Preparación exámenes B2/C1 Lección 7: The Food Industry

B2 C1 Exam Preparation Lesson 7 – WHAT IS DRIVING THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC?

Thom: In ”the Best of the rest of the news” today, the number of Americans who are obese has tripled since 1960. And a new study that warns that by 2040, 42% of all Americans, nearly half the country, will be obese. Also, by then, one in ten Americans will be severely obese, meaning they’re more than 100 pounds above a healthy weight.
A recent report by “the campaign to end obesity” shows the staggering economic cost of dealing with an increasingly more obese American population. For example, obesity and the health risks associated with it add over $190 billion dollars a year to the nation’s medical tab. It also drives down worker productivity as the very obese tend to miss work more often, and are costing employers, on average $30 billion dollars a year. Not only that, as a result of having to transport more weight, cars in America are burning an extra billion gallons of gasoline every single year, over what it would have been in 1960.
So, clearly, this is a serious problem affecting all sectors of our economy. But, if only our nation can get a hold of this problem now, we can save an enormous amount of money in the future, and lives. According to “The Centre for Disease Control”, if obesity rates stay flat at 2010 levels, then our nation can save more than a half trillion dollars in medical costs from now until 2030. But to do that we’re going to have to understand exactly what it is that’s driving this obesity epidemic in the United States.
Here to help us do that is Frank Melli, producer of the weekly Free Speech TV program “Meet the Farmer”.
Thom: Frank, Welcome.
Frank: Thank you Thom.
Thom: You know, a lot of reasons for the surge in obesity rate are being kicked around, from wealth inequality to farm subsidies, the proliferation of fast food restaurants, high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified foods. What do you think is causing this?
Frank: I think the biggest cause is the disconnect, eh.. and we need to reconnect that disconnect, and i’m talking about how children, you know, don’t know that string beans don’t grow in cans, you know what I mean? They don’t have a, right, they don’t have a clue. After 87 episodes of “meet the farmer” TV, let me tell you, I learned a lot and its been such a blast, a wonderful thing. If we could just get kids growing a tomato, a little plant in their home. A lot of school teachers are hip and they’re doing some good stuff.  There’s a lot of school to farm – farm to school programs. But the real way to reconnect our kids, if you get kids helping to grow, I don’t care what it is, anything, a vegetable, lettuce, tomato, something. And you get them helping to cook it, you reconnect where there is such a big disconnect. That’s what I’m talking about. They’ll eat anything, it’s amazing. They’ll eat Kale. They’ll eat the things (THOM: Brussel Sprouts) you would think they would never eat. Only because you’ve reconnected them and that is a huge, huge, you know, we’d really need some radical education and I see it here and there and it’s going to take time, but we could do a lot more and I think that’s one of the biggest reasons right there. Just helping to reconnect through education, through, you know, hands on community gardens. If you can get children in your community to get involved in a community garden and help grow something. Help bring it home. Teach them to how to cook something. I mean, that’s a good place to…
Thom: But Frank, you’ve an entire and massive industry that is hugely investing in keeping that separation there, in causing kids to think that string beans come from del monte cans rather than from the ground. I mean, in causing them to think that hamburgers come from Macdonalds, not from a cow. You know, you can carry the metaphor as far as you want. How do we push back against this commodification of our food supply that has turned food from an essential that we use to fuel our bodies and keep alive, into a branded, logo-ised product that is sold, particularly to our children, and particularly, you know, product that is packaged and processed in ways that are not even good for the kids?
Frank: That’s a great question, Thom. And I hope I have as great an answer for you. But what would we need? A mass media…erm…we would need a main street marketing system that does not exist as opposed to madison avenue marketing, which is a part of what you were talking about, you know, with the branding and whatnot. And I so appreciate that very much. I’ve had the opportunity to work with children and teach them what that really means. Teach them media literacy….(almost inaudible: You know, when you were growing up you got wacky packages)
Thom: It’s more like you’re unteaching them…. I’m sorry.
Frank: Yeah, yeah, good point. So, if we can teach kids that there is so much subversion in advertising. You know, like the wacky packages when we were growing up, remember those stickers.
Thom: Oh yeah
Frank: They got rid of those. But now you have adbusters with the spoof ads, that they do. That’s what I’m talking about, the madison avenue marketing. We need to see more Joe Chemo, remember Joe Camel, which was targeting the children. They did a spoof ad, they showed Joe Camel as Joe Chemo because he got cancer.
Thom: Yeah, with the Joe with the drip on him.
Frank: Yeah, exactly
Thom: Frank, Frank, we just have a minute left here. You’ve worked with the first lady, Michelle Obama, on this issue. What solutions are you working on, is she working on? What do you see on the horizon, in this minute that we have left?
Frank: Oh sure..erm… the connection that she’s doing with education is huge. I mentioned it earlier but I’m going to repeat it. The farm to school and school to farm will actually bring in some kids to the farm. Will bring in farmers to the school. That education, it has to start, you know, we’ve got to let this old generation die off, and let the new kids come up. I’m going to be at the Rio earth summit, you know. We’re all going to be working together, you and I. I don’t if the producers tipped you off on that or not. But that’s real exciting. I just wanted to plug that. You know, I’m working with some great people. All the heads of states are there, and no one’s doing anything. I’m doing something. I want to continue this conversation on a future episode.
Thom: And we will do it. We will absolutely do it. Frank Melli, thanks so much for being here.
Frank: Thank you.

ENGLISHESPAÑOL
  
NounsSustantivos
medical tabgastos médicos
gallongalón
surgeoleada, aumento
wealth inequalitydesigualdad de riquezas
farm subsidiessubvenciones agrícolas
high fructose corn syrupjarabe de maíz alto en glucosa
string beanjudía verde
blastirrupción, aumento rápido
Brussel sproutcoles de bruselas
commodification of our food supplymercantilización de nuestra provisión de alimentos
logo-ised productproducto convertido en gran marca
stickeretiqueta adhesiva
spoof adanuncio paródico
dripgotero
  
AdjectivesAdjetivos
staggeringasombroso, alucinante
wackyloco, absurdo
  
Verbs and idiomsVerbos y expresiones
to tripletriplicar
above a healthy weightpor encima del peso ideal
to drive downreducir, disminuir
every single yearaño tras año
to get a hold ofcontrolar, dominar
to stay flatmantenerse estable
to kick aroundlanzar en el aire
not to have a clueno tener ni idea
to get involvedimplicarse
to push back againsthacer retroceder
to unteachsumir en la ignorancia
what do you see on the horizon?¿qué avistas en el horizonte?
to tip offponer sobre aviso
and whatnoty demás
To be hipestar al día

Moving beyond the GM Debate

Ottoline Leyser
Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

For many people, genetic modification (GM) has become the poster child for everything they consider bad about modern agriculture. It represents the domination of the food supply chain by profit-driven multinational companies. It represents the systematic replacement of important ecosystems with huge high-intensity farms growing monocultures of commodity crops. It represents humankind’s evil manipulation of Nature for personal gain and greed, at the expense of the planet and of future generations. These are important concerns. It is reasonable to be disturbed by some of the current trends in agricultural practices, with fears fuelled by past errors, such as the previous emergence in the UK of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). However, none of these issues has anything to do with GM as a technique for improving or introducing plant traits. A complete ban on the use of GM in crop development would have no impact on any of them. For as long as we imagine that GM itself is the cause of these problems, they are free to escalate unchecked.
A defining question of the 21st century is: How can we achieve a reliable, sustainable, equitable supply of nutritious food for a growing and increasingly urbanized world population in the face of climate change? This is a complex question with agricultural productivity constituting only a small part of it, and in turn, GM only a small part of that. It is essential that we move forward to address this question without being continuously sidetracked by the GM debate. How can this be achieved?
First, it is necessary to move on from the well-worn logical fallacy that anything natural is good, and anything unnatural is bad. The application of this fallacy to agriculture is an excellent illustration of why it is so flawed. Plants evolved by natural selection, driven by the survival of the fittest. As a result, naturally, they are defended to the hilt from herbivores of all kinds, including humans. We know this. No one sends their children into the woods saying “Eat anything you find. It’s all natural, so it must be good for you.” The seeds of plants are particularly well protected, because they are, of course, the plant’s children, their ticket to posterity. Seed is therefore usually tough, indigestible, minimally resourced, and often laced with toxins. Yet plant seeds are now our major source of calories. The cereal crops we eat bear little resemblance to their naturally selected ancestors, and the environments in which we grow them are equally highly manipulated and engineered by us. We have, over the last 10,000 years, bred out of our main food plants all kinds of survival strategies that natural selection put in. This has drastically reduced their competitiveness in nature, but equally dramatically increased their utility in feeding us. Agriculture is the invention of humans. It is the deliberate manipulation of plants (and animals) and the environment in which they grow to provide food for us. The imperative is not that we should stop interfering with nature, but that we should interfere in the best way possible to provide a reliable, sustainable, equitable supply of nutritious food. To do this we need to understand how nature works. That’s what science is all about.

(SOURCE: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/Authors/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001887)

ENGLISHESPAÑOL
  
NounsSustantivos
the poster childla cara visible
food supply chaincadena de provisión de alimentos
monoculturemonocultivo
Commodity cropsproductos agrícolas
humankindhumanidad
greedavaricia
bovine spongineform encephalopathymal de las vacas locas
nutritious foodcomida nutritiva
  
AdjectivesAdjetivos
profit-drivencon afán de lujo
uncheckedsin revisar, sin control
equitableequitativo
sidetrackeddespistado, desviado
well-worndesgastado, manido
flaweddefectuoso
  
Verbs and idiomsVerbos y expresiones
at the expense ofa costa de
to fuelestimular
to breed out (bred, bred)eliminar (una especie animal o vegetal para beneficio humano)
That’s what science is all aboutDe eso se trata la ciencia
to defend to the hiltdefender a capa y espada

WRITING SKILLS

You can either:
* Complete 2 writing assignments. You have 40 minutes if you wish to complete one now. The 2nd assignment you can complete at home.
* You can also watch our Grammar VIDEO tutorials during the next 40 minutes if you prefer to complete the Writing at home.

For IELTS (Academic format), please select the ESSAY topic (250 words: in 40 minutes. Counts for 2/3 of the Writing score) and GRAPH DESCRIPTION (150 words: in 20 minutes. Counts for 1/3 of the Writing score). You will have 1h to complete both tasks on the day of the exam.

* ESSAY: Write an essay discussing the benefits of a healthy and varied diet, along with food preparation.
* GRAPH DESCRIPTION:
Americans are Getting Obese, Quickly: “The Percentage of Adults that are Obese. Note: The data and the maps are pulled drawn from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/index.html  The information is based on the Body Mass Index.” (Source: Nolan O’Brien on Flickr.com)
Summarise the  information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

b2 c1 lesson 7 graph description writing section

For IELTS (General format), please select the ESSAY topic (250 words) and LETTER (150 words). You will have 1h to complete both tasks on the day of the exam.

* ESSAY: Write an essay discussing the benefits of a healthy and varied diet, along with food preparation.
* LETTER: Write a letter to the council protesting about a new fast food restaurant that is looking to open in your neighbourhood.

For FCE, please select 2 of the following: ESSAY, LETTER/EMAIL, REPORT, or REVIEW. You will have 1h20 to complete the tasks on the day of the exam.

* ESSAY: Write an essay discussing the benefits of a healthy and varied diet, along with food preparation.
* LETTER: Write a letter to the council protesting about a new fast food restaurant that is looking to open in your neighbourhood.
* REVIEW: You have just read an article about the increase in additives and preservatives in our foods. Write a review addressing the divide between natural and chemical ingredients.
* REPORT: Write a report on the growing rate of obesity linked with the fast food industry.

For CAE, please select 2 of the following: ESSAY, LETTER/EMAIL, PROPOSAL, REPORT, or REVIEW. You will have 1h30 to complete the tasks on the day of the exam.
* ESSAY: Write an essay discussing the benefits of a healthy and varied diet, along with food preparation.
* LETTER: Write a letter to the council protesting about a new fast food restaurant that is looking to open in your neighbourhood.
* REVIEW: You have just read an article about the increase in additives and preservatives in our foods. Write a review addressing the divide between natural and chemical ingredients.
* PROPOSAL: Write a proposal for a programme that will make children more aware of where food comes from.
* REPORT: Write a report on the growing rate of obesity linked with the fast food industry.

For TOEFL, please select the ESSAY topic and write a second essay response based on either the READING or LISTENING passage of the lesson. You will have 50 minutes to complete both essays on the day of the exam.

* ESSAY: Write an essay discussing the benefits of a healthy and varied diet, along with food preparation.
* ESSAY: Essay response based on either the reading or listening passage of today’s lesson (The Food Industry): Based on the Listening: What should food production companies do in order in compensate for their contribution to the obesity epidemic?

B2_C1 Exam preparation THE FOOD INDUSTRY

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