A Critical Overview of the Global Politics of Food – Assignment Example

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The paper "A Critical Overview of the Global Politics of Food" is a perfect example of an assignment on social science.   Part One 1. Culinary Modernism Rachel Laudan invented the term culinary Luddism to denote individuals who preferred to eat naturally, and who were opposed to industrialized and modified food. Culinary Luddism is not limited to taste, and since the advent of the counter-culture it has portrayed itself as a crusade with moral and political leanings. Thus, the Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust in Boston, undertake concerted efforts to establish a scientific underpinning for the revitalization and preservation of the traditional foods.

Laudan contends that natural food is, in general, inedible, and grains, the staple diet of the multitude, had to be threshed, ground and cooked, in order to render them fit for consumption. The societies that did not partake of grains used to depend upon tubers and roots, several of which were poisonous. Eschewal of the fast-food industry constitutes unnatural eating, and this has been stated by Laudan. She promotes Culinary Modernism, by highlighting that prior to industrialization, the majority of the population were chiefly engaged in producing and preparing food.

For instance, until the advent of the tortilla machine in the 1950s, Mexican females were compelled to allocate a third of their waking hours to preparing the corn for making tortillas. Industrialization ensured greater regularity in consuming meals among the poor. According to Laudan, Culinary modernism provided humans with the opportunity to engage in activities other than agricultural or kitchen labor. 5 Cosmo-Multiculturalism Hage has provided several insights in his essay, “ At Home in the Entrails of the West: Multiculturalism, Ethnic Food, and Migrant Home-building” .

In essence, he states that despite the possibility of achieving positive interaction via the sharing of food, it is commonplace to find issues relating to power and subtle racism behind such casual interactions. For instance, the elite ethnic restaurants of the inner city suburbs of Sydney depict a preference for multiculturalism sans migrants. This trend prompted Hage to invent the term cosmo-multiculturalism. This term is dependent upon consuming the differences in food to obtain value. Furthermore, in a multicultural nation, it is not possible to find a dominant ethnicity, invariably. The new immigrants and longstanding citizens indulge in identity grazing, via the preparation and consumption of food.

This has the effect of nullifying the assumed power associations of culinary imperialism. A detachment of ethnicity from its ethnic producers is essential for producing cosmo-multicultural food. Notwithstanding the tremendous effort made by cosmo-multi culture to achieve authenticity, several aberrations have been discerned. Examples being the owner of a Tuscan restaurant being a Scottish manager, and a Vietnamese restaurant is managed by an American. According to Hage, cosmo-multiculturalism has strived tremendously to nullify culinary imperialism in western multi-cultural societies, such as Australia. 8.

Food Sovereignty The food sovereignty principle, which is in marked contrast to the World Trade Organization (WTO) proposals, every nation is considered to be entitled to formulate policies relating to its agriculture and food system. However, these policies should prove harmful to other nations. Such harm takes place when the major agriculture export powers flood the markets of other nations with their products that are priced below the cost of production. This effectively eliminates the local farmers from engaging in agricultural activity. The presence of food sovereignty would enable nations to safeguard their national markets from such depredations.

The contemporary period has been witness to a transition from artificially engendered low prices to high prices. An analysis of this situation, indicates that the causes behind this development are not significantly different. According to Rosset, food sovereignty could provide a solution for the existing problematic situation.

References

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Clark, D., 2013. The Raw and the Rotten: Punk Cuisine. In: C. Counihan & P. van Esterik, eds. Food and Culture. New York, NY, USA: Routledge, pp. 231-242.

Fischler, C., 1988. Food, self, and identity. Social Science Information, 27(2), pp. 275-292.

Hage, G., 1997. At Home in the Entrails of the West: Multiculturalism, Ethnic Food, and Migrant Home-Building. In: H. Grace, et al. eds. Home/World. Annandale, NSW, Australia: Pluto Press Australia Limited, pp. 99-153.

Laudan, R., 2001. A Plea for Culinary Modernism: Why We Should Love New, Fast, Processed Food. Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, 1(1), pp. 36-44.

Paxson, H., 2008. Post-Pasteurian Cultures: The Microbiopolitics of Raw-Milk Cheese in the United States. Cultural Anthropology, 23(1), pp. 15-47.

Pilcher, J. M., 2004. Industrial Tortillas and Folkloric Pepsi: The Nutritional Consequences of Hybrid Cuisines in Mexico. In: J. L. Watson & M. L. Caldwell, eds. The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 235-250.

Rosset, P., 2008. Food Sovereignty and the Contemporary. Development, 51(4), pp. 460-463.

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