Views 1148 | High Intermediate 6

Scary Food

Paul and Todd look at the threat of disease to the food supply and food concerns.

Paul: One interesting thing for me is that, you know, over the recent years, we've had countless incidents where cattle and animal stock have become diseased, and they've had to be culled, you know; they've had to be killed to stop the disease. I think, you know, that's also a kind of a very important issue, why these animals are becoming so diseased. Is it a sign that we're doing something wrong? What do you think about that?

Todd: Yeah. I mean, that's a scary one. I've lived in quite a few countries over the years, and every country that I've lived in has always been paranoid about the - mad cow disease. So, even in England, I lived in your country in England about seventeen years ago, and there were concerns about that first propping up. And then, you know, in Asia now, the Asian countries are worried about it.

Paul: Hm.

Todd: To be honest, I don't even give it any thought, you know. I mean, I hear about there's high levels of mercury in salmon. You shouldn't eat too much salmon. You have to worry about mad cow disease if you eat beef. I think you have to worry about other diseases with the chicken. You know, they had the bird flu a while ago. So yeah, I don't know. I don't know what to think, really.

Paul: Yeah.

Todd: I mean, it hasn't changed my eating patterns. Has it changed your eating patterns?

Paul: Um, no, not particularly. I'd have to say that I do still eat meat. I had grilled chicken yesterday. And so, you know, like I said, it's very difficult to be or kind of morally high when you eat animals. One interesting thing is about animals that we select for captivity, like you know, if they're not cute or -

Todd: Right.

Paul: You know, it seems to be like it's only the cute animals in the world that we care about.

Todd: Right.

Paul: What about the ugly ones? And this kind of give you - it's a bit warped, isn't it? It's not really true to kind of, you know, representative of the animal kingdom.

Todd: And there's definitely a bias towards animals, let's say, than versus insects. You don't hear about people like crusading against - to save insects.

Paul: That's right, huh.

Todd: Cockroaches, centipedes, spiders, whatever. And yet technically, that's a life form as well, right?

Paul: Yeah. You know, insects, they - you know, within ecosystems they carry out very key roles, you know.

Todd: Right.

Paul: Yet, we're not fascinated with insects. In fact, most people have some sort of repulsion towards insects.

Todd: Right.

Paul: So yeah, again, it's kind of like we choose to kind of make this kind of Disneyland of animals of we have curiosity about, the cute ones and the ones that are able to do tricks and stuff. But you know, what about the other guys?

Todd: Fair enough, man. Good point.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



The animals have to be culled.

Cull means to kill some animals to stop disease or to control the population.  Notice the following:

  1. In 2008, huge numbers of chickens were culled to stop the spread of the avian flu.
  2. Culling is controversial in many countries.



Paranoid about disease.

Paranoid describes an unreasonable belief that someone or something is going to harm you.  Notice the following:

  1. When I travel, I'm always paranoid about drinking the water.
  2. He's really paranoid about eating street food.

give (it) a thought


I don't even give it a thought.

To give something a thought means to think about it.  Notice the following:

  1. I never gave it a second thought.
  2. Give it some thought and let me know by tomorrow.

eating patterns


These concerns haven't changed my eating patterns.

The term eating patterns describes what we usually eat.  Notice the following:

  1. My eating patterns have never changed.
  2. The doctor ordered him to change his eating patterns.



It's a bit warped.

Warped ideas are thoughts and opinions that most people think are not normal.  Notice the following:

  1. His idea of a healthy diet seems a bit warped.
  2. After reading my short story, Our English teacher said I had a warped mind.

Vocabulary Quiz

culled • paranoid • give thought
patterns • warped
  1. I don't understand why you get over taking the bus.
  2. The chickens had to be to prevent an outbreak.
  3. The dietician asked me to take note of my eating .
  4. His behavior obviously reflects his thinking.
  5. Will you to the suggestions I made?
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Free Courses from ELLLO

One Minute English Videos

Free Courses from ELLLO