A syntax analysis remake methodically breaks down the prose passage into individual sentences, then subjects the sentences to a blend of analytical treatments drawn from Richard Lanham and Virginia Tufte. The point of syntax analysis, in this case, is to zero in on structural patterns that typically go unnoticed--patterns in preposition usage, in verb forms, in the locations of subjects, and in the lengths of sentences.

Syntax Analysis

Apply the following variation of Richard Lanham's Paramedic Method.
1. Enclose prepositions in brackets. [of]
2. Enclose "is" forms in French braces: {is}
3. Find the action. Underline and italicize it: sell
4. Assign each paragraph a heading: "Para. 1"
5. Add a line break between each sentence. Number the sentences in the passage using the format paragraph.sentence (e.g., 1.3 refers to the third sentence of the first paragraph).
6. In parenthesis, add the word count for each sentence to the end of the sentence.
7. Use slashes to divide each sentence into its basic rhythmic units.
8. On the next line, rewrite the subject and action combination for the sentence using boldface and angle brackets: <Photographs persuade>. Keep a full line break between each sentence.
9. Use slashes to divide each sentence into its basic rhythmic units.
10. Identify the short sentence type from Virginia Tufte's four types. Note it after the subject-action line, e.g.: Type: equations with be

Para. 1
1.1 [Of] course the trickiest contradiction/ Whole Foods attempts to reconcile {is}/ the one [between] the industrialization/ [of] the organic food industry/ [of] which it {is} a part/ and the pastoral ideals/ [on] which that industry has been built. (38)
<Whole Foods contradicts>
Short sentence type: equations with be (contradiction is ____)

1.2 The organic movement,/ [as] it {was} once called,/ has come a remarkably long way/ [in] the last thirty years,/ [to] the point where/ it now looks considerably less like a movement/ than a big business. (35)
<Organic movement evolved>
Short sentence type: equations with linking verbs (movement has come)

1.3 Lining the walls/ [above] the sumptuously stocked produce section/ [in] my Whole Foods/ {are} full-color photographs/ [of] local organic farmers/ accompanied [by] text blocks/ setting forth their farming philosophies. (29)
<Photographs line and blocks set forth>
Short sentence type: equations with be (photographs are ____)

1.4 A handful [of] these farms/--Capay {is} one example/--still sell their produce/ [to] Whole Foods/, but most {are} long gone/ [from] the produce bins/, if not yet the walls. (30)
<Farms sell>
Short sentence type: transitive (farms sell produce) and equations with be (most are _____) (Note: This is a compound sentence.)

1.5 That{'s} [because] Whole Foods/ [in] recent years/ has adopted/ the grocery industry's standard regional distribution system,/ which makes supporting small farms impractical. (22)
<Whole Foods adopts>
Short sentence type: equations with be (that is _____)

1.6 Tremendous warehouses buy produce/ [for] dozens/ [of] stores/ [at] a time,/ which forces them/ to deal exclusively/ [with] tremendous farms. (20)
<Warehouses buy>
Short sentence type: transitive (warehouses buy produce)

1.7 So [while] the posters/ still depict family farmers and their philosophies,/ the produce [on] sale/ [below] them/ comes primarily/ [from] two big corporate organic growers/ [in] California/, Earthbound Farm and Grimmway Farms, which together dominate the market/ [for] organic fresh produce/ [in] America. (43)
<Growers supply>
Short sentence type: equations with linking verbs (produce comes)

1.8 (Earthbound alone grows 80 percent [of] the organic lettuce sold [in] America.) (12)
<Earthbound grows>
Short sentence type: transitive (Earthbound grows 80 percent)

Para. 2
2.1 [As] I tossed/ the plastic box/ [of] Earthbound prewashed spring mix salad/ [into] my Whole Foods cart,/ I realized/ that I {was} venturing deep/ [into] the belly/ [of] the industrial beast/ Joel Salatin had called "the organic empire." (38)
<I realized>
Short sentence type: intransitive (I realized)

2.2 (Speaking [of] my salad mix,/ another small, beyond organic farmer,/ a friend [of] Joel's,/ had told me/ he "wouldn't use that stuff/ to make compost"/--the organic purist's stock insult). (30)
<Farmer told>
Short sentence type: transitive (farmer had told me)

2.3 But I{'m} not prepared to accept/ the premise that industrial organic/ {is} necessarily a bad thing/, not if the goal/ {is} to reform/ a half-trillion-dollar food system/ based on chain supermarkets/ and the consumer's expectations/ that food be convenient and cheap. (41)
<I refuse>
Short sentence type: equations with linking verbs (I am not prepared to accept)

Para. 3
3.1 And yet/ [to] the extent that the organic movement/ {was} conceived as a critique/ [of] industrial values,/ surely there comes a point/ [when] the process/ [of] industrialization/ will cost organic its soul/ (to use a word/ still uttered [by] organic types/ [without] irony),/ [when] Supermarket Pastoral/ becomes more fiction than fact:/ another lie told/ [by] marketers. (56) (138-139)
<Process costs>
Short sentence type: equations with linking verbs (there comes)

Syntax Analysis Remake Note

Pollan's sentences are long and complex, loaded with modifiers, branching clauses, and prepositional phrases. According to Lanham, the recurrence of these patterns can put a strain on readers. Yet, in the passage from The Omnivore's Dilemma, the sentences withstand the usual choppiness and digression we might expect where these tendencies appear. Looking at the verbs, we see only a few transitive cases. This passage is centrally about how produce moves from farms to store shelves and how Pollan, after shopping in a Whole Foods, is more deeply mindful of the conflicted nature of industrial organic corporations. Pollan's usage of parenthetical statements creates an impression that he is working with so much material that he simply cannot leave anything out. His syntactic complexity works, weaving together a strong impression of cohesion. None of the twelve sentences in this passage qualify as what Virginia Tufte would strictly identify as a short sentence, but their lengths are sufficiently varied for texture and emphasis.