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Food culture

Student`s nameFood, Gender, Ethnicity, and SES

In the United States, and many other regions ofthe world, the idea of dividing food related tasks is a commonpractice. Many regions of the world have a culture that identifieswomen as the party that does most of the cooking. Women are oftenentitled to carry out any indoor cooking activity. As such, mostAmerican men consider the kitchen as a woman’s major territory.Theday to day indoor cooking is considered a routine task for women[ CITATION Cou13 l 1033 ].

In spite of this, some specific cooking tasks,like barbecuing,are reserved for the men[ CITATION Cou13 l 1033 ].This is especially true in the US where themen have taken to the task of barbecuing to the extent that they deemthe barbecuing area as men only territory. As such, most men considerthe outdoor cooking arena as a man’s turf. The US men consideroutdoor barbecuing as a prestige task that gives them the opportunityto express the femininity without losing their masculinity.

According to Civitello (2007), the culturalappreciation for different cooking roles for men and women can beutilized in explaining why some people like certain foods. Forinstance, men find the meat-eating culture to be important because itreflects their machoism. The element of danger fire and sharp toolsprovide them men with the thrill they need during barbecuing.However, in different cultures across the US, the different foodshave different meanings owing to the culture and beliefs of thepeople. For instance, while the Muslim American mayappreciatebarbecuing their religion and culture do not permit the intake ofpork. Besides this, other people may not consume the meat due toeconomic, medical, or ecological reasons.

Food Norms and Food Taboos

Different cultures in the world have differenteating habits. For instance, dome societies consume insects and bugs,while others find this disgusting. In China, animals such as dogs,cats, and frogs are part of the menu whereas other parts of the worldfind this habit disdainful. In the opinion of Meiselman&ampMacFie(1997), the different habits in food consumption, dependon thenurture, economic, social and environmental factors. Differentcultures are found in different regions of the where sources of foodvary greatly. People in regions with plenty of food tend to ignoresome food sources because they are not appealing. However, in someregions, the only source of proteins may be bugs, cats, or dogs,which are considered repulsive by others. Through nurture,individuals learn to eat and enjoy these types of food, which may bea taboo to other people.

In some cultures, cannibalism is a prominentfeature. For instance, the Korowai who live in Papua, Guinea, stillpractice cannibalism. While incidences of cannibalism are not common,sometimes the Korowai tribe consumes a whole victim except for thebones and teeth. This practice is considered a ritual that isintended to keep the tribesmen safe from a demon known as Khakhra.The Korowai often eat the person whom they believe is a victim ofKhakhra. As such, their belief is that they are not practicingcannibalism but rather getting rid of dangerous demon[CITATION Wil13 l 1033 ].Most societies in the world consider cannibalism a taboo as well as acrime against the law. Despite this view,different societies in the world continue to consume different typesof food while indicating that nurture, nature, socio-culturalfactors, and environmental factors influence their eating habits.

Food Health

Food science has improved food production ad madeit easier for people to purchase food commodities at lower prices.However, to ensure that food is cheap, tasty, and equally easy toeat, food scientists have promoted the notion of using additives suchas emulsifiers[ CITATION Rea15 l 1033 ].Even though these emulsifiers have improved the taste and texture ofthe food we eat, recent studies have shown theyincrease the likelihood of obesity among consumers. This essay arguesthat food additives are causative agents of obesity. To attain this,the paper provides scientific evidence to support the contention.

In the United States, the culture has allowed andpromoted extensive use of emulsifiers in food. According to Reardon(2015), approximately 15 different types of emulsifiers are currentlybeing used in food production in the Western nations. Theseemulsifiers often interfere with the health of an individual. A studyconductedby immunologist Gewirtz, at te Georgia State University,showed that when ratsare fed with emulsifiers, such ascarboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 they became obese. As such,the emulsifiers are expected to have a similar effect on people whoconsume it.

Reardon (2015) was of the opinion that humansconsuming food with additives are likely to become obese over time.In spite of this, some people continue to argue food additives arenot as bad as they improve the taste and texture of food. Scholarslike LückandJager (2012) were of the idea that even thoughemulsifiers improve the taste of food, their composition, which issimilar to sugars ensures that consumers who utilize them gainweight. In case the weight gain remains unchecked, the consumers offoods with additives are likely to become obese and develop othermedical complications such as hypertension and high blood pressure

The Politics of Food Production

According to an article by Columbia University(2016), &quotapproximately fifty percent of the kids in the U.S.live near the poverty line&quot. This information challenges thecommon beliefs that many people still hold on how they perceivepoverty and whom they deem is at risk of poverty[ CITATION Col161 l 1033 ].When compared to other countries like theUK, the UnitedStates has a higher level of poverty. In the UK only28% of the children live near the poverty line[ CITATION Chi16 l 1033 ].The issue of poverty has been known toaffect the food supply and nutrition habits in a household.

Parents often makefood-relateddecisions based ontheir economic capabilities. Richer parents can often afford goodfood thus improve the nutrition of their children. On the other hand,poor parents might lack the capacity to provide proper nutrition totheir children. As a result, the children near and beyond the povertyline may suffer from malnutrition[ CITATION Str07 l 1033 ].Ellen(2015) supported the idea of malnutritionamongthe poor when she indicated that it is harder for the poor to eatwell than the affluent class.

In Ellen’s (2015) article, she asserts tat poorpeople are more likely to allow their children to eat junk foodbecause it is cheaper ad easily available. Poor children would befound consuming food such as chips, crisps, burgers, and sweetsbecause healthy food is comparativelyexpensive. In addition to this,the options for healthy food are lesser. As such, consumers highlyhealthy food products are usually confined to a few, but expensiveoptions. In the long run, only parents that can afford the expensivefood products can feed their children right. On the other hand, poorparents would stick to what they can afford, which is mainly junkfood, thus encouraging malnutrition.


Child Poverty Action Group. (2016, June). Child poverty facts and figures. Retrieved from http://www.cpag.org.uk/: http://www.cpag.org.uk/child-poverty-facts-and-figures

Civitello, L. (2007). Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Columbia University. (2016, March 3). Nearly Half of American Children Living Near Poverty Line. Retrieved from www.mailman.columbia.edu: https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/nearly-half-american-children-living-near-poverty-line

Counihan, C., &amp Esterik, P. V. (2013). Food and Culture: A Reader. New York: London.

Ellen, B. (2015, November 29). It’s simply harder to eat well when you are poor. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/29/kis-junk-food-dont-blame-parents

Lück, E., &amp Jager, M. (2012). Antimicrobial Food Additives: Characteristics – Uses – Effects. New York: Springer.

Meiselman, H. L., &amp MacFie, H. J. (1997). Food Choice, Acceptance, and Consumption.London: Blackie.

Reardon, S. (2015, February 25). Food preservativesare linked to obesity and gut disease. Nature. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/news/food-preservatives-linked-to-obesity-and-gut-disease-1.16984

Stricker, F. (2007). Why America Lost the War on Poverty– and how to Win it. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Webb, W. (2013). The Other White Meat: A History of Cannibalism. Charlseton: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform