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We are what we eat : Omnivores dilemma - Essay Example

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Quite often people from different communities or societies prefer to eat different kinds of food or delicacies. Sometimes even within one community, people may prefer to eat different kinds of food. The question is what makes people choose to eat certain food? …
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We are what we eat : Omnivores dilemma
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Eat Your Wager DeVry Juan Carlo Honorio Eat Your Age Quite often people from different communities or societies prefer to eat different kinds of foods or delicacies. Sometimes even within one community, people may prefer to eat different kinds of foods. The question is what makes people choose to eat certain foods and not others? What influences a person’s or a community’s eating habits regarding the kinds of foods they eat? Critics argue that kinds of foods we eat are influenced by attitude; others believe that it is situational circumstances that influence the kinds of food a person eats. The debate can go on and on presenting several reasons as to why people choose to eat certain kinds of foods. However, the truth is that omnivore’s dilemma or a person's confusion in his food preference is influenced by various factors (Pollan, 2006). These include economic disposition, social disposition or lifestyle and the availability of resources. Karl Marx theory can be used analyze the relation between a person's food preference and the various factors that affects it. First, according to Karl Marx,” a person's ideology and culture categorized in his theory as superstructure, is greatly influenced by the base described as a person's real economic relations” (Ryan, 2007). The base-superstructure model by Karl Marx presents a theoretical framework that illustrates the interaction of different elements of the society, and how they make up a coherent social structure (Base and Superstructure, 2007). The two main frames of this ideology are the base and the superstructure whereby the base is the economic foundation of a given society. The economic structure determines the material condition of the society, which encompasses a means of production. The process economic production applies various elements such as conditions of the goods produced and how they are produced, and the relations to people who are involved in production of these goods (Merberg, 2012). In addition, the relation production also determines the method of distribution of products to the related people, which eventually determines the kinds of goods each person will receive. Therefore, this illustrates how availability of economic resources influences the preference of food choice for individuals. Second, Marxist theory states, “conceiving, thinking, the mental intercourse of men; appear at this stage as the direct efflux of their material behavior” (Marxist Theory). This suggests that how a person thinks, what one perceives to be true is influenced by the material things, and that the consciousness only reflects something that already exists. Therefore, it clearly indicates that the economic materials predetermine what a person thinks is true, in which these are transposed into the sphere of an individual’s ideas, creating ideologies in his head, and consequently, this ideology is what is taken to be truth. Hence, the preference of a person’s choice of food is related to the material behavior, thus, it is influenced by economic dispositions. Last, the Base and Superstructure idea is that it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. Marx suggests that people enter into definite relations such as production applicable in a given stage of development of their material forces of production, solely by independent will. Furthermore, he states, “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness” (Marx, 1859, p.159). This clearly revels that the social existence of man determines his conciousness, which relates to the food preference. For example, this means that the preference to choose certain kinds of food is influenced by the conciousness of a person, which is in turn influeced by the social existence of this person. As a result, preference of food choice is influnced by the social disposition of a person. The omnivore's dilemma is far more than the product of confusion in the food preference but also on the struggle in the class and economic state as well. First, the dwelling of choosing the right food to eat is determined by the economic base. Second, the level of financial resources a person gained from the economic relations affects his food preference. And lastly, the greater resources one has, the greater the level of dilemma is. These are clearly shown by the relations of food preference and these factors with reference to Marx theory. References Marx, K. (1859). Karl Marx's: A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy . Marxist Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved from Illinois State University: http://english.illinoisstate.edu/strickland/495/base.html Merberg, A. (2012, September 23). Julie Guthman on Cheap Food and the Economy. Retrieved from Wordpress: http://saywhatmichaelpollan.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/julie-guthman-on-cheap-food-and-the-economy/ Pollan, M. (2006). The Omnivore's Dilemma. The Penguin Press. Ryan, A. (2007, June 3). The Base and the Superstructure. Retrieved from WordPress: http://massthink.wordpress.com/2007/06/03/the-base-and-the-superstructure/ Read More
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