Food As Culture Essay

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Over time, the control of food sources, whether sustainable or not, has impacted human choices, behaviors, and, ultimately, cultures. In his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan explains how human beings answer the question of what to eat for dinner may determine our survival as a species as we enter the twenty-first century.   The logic of nature and the logic of human industry are in constant tension with each other as people debate which plays a more important role in growing populations and the production of food. Anthropologists Gewertz and Errington follow the controversial trade of the inexpensive fatty cuts of lamb, known as “flaps”, to their markets in the Pacific Islands in their book Cheap Meat. Food like these mutton flaps has now become a factor in the way it impacts communities due to the lack of options available to people and it poses health concerns to the consumers. Richard Wrangham’s book titled Catching Fire, claims that the availability of cooked food enabled human beings to evolve into the species they are today. He argues that cooking is central to the formation of all human societies. The choices by which people consume their food shape the way cultures exist or subsist because it influences production methods, people’s well being, and behaviors within society. All of these combine to form relationships between industries and consumers which impacts our culture and everyday lifestyles.
Michael Pollan discusses a huge focus on the tension between the logic of nature and the logic of the human industry in his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. He believes that the ways in which we consume our food form relationships between human beings and the natural world. To Pollan, industrial eating and mass production is ruining these “crucially important ecological relationships and connections” (Pollan). The logic of human industry supports the idea that if we produced local-grown food and nothing else, our food system would ultimately...

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