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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第2章 社会文化类 Unit 22






The idea that shopping is the new politics is certainly seductive.You probably go shopping several times a month,providing yourself with lots of opportunities to express your opinions.If you are worried about the environment,you might buy organic food; if you want to help poor farmers,you can do your bit by buying Fairtrade products; or you can express a dislike of evil multinational companies and rampant globalisation by buying only local produce.Sadly,it's not that easy.There are good reasons to doubt the claims made about three of the most popular varieties of“ethical” food: organic food,Fairtrade food and local food.People who want to make the world a better place cannot do so by shifting their shopping habits: transforming the planet requires duller disciplines,like politics. 
Organic food,which is grown without man-made pesticides and fertilisers,is generally assumed to be more environmentally friendly than conventional intensive farming.However,farming is inherently bad for the environment: since humans took it up around 11,000 years ago,the result has been deforestation on a massive scale.But following the“green revolution” of the 1960s greater use of chemical fertiliser has tripled grain yields with very little increase in the area of land under cultivation.Organic methods,which rely on crop rotation,manure and compost in place of fertiliser,are far less intensive.So producing the world's current agricultural output organically would require several times as much land as is currently cultivated.There wouldn’t be much room left for the rainforest. 
Fairtrade food is designed to raise poor farmers’ incomes.It is sold at a higher price than ordinary food,with a subsidy passed back to the farmer.But prices of agricultural commodities are low because of overproduction.By propping up the price,the Fairtrade system encourages farmers to produce more of these commodities rather than diversifying into other crops and so depresses prices—thus achieving,for most farmers,exactly the opposite of what the initiative is intended to do. And since only a small fraction of the mark-up on Fairtrade foods actually goes to the farmer—most goes to the retailer—the system gives rich consumers an inflated impression of their largesse and makes alleviating poverty seem too easy. 
Surely the case for local food,produced as close as possible to the consumer in order to minimise“food miles” and,by extension,carbon emissions,is clear? Surprisingly,it is not.A study of Britain's food system found that nearly half of food-vehicle miles(ie,miles travelled by vehicles carrying food)were driven by cars going to and from the shops.Most people live closer to a supermarket than a farmer's market,so more local food could mean more food-vehicle miles.Moving food around in big,carefully packed lorries,as supermarkets do,may in fact be the most efficient way to transport the stuff. 
What's more,once the energy used in production as well as transport is taken into account,local food may turn out to be even less green.Producing lamb in New Zealand and shipping it to Britain uses less energy than producing British lamb,because farming in New Zealand is less energy-intensive.And since the local-food movement looks suspiciously like old-fashioned protectionism masquerading as concern for the environment,helping poor countries is presumably not the point. 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象:第1题模仿2006年真题Text 1第5题;第2题模仿2011年真题Text 2第2题;第3题模仿2010年真题Text 2第2题;第4~5题分别模仿2013年真题Text 2第5题和2015年真题Text 4第2题。 
1.In the author's eyes,the view of seeing shopping as a political event is _______. 
A) very helpful 
B) not practical 
C) sheer nonsense 
D) quite harmful 
2.According to the author,what may be the chief reason for the disadvantage of organic food? 
A) It cannot yield enough food. 
B) It is involved with some kind of political event. 
C) It is directly responsible for the global deforestation. 
D) It is not necessarily environment-friendly. 
3.Which of the following is TRUE according to the author? 
A) Most benefit from fair-trade food goes to farmers since it is them who decide to raise the price. 
B) Fairtrade food encourages farmers to increase the diversity of their produces. 
C) Fairtrade food fails to fulfill its original design because farmers are deprived of most of the profit. 
D) Fairtrade food can effectively involve consumers to the effort of poverty alleviation. 
4.The author's attitude towards the issue of local food seems to be _______. 
A) approving 
B) objective 
C) indifferent 
D) ironic 
5.It could be inferred from the text that _______. 
A) local food might increase,instead of decrease,carbon emissions 
B) Fairtrade food can encourage people to be more generous and concerned about the farmers 
C) organic food is supposed to be produced in areas that are currently covered by tropical rainforests 
D) local food is,in fact,the disguise of the traditional sense of trade protectionism 


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