How cultures use food

Topics: Medicine, Health, Health care Pages: 11 (3092 words) Published: May 23, 2014
1. Outline the way different cultures use the value food? Out of the many different cultures present throughout the world, all value food in most similar ways. Most similarities can be struck between the availability of foods within their regions, specifically enviromental and seasonal ripening in the spring period. Food has become plentiful in Western civilisations over the past few decades, , due to the advances in agriculture allowing maximum growth and larger yields in the shortest amount of time (Chemgeneration 2011). This has also introduced interest into controversial genetically modified foods and the use of hybrid varieties of plants that have more desirable qualities. An example of this is Maize and certain potatoes that secrete a pesticide from the plant to ward of pests and insects, thus removing the need to use pesticides and chemicals (Chemgeneration 2011). Dr Rosalie McCauley (Development Office Department of Agriculture and Food WA, p1), obtained results that genetically modified foods haves been more increasingly used as the use of farmland increases exponentially at over 6% per year, seeing some 170.3 million hectares of GM foods being grown. In western society, there are a significant percentage of people either being overweight or obese, even Australia that has a population of approx 22 million (Australian Bureau of Statistics p1), with over 60% is considered over weight (ABS 2012, Australian Bureau of Statistics). Most overweight or obese individuals have and unhealthy relationship with food and it was theorised by Dr Carole Hungerford (Good Health in 21st Century) it can be considered ‘an addiction’. There is speculation as to why western society has such an addiction foods such as bread and milk, as we are the only species that drinks milk after weaning, especially that of another animal. Clinical studies and Medical Publications released by Dr J.L. Fortuna (PUBMED, 2010, p1) found clinical similarities for binge eating to that of drug dependences seeing a similar release of serotonin as with other drug dependencies. Though obesity is a prevalent condition around the world, numerous countries do not have the same obesity rates as western culture, some of this is likely to result in the way food is perceived by other cultures. Comparatively, in some cultures around the world, it is part of their culture to abstain from food for a short period of time. A more popularly known fasting is the Islamic undertaking of Ramadan where they fast during day light hours (Huda, 2009). Though in western cultures, people have a dislike to feel hungry, and can feel like they have fasted if they miss morning tea during a busy day at work. Numerous cultures throughout history have also used food as offering to their gods or deities to pray for health, or future harvests rain. Egyptian Pharaohs would be entombed with vast pots of food and spices to be used on their journey to the heavens. Some traditional practices continue even today such as the Korean Charye used to honour families ancestors, where special foods are prepared to during the Chuesoerk Ceremonies. The Chuesoerk (Korea.net, 2010) is a three day holiday to celebrate the good harvest received during the spring of that year. These cultural and religious uses for food are worldwide, and often not too distant from Christian practices of thanksgiving celebrated during the Christmas period. In conclusion, all cultures, no matter how distant or unique, have significant celebrations, events or relationships with a large role involving the use or lack of foods. The use of food to bring together communities and families is not dissimilar in almost all countries and demographics on earth; however the individuals use or overuse is not always healthy. References:

1. The Chemical Generation 2001, Viewed 14 January 2014

2. The Chemical Generation 2001, Viewed 14 January 2014

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