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Food term paper

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"And yet, what has happened to this precious jewel of a human food is nothing less than a tragedy and an outrage. Its changed taste is one thing. The flavour of a truly fresh egg from a free-range chicken can startle us with its wholesome intensity. Garbage in, garbage out, as computer mavens say, and the standard supermarket egg today reflects what the hen eats " probably a mixture of ingredients, some of which are definitely unsavoury. But in the past thirty years we have also come close to destroying the egg's safety; many traditional egg and egg-based dishes can now make one very sick. Some scientists suspect that the egg, being an animal food, may never have been completely safe, but if that is true, there were few signs, missing in the scientific literature before 1965 are outbreak reports from clean, uncracked fresh eggs. What has certainly happened is that its potential to be contaminated has greatly increased, as have the chances of that contamination reaching the consumer. Because Salmonella Enteritidis managed at some point to get into the ovary of the chicken to produce eggs pre-packaged with pathogens, and because changes in how we produce eggs have actually encouraged this microbe, of the hundreds of uses of the egg, only those in which it is thoroughly cooked are now considered completely safe. For hundreds of years the dyed and decorated egg has been the symbol of life, fertility, and renewal. Today, in the kind of reversal that is becoming all too typical of our age, the egg can be deadly."
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"People in contemporary Western societies tend to regard those who are fat as deviant. Judgments about deviance, however, are relative and vary between historical eras and across cultures and subcultures. Most people in the past and the majority of people currently living in traditional cultures consider fatness to be a sign of health and wealth. Present day ballerinas tend to think they are too fat, but Sumo wrestlers rarely think they are too heavy. In modern societies people reject fatness and see it as a major concern, while thinness has become a valued condition that people actively strive to achieve. When people recognize deviant conditions in society as social problems, they may apply several models of social control to define and deal with those problems. This involves a process of typification that focuses on one aspect of a problem to characterize its nature (Best 1989). Typification can include claims that the problem is best dealt with using moral models, medical models, or political models each of which provides different perspectives about the cause and solution of the problem (Best 1989). During the last 100 years fatness has moved from a moral conception of fat as badness, to the medicalization of obesity as sickness, to the demedicalization of large body size as politically acceptable. This paper will examine changes in these three conceptions using a constructionist social problems perspective (Blumer 1971; Schneider 1985; Schneider and Kitsuse 1984; Spector and Kitsuse 1987) that examines evaluations of body fat as socially constructed judgments negotiated by several groups in society. Concepts from the social problems and medicalization literature will be used to explain shifting social control over fatness, using examples drawn from the mass media, public and professional literature, and observation in medical and public settings. The focus will be on the medicalization and dernedicalization processes, rather than on the social context and natural history of obesity as a social problem. Some scientists have noted that obesity has been medicalized, but have not yet considered the topic in depth (Conrad 1992; Conrad and Schneider 1992; Reissman 1983)."
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"Neither explanation accounts for the low ratio of establishments to city size in Ife or Minia. Two factors may contribute to low consumption in Minia. First, the traditional diet of flat bread and cheese is not onerous to make or buy at the store, and bread is highly subsidized. Second, we have noted that the income of the government officials in Minia is not appreciably higher than some vendors, although their lifestyle may be different. Since saving preparation time is not an issue and discretionary funds of the middle class are minimal, regular consumption of street foods is left to visitors at markets or hospitals and to workers and schoolchildren at midday. In contrast, vendors in Ife serve many meals each day and so may service more customers than the ratio suggests, since the town limits encompass much rural land. Further, government harassment may have discouraged some vendors, while poor economic conditions, which depressed markets while increasing the cost of many ingredients, could have made vending a poor investment of time and money. Seasonal fluctuations in the number of establishments reflect local holidays and agricultural cycles. Nearly 25% of vendors in Manikganj and 5% of vendors in Bogor left the trade when agricultural labour was in high demand. Conversely, agricultural cycles also account for the influx from rural areas of vendors who often specialize in seasonal foods such as corn or fruit. Many full-time vendors switch merchandise seasonally, but totals are not affected. School terms do affect totals, however. Many vendors in Ife stopped selling during vacations, when their university customers went home and the schoolchildren were sent to visit kin; the women are not idle, but spend their time farming, sewing, or trading. The fasting month of Ramadan altered the types of food sold and the time of sale, especially in Bangladesh; in Indonesia many vendors chose this time of year to return to their villages. In contrast, Christmas brought additional vendors to the streets of Iloilo."
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