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Sociology of food - Essay Example

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Professor Name 10th December 2012 The Sociology of Food Q1) Eating can do us harm: it may expose us to bacteria, poison us with additives, or increase our risk of obesity and diabetes. What features of the modern food system makes these risks more common and what features of the modern food system makes them less common than in the past?…
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Download file to see previous pages The increased intake of high calories in the form of meat and cereals contradicts with the increasingly sedentary lifestyle that humans lead. High calories intake makes sense if the person performs a lot of physical work but sedentary lifestyle coupled with high calorie blocks our arteries and leads us to heart diseases and diabetes. (POLLAN 2) However it is the entire food chain which is responsible for our deteriorating health; not only our dietary practices. Let us start from agriculture – the modern farming practices are so energy intensive that to produce 1 calorie of food , 10 calories of fossil fuel are spent as compared to just 2.3 calories in 1940s. (POLLAN 1)Thus as we eat more we contribute more to the greenhouse gases and pollute our environment – putting ourselves at danger of respiratory diseases apart from endangering the world ‘s survival. The second problem in agriculture is the excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers. It has now been well documented that pesticides not only causes diseases like cancer in humans but also pollutes our land ,water and air, making the world a difficult place to live in. Food is not only produces on an industrial scale – it is also processed. ...
This ensures that hygiene related disorders have reduced dramatically. The health regulations which have come into place in the entire food chain – from the farm to the restaurant have proved to be a boon. However these few benefits pale in comparison to the health troubles caused by the obesity epidemic in our country. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the primary agencies which oversee the safety of our food supply system. USDA is responsible for inspection of meat, poultry and egg products. Apart from inspection it is also responsible for giving dietary recommendations to children and adults regarding healthy eating habits. The controversial Food Pyramid which caused uproar in the cattle industry as it labeled meat as unhealthy was also produced by the USADA. (Nestle 52)FDA is responsible for the inspection of animal food and other food items except meat and eggs. The Federal Central for Disease control (CDC) is responsible for surveillance of local or national outbreak of food related illness. The final responsibility for governing our food of course lies with the congress which passes laws which governs the functioning of the above mentioned agencies. Some of the laws passed are the Food, Drug and Cosmetic act; Public Health Service Act Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act etc. Q2) the dominant approach to the food in US has been labeled Nutritionism. Briefly define the term and then, drawings on lectures as well as Pollan discuss why we have come to think of food in this way? Nutritionism says that the value of food that we eat is defined as the scientifically identified nutrients which are present in the food. In simple terms it means that we should eat ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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