands of the eaters, he also supports the claim of the kids to sue the producing companies for, what appears, in the article, to be deception and inadequate communication. He doesn’t stop there because he acknowledges that the society has a hand in all that and therefore his initial view of not blaming the eaters take center stage.

Specter, by the nature of his article, takes up all the views of those who have something to say about the fast food industry. He seeks not to dismiss any views but reports each claim from the many sources he draws his article from. From his article, he tackles many issues like the global trends occurring in the fast food industry, competition and paradigm shift on the definition of fast food. It suffices to say that, Specter does not whatsoever give his claim in this writing, rather he gives other people claims, only questioning their view within the article but searching for the answers among the fast food stakeholders.

Conclusion

When comparing the sources of David and Michael, Michael’s article is more authentic as it gives a wide view of the problem at hand giving the consumers of information a wide range of freedom to choose from. David only gives opinion articles. Specter’s article gives a broader view on the issues surrounding fast foods and remedies that can best be taken to reduce the adverse effects on consumers.

Works Cited

“Can Fast Food Get Healthy? - The New Yorker.” N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

“Don’t Blame the Eater - The New York Times.” Accessed March 8, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/23/opinion/don-t-blame-the-eater.html.

Hollander, Todd. We’re Killing Our Kids: How to End the Epidemic of Overweight & Sedentary Children. Worthy Press, LLC, 2004. Print.

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. Print.