HOMT Comprehensive Outline

HOMT Comprehensive Outline - Kim 1 Su Kim 11 June 2011 Mr....

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Kim 1 Su Kim 11 June 2011 Mr. Lino Camprubi Nutritionism: A Faulty Ideology Food consumed in the modern diet is hardly a product of nature, but of food science and food industry. The corn is genetically engineered and the bread is vitamin-fortified. Vitamin D and Omega-3s come encapsulated in pills or tablets. Food science tinkers with food at the abstract level of their chemical compounds and constituents, placing the focus on single nutrients (carbohydrates, carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and proteins to name just a few) in such a way that has turned food into “edible food-like substances” 1 . Meat is subdivided into boneless and bloodless geometrical cuts, offered in the fat free or non-fat or reduced fat variations. In the dairy aisle, there is light butter, reduced fat butter, low-in-saturated-fat butter, low-calorie butter, trans-fat free butter, and butter that is “not butter.” There are “1% fat” and “high fiber” and “heart healthy” variations to consider. The cornucopia of options is indicative of a widely shared thinking about food strictly in terms of its chemical constituents 2 . In Western nutritional ideology, the key to good health is assembling a diet composed of the right nutrients. The focus has shifted from food in the context of lifestyle and culture to the singular nutrient. The antioxidants in blueberries may protect your cells from free radicals. Polyunsaturated fats in salmon deliver omega-6 and omega-3, which play crucial roles in neural development. The carotenoids in carrots vitalize the immune system. The focus is on the nutrients in food rather than the food themselves. This paper aims to offer evidence for the opposing viewpoint: that reductive food science is essentially a flawed science that removes food from the social, cultural, and lifestyle context in which it is consumed. I first provide a history of the flip-flopping reputation of dietary fats as founding evidence for the fickle nature of nutritionist science. That is, scientists just cannot seem to make up their mind; one food that is condemned in one decade may be championed in the next. I then investigate four major case studies: the irony of margarine, the mystery of infant formula, the paradox of StarLink corn, and the case of genetic pollution. The latter case study reveals that with the rise of industrial technology, the rift between humankind and the natural environment has deepened. Humankind sees itself as nature’s commander, an ideology that justifies the negative impacts humans have on the global environment. I then provide evidence of the contrary: in actuality, there is a profound interconnectedness between man and nature. Neither man nor nature dominates each other and in fact, the relationship between man and
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This note was uploaded on 01/29/2012 for the course GE CLUSTER HOMT taught by Professor Cooper during the Fall '11 term at UCLA.

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HOMT Comprehensive Outline - Kim 1 Su Kim 11 June 2011 Mr....

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