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Lecture 15

SOSC 1040 - Lecture 15 Notes

3 Pages

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1040
Claudio Colaguori

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SOSC 1040 Feb 14, 2013 Consumerism, Food Security and the Environment “Environment and Consumption” – R. Robbins - How the main products we buy and the foods we cultivate and eat affect the environment, individual health and society. - Modern agriculture is based on the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. - Consumption rates differ between industrial and non-industrial Nations - “Our consumption of goods is a function of our culture” – not all cultures are consuming resources at the same rate. - Even though it is generates destruction we have become dependent on a growing mass consumption because it is the basis of economic stability within the current global capitalist system. - Problems of beef and sugar production and consumption and environmental depletion, human health consequences - How our food choices are products of the Culture Industry - eating for pleasure (taste, texture and food addictions) versus eating for nutritional requirements of a healthy body. - ‘Big Sugar’ – is tied to numerous sectors of economy and the production – distribution – sales chain, thus it is institutionalized. Also the history of sugar production is tied to colonialism, environmental destruction, slavery and forced labour, forced migration and displacement, animal habitat destruction etc. - Sugar as a sweetener, a food preservative in bread etc. - Sugar as a “drug food” – “it deadens hunger pangs without providing nutrition” • It is also a “dead food” hence its extremely long shelf life and use as a preservative • For ancient humans honey and sugar in fruit was an occasional pleasure – today it is a food drug that is consumed beyond the point of the human body to handle it: over-consumption causes metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease etc. - Average consumption in North America is 70 lbs per person – now we have high fructose corn syrup added to many foods, which is also a major health concern. - -The Beef complex – even greater environmental damage than sugar - Beef production and protein conversion - 80% of grain produced goes to livestock production, which also requires massive land use and water use. SOSC 1040 Feb 14, 2013 - Beef consumption and health consequences – heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, over consumption of hormones and antibiotics, mad cow disease, e coli poisoning etc… - Beef and methane gas production and global warming and massive corn farming (now cows pollut
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