The Rhetorical Analysis of the Seriousness of Food Thinking about the importance and significance of food respective to our health, ethnic culture and society can cause cavernous, profound, and even questionable thoughts such as: “Is food taken for granted? ”, “Is specialty foods just a fad or a change in lifestyle? ”, and even “Is food becoming the enemy. ” Mark Bittman, an established food journalist, wrote an article called “Why take food seriously? ” In this article, Bittman enlightens the reader with a brief history lesson of America’s appreciation of food over the past decades.
This history lesson leads to where the social standing of food is today and how it is affecting not only the people of America, but also the rest of the world. Bittman attempts to display awareness in his audience by supporting his argument and encouraging his readers to see his perspective through three proofs of persuasion: ethos, logos, and pathos. Bittman’s ethos is immediately realized simply through who his stature. Bittman has been a food journalist for the past thirty two years. Within that time, he has managed to write bestselling books including: “How to Cook Everything”, “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”, and “Food Matters. He also writes for the New York Times in his own weekly column called “The Minimalist. ” Along with professional experience, there is personal experience. The article opens with Bittman stating, “Our relationship with food is changing more rapidly than ever, and like many others, I’ve watched in awe. ” Bittman has been a food journalist since 1980. Therefore, he has witnessed the ever changing perspective of food in society with an “unusual” perspective. He has observed and followed the effects of which foods has brought forth to health, media, and the rest of the world.
This gives the reader a sense of trust because he has experienced it first hand. Even with his palpable experience and expertise with food, his ethos is continued throughout the article. Bittman exemplifies his ethos through his use of sarcasm. He says, “Each year, each month it sometimes seems, there are more signs that convenience, that mid-20th-century curse word, may give way to quality — even what you might call wholesomeness — just before we all turn into the shake-sucking fatties of “Wall-E. ” The movie “Wall-E” is an extremely recent and popular Pixar film.
It is about Earth no longer providing living conditions for life. This causes humans to live in a space craft where robots did essentially everything for them; the result, “shake-sucking fatties. ” Bittman’s use of sarcasm throughout the entire article adds a comic relief giving the reader a sense that Bittman is just a normal funny guy. Along with using his humor, Bittman makes references to well known figures in today’s society, like “Wall-E. ” By doing this, Bittman shows that he is current and up to date with media and society.
He references, “We were ripe for the Food Network’s Emeril, Rachael, Mario and Bobby, who created a buzz based on celebrity that grabbed not only the middle-aged and the young but also the very young. ” Food network is incredibly popular along with the network’s stars that Bittman referenced. Bittman displays that he is well knowledgeable of who is who and what is what in today’s society. Bittman’s ethos is exemplified through his professional and personal experiences, along with his humor and up to date knowledge of media. Bittman goes on to establish logos through structure.
He begins with a quick introduction of who he is and discloses the problem of society’s relationship with food and it “changing rapidly. ” Bittman then presents a brief history lesson starting with before the 1950’s leading to today. He says, “Until 50 years ago, of course, every household had at least one person who took food seriously every day. But from the 1950s on, the majority of the population began contentedly cooking less and less, eating out more and more and devouring food that was worse and worse, until the horrible global slop served by fast-food and “casual dining” chains came to dominate the scene.
One result: an unprecedented rise in obesity levels and a not-unrelated climb in health-care costs. ” Bittman continues to go through each decade presenting new facts about what was the “thing” or “latest fad” at that time. For example he says, “Of course, food continues to be fetishized; organic food has been commodified; the federal government subsidizes almost all of the wrong kinds of food production; supermarkets peddle way too much nonreal food (“junk food” or, to use my mother’s word, “dreck”); and weight-loss diets still discourage common-sense eating. By individually going through each decade, it helps the reader see the evidence Bittman presents. It then furthers what society’s relationship towards food has evolved into. Also, it allows the reader to understand and relate. The reader, depending on their age, can mentally travel back to previous decades and think back to instances they remember experiencing themselves. Bittman establishes logos through structuring a time line for the reader to understand and relate to. Lastly Bittman exerts pathos through his mood and tone. The mood of the article transfers into awareness and humorous but possibly the actual reality.
The reader can distinguish Bittman’s attempt to raise awareness for the topic from his presentation of what he believes to be the real issues, “The real issues — how do we grow and raise, distribute and sell, prepare and eat food? And how do our patterns of doing these things affect the rest of the world (and vice versa)? — are simply too big to ignore. ” By Bittman directly pointing out what the “real issues” are, the reader is automatically more aware of the problems with food. The reader now ponders what they can change and do or learn to help relinquish the issues at hand.
Bittman continues to raise awareness, more so in a comical way, when he states: “This has led many Americans to think as much about food as they do about “Survivor” or the N. F. L — which is to say a lot — and its preparation is no longer limited to what was once called a housewife. ” Bittman’s is saying this too purposely so the reader has an eye opener moment, while others may get a chuckle out of it. Either way, Bittman is trying to compel the reader to be conscious of what the importance and significance of food has become. Bittman uses his sarcasm to enforce awareness upon the reader.
Bittman’s tone throughout the article ranges from sarcastic to passionate to a want for change. He says, “I’ve never been more hopeful. (In fact, I was never hopeful at all until recently. )” Bittman is stating that he believes there is potential for change and people are realizing that food needs to be taken seriously. He continues to express his sense of humor intermixed with his passion and hope for change when he concludes the article with, “Perhaps just in time, we’re saying, “Hold the shake,” and looking for something more wholesome. ” Bittman is ending the scene and leaving the reader with something to ponder.
Bittman sets his tone and the mood of the article to leave a lasting impression on the reader. Mark Bittman used the three proofs of persuasion to better appeal to his audience. He exemplifies ethos by using his professional and personal experiences. Bittman then moves on to establish logos through the structure of a time line of facts for the reader to understand and relate to. Lastly, Bittman creates pathos with his spewing emotion of passion, awareness, and sarcasm. He portrays these emotions through his tone and mood. Bittman uses the three proofs of persuasion to open the readers eyes to the seriousness of food.