Diaries Magazine

Good Food, Bad Food

By Danielleabroad @danielleabroad
Last month, I announced I was TA-ing for an undergraduate course, Food and Communications. It's going exceptionally well :) so despite the fact that I'm swamped with midterm assignments at the moment, I'm going to share some timely information about our most recent topic: nutrition.
good food, bad food You may or may not know this, but our nutrition-based approach to eating is very much an American thing. How'd it come about? In Quantifying the American Eater: USDA nutrition guideance and a language of numbers, Jessica Mudry explains: "In order to better 'assimilate' these new Americans, Progressive reformers, under the aegis of both public and privately funded organizations, attempted to teach Americans how to live, dress, be tasteful consumers, and eat," (235). Yes, you read the right. Calories are a unit of measurement for energy, vitamins are organic chemical compounds which must be obtained from the diet, and all this scientific discourse was developed in order to provide a concept for what "a standard American diet" was; what it is.
good food, bad food What's the problem? Well, "the eater becomes a fictional aggregate of numbers and statistics," (Mudry 250). And when we need to eat in order to live, and when what we eat is based on hunger, availability, price, and desire, including the desire to "be good" and "eat well"... things get pretty damn complicated "On the one hand, our advice about the health benefits of diets based largely on food plants--fruits, vegetables and grains--has not changed in more than 50 years and is consistently supported by ongoing research. On the other hand, people seem increasingly confused about what they are supposed to eat to stay healthy," (Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, Nestle).
good food, bad food Most alarming is the fact that, "at the level of everyday experience, nutritionism has given rise to and promoted the nutritional gaze--a way of looking at and encountering food as being composed as nutrients, which overwhelms other ways of encountering and sensually experiencing food," (On the Ideology of Nutritionism, Scrunis 46). Why should we care? Because in addition to simply confusing us, this "nutritional gaze" also has the power to exceptionally distort our relationship with the food we eat. As Carole M. Counihan pointed out in her book, The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power: "Personal expression of willpower and release of control only under certain culturally sanctioned conditions are the key issues in their relationship to food an in their overall ideology of life," (118).
good food, bad food "In fact, women are much more likely than men to be the targets of judgment comments made by both women and men on all topics related to eating. The acceptance of this fact and its constant reproduction by women as well as men reinforces the subordinate position of women, who are judged, relative to men, who do the judging. Given the importance of being attractive to men in the college 'culture of romance' (Holland and Eisenhart 1990), it is no wonder that my female informants devote a great deal of time and energy worrying about their weight and food consumption," (Counihan 125).
The fourth photo above was taken at last year's Thanksgiving dinner in Paris. The first three were taken the day before I left New York. On January 10th, my mom reflected on the fact that neither she, myself, nor my younger sister had been able to enjoy it at home, so she decided to belatedly celebrate my favorite holiday. Gosh, do I love my mom. I may have figured out another reason I love Thanksgiving, too; it's one of the few days of the year I actively choose not to consider nutrition. No matter how much travel has inspired me with alternative approaches, I suppose I'll always be American in this way. I can be okay with that though. "Good food" can have a place in my diet, just as long as I leave enough room for other good food. Especially being that it's National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week, I sincerely hope you're able to do the same.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Gorgeous Video Fairytale Wedding Mykonos

    Today, we’re sharing with you a fairytale wedding video in Mykonos that you will love! Gaelle and Habib sealed their love in a wonderful outdoor venue... Read more

    7 hours, 23 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
    LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, WEDDING
  • Cameraless and Twitchy

    Cameraless Twitchy

    On the advice of my friend Cory, I've taken my camera to a professional for cleaning. (Who knew fungus could grow on lenses?) I'll be cameraless for about ten... Read more

    7 hours, 55 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Boho Indian Styled Shoot on the Beach

    Boho Indian Styled Shoot Beach

    Today, we’re sharing with you a boho, Indian styled shoot by the beach, so if you’re a free spirit and a boho-lover you’re going to love this as much as we do! Read more

    8 hours, 55 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
    LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, WEDDING
  • Summertime Neurology Blues

    Summertime Neurology Blues

    We hit the road last week for another trek to see the neurologist. We usually enjoy these long rides up into the heart of Arkansas, but it seems we can’t... Read more

    12 hours, 1 minute ago by   Livingwithss
    HEALTH
  • My New Boyfriend and Current Running Status

    Boyfriend Current Running Status

    Long time, no blogging. Well, still not running over here. Turns out the PT wants me to be able to do single leg squats on my "bad leg" for two minutes before... Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Brisdon
    ATHLETICS, FITNESS
  • Sedo Weekly Sales Led by SecureChain.com

    Sedo reported their weekly sales and SecureChain.com led the way at $30,000. OnlineCasino.mx was the number two sale at 19,600 Euros. ($22,715). 59 .com sales 1... Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Worldwide
    BUSINESS, TECH
  • Woodinville Straight Bourbon Review

    Woodinville Straight Bourbon Review

    Woodinville Straight Bourbon is made in Washington and the distillery is one of LVMH’s (Glenmo and Ardbeg) latest acquisitions. Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Josh Peters
    DRINK

Paperblog Hot Topics