Food culture + Gender and Food + climate change questions
Part 1. Food Culture Overview Video
We eat food to more than survive. Food is used to forge relationships, court lovers, and as a means of counting our blessings. In the photo essay, “Joy of Food,” one image that stands out is the national geographic creative by A.W. Cutler (National Geographic, 2014). It is a wartime picture of a boy and a girl seated under a tree sharing an apple. The image stood out to me because, even though it is during the war, a snack brings the two kids together. it shows the pleasure that children have of having a snack after playing. The second image is of a four-year-old girl who is absorbed ins a bowl of porridge in Denmark (National Geographic, 2014). The image tells more than the sweetness and survival, it shows a happy world where the child has no worries and her attention is all drowned in the porridge. Children are made happy and lively by the food they take (American Museum of Natural History, 2012).
The first shift was from eating food got from fishing, hunting, and gathering to agricultural food. Due to the emergency of agriculture, hunters and gatherers have slowly pushed away from prime farmland and were limited to the Amazon forest, Southwestern Asia islands, and grasslands of Africa (National Geographic, 2014). Another shift is when people started to cook food rather than eating it raw. Cooking food led to the last shift of processing it caring people consume more calories than they burn (National Geographic, 2014).
My thought on the “Paleo” diet is that it is boring and unreasonable. A diet without sugar grains, alcohol, starch, and processed goods is not enjoyable. These thoughts have changed after learning that the foods I enjoy eating bring more harm than good in my body making me decide to change my diet (National Geographic, 2014).
a). The first significant takeaway from the “Evolution of Diet” is that eating food from the firm helped increase the birth rate (National Geographic, 2014). This is important because it shows that food without grains and cereals is not as healthy as it is said to be.
b). Second, I have learned that hunters and gatherers lived a healthy lifestyle compared to people in the farming age (National Geographic, 2014). This is important because it tells me that despite the benefit of fertility, cereals, milk, and grains bring forth diseases.
c). Third, I learned that since the invention of farming, human jaws, teeth, and faces have become smaller, and also their DNA has changed (National Geographic, 2014). This is important because it tells us that humans have not stopped evolving.
I was surprised to learn that after birth, kids prefer eating foods that they were exposed to when in the womb. The breakfast that I identified with most is that taken by Viv Bourderz, a five-year-old in Amsterdam (Wollan, 2014). This is because it reminds me of my childhood as I hated taking breakfast forcing my parents to add sweat snacks to motivate me.
a). The fact that racial and ethnic minorities such as Hispanic and Blacks are experiencing diet-related disparities (Satia, 2009). It surprised me because it shows that Blacks and Hispanics are affected by their social-economic status.
b). High fat intake is related to having a job, being illiterate, and having kids at home (Satia, 2009). This told me that people are still not aware of healthy eating.
c). Lastly, I was surprised to learn that African Americans are affected by their culture where they accept having large body sizes limiting their efforts of healthy eating. This surprised me because it shows that despite us living in a civilized world, some people are still clinging to some cultural aspects that are not helpful (Satia, 2009).
Part 2: Gender and Food Section
In gender and food production, men and women during the hunting and gathering era played a distinct role. For example, among the Kung of the Kalahari Desert, men used to hunt for animals while women gathered vegetables (American Sociology Association, 2019). Food consumption implies sexuality and gender in different cultures. For example, in the Wamira culture, taro stands for male virility where the size and fullness of tubers represent the strength of their producer. What surprised me in the article is the fact that in most cultures, gender hierarchy is articulated through food access (American Sociology Association, 2019).
In the article on chore division, I was surprised to learn that majority of the respondents’ assigned house chores according to gender rather than the relative income. It is surprising that in a couple where both are of the same sex, the “most feminine” partner is assigned house chores and babysitting (Berzok, n.d.). The social repercussions of these gender beliefs are that they bring gender inequality at home. Even if a woman is waking hard at their workplace and earning a higher income than their husband, they are expected to come and continue working on house chores and childcare. These gendered attitudes bring inequality in society despite the many policies that aim at ensuring that men and women earn equally (Berzok, n.d.).
I identified with an example given on the many adverts where eating salads is feminine and consuming large portions of food and a lot of reading meat is considered manly (Brissette, 2017). This is because this example is a fact as when we serve food in a family gathering, the male members are served twice as much as the female especially meat. To reduce gender-related food stereotypes, first, we should increase the awareness’ of gender-framed foods and eating behaviors as it gives people the power to change them. Second, healthy foods should be sold in a more feminine package, which is a purchasing psychology that may increase the health habits of an individual positively (Brissette, 2017).
The first example is a baby milk advert that showed a baby girl growing to become a ballerina while a boy became a scientist. This advert shows that the mother is the one in charge of babysitting while the father is relaxed. The second example is by Cravendale known as “Milk me Brian”. In the advert, a man is seen grazing through his window while the woman is in the kitchen with chores. This ad feeds gender serotypes as the man is seen as the problem solver symbolizing masculine authority and power. My thoughts on this topic are that it is a high chance that society needs to be educated and not only bring an end to gender inequality at the workplace but also in our homes and the media (Madar, 2015).
Part 3: Global climate change question (3-4 sentences for each question labeled)
The highest temperature I have ever experienced was at 111 degrees. This was in September 7, 2020 in Los Angeles county. The high temperatures occurred as the state is affected by a heat wave intensifying the wildfire season in California.
The lowest temperature I have experienced was -45 degrees Celsius. This happened in the State of Maine in January 16th 2009. I had gone to visit a friend and swore to never go back there in Winter.
From my understanding, global worming is the slow increase in the temperature of the earth. This is because of greenhouse effects. Greenhouse effects are caused by increased amounts of CFCs, carbon dioxide, and other harmful elements in the air.
According to me, the most interesting component of weather is wind. This is because wind is a source of reusable energy. It minimizes the use of fossil fuels, cannot be exhausted or contaminated, making it be a source of energy that does not lead to global warming.
The most popular renewable sources of energy include solar, wind, hydro, tidal, biomass, and geothermal energy. They are the best source of energy as they do not produce greenhouse effects. People should try as much as possible use these sources of energy and do away with fossils fuels.
Alternative energy sources such as hydrogen and electric are very simple mechanically and they do not release air pollutants. They also do not produce noise pollution as thy have less vibration. As such, the car manufacturing industry should start producing more of these machines to replace those with internal combustion engine that pollutes the environment.
American Museum of Natural History. (2012). Our Global Kitchen- Food, Nature, Culture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPImnEJ9CHc
American Sociology Association. (2019). Sex and gender more important than income in determining views on division of chores.
Berzok, L. M. (n.d.). Gender and Food. (105-108)
Brissette, C. (2017). Is meat manly? How society pressures us to make gendered food choices. The Washington Post.
Madar, M. (2015). Food Advertising Feeding Gender Stereotypes.
National Geographic. (2014). Joy of Food. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/joy-of-food/
National Geographic. (2014). The evolution of diet. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/evolution-of-diet/
Satia, J.A. (2009). Diet-Related Disparities: Understanding the problem and accelerating solutions. American Dietetic Association.
Wollan, M. (2014). What kids around the world eat for brfeakfast. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/08/magazine/eaters-all-over.html?mtrref=www.google.com&assetType=REGIWALL
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