Nutrition science, as the name suggests, is teleologically rooted in positivism. Science is assumed to evolve as new discoveries and developments are made. It is thought to make sense of the material world to allow those who live in it to thrive. The findings of nutrition science are used to justify food policy, to market food and to direct world health goals. But does the entangled motives of nutrition science with Western ideals of capitalism, efficiency and convenience effect its efficacy to do social good? To what extent has nutrition science manipulated knowledge production to boost industry and control consumption? How does the history of ideas, geared towards scientific systems of truth to organise food beliefs and in this telling of history, are possible alternative modes of understanding food being overlooked? First we must unpack the origins of nutrition science in order to step back from an a priori position of Science as Truth.
Origins: food as medicine and nutrition science
The Egyptian Imhotep gave accounts of the use of food as medicine about 6000 years ago and has been a stalwart form of treating ailments throughout history (Cannon, G., 2005, p701). Up until the seventeenth and eighteenth century in Europe, women were still using and developing medical cooking. Food was prescribed and curing nutriments were used until, following Descartes’ mind/body philosophy, there was a surge of interest in Science (Turner, B., 1982, p259). The philosophy that the body can function like a machine according to mechanical laws made medicine, pharmacy and botany distinct sciences which could only be studied by men and laid the basis for medical rationalism which provided popular dietary schemes of 18th century Europe (Turner, B., 1982, p259). Women were ‘discouraged from ministering to the sick in the absence of the physician’ and instead encouraged to buy medicine from the pharmacy- monopolised by male academic society (Schiebinger, L., 1991, p116). Thus, cooking was relegated to a domestic duty bound with the role of wife and mother. The move from experiential medical cooking to scientific exploration might be heralded as a progressive moment in history- when society was civilised into rational thinking and began to uncover hidden truths. Certainly it was the catalyst for life saving discoveries such as James Lind’s discovery that citrus fruits prevent scurvy in 1747 (Tulchinsky, T., Varavikova, E., 2014, p10). But, we could also see this shift towards science as an account of the history of ideas. Foucault posits that teleological development of rational knowledge should not be assumed to be progressive and directly associated with or the cause of improvement of the human condition (Turner, B., 1982, p256). In fact, he asks us to question the assumption that the growth of reasoned, systematic knowledge indexes fundamental, continuous, liberal and political freedom (Turner, B., 1982, p256). He suggests that power attracts power, and truth, or belief, manifests truth. He describes how knowledge and power run through trusted discourses such as Science. It is not forced upon a weak and ignorant public, but is mutually conditioning and reproduced through people unconsciously practising systems of truth (Foucault, M., 1980).
In this sense nutrition science, the understanding of the microscopic components of food is an enlightening project, but not an archaeology of truth. Why does this matter? Because the more people believe that truths are being uncovered, the more justified nutrition science based ‘technologies of the self’ and ‘technologies of the state’ become, leaving other modes of understanding unexplored or incomprehensible (Foucault, M., et. al. 1988).
As Post-Enlightenment ideals of positivist science redefined traditional ways of thinking about bodily ailments as biomedical problems with their own treatments, men trained their eye to see what the lay-person could not. Foucault describes this as a ‘medical gaze’ which separates the patient’s body from the patient’s identity and plunges ‘from the manifest to the hidden’ (Foucault, M., 1963, p 166). Scrinis has expanded this idea to describe the ‘nutritional gaze’; since nutrients are unseen, ‘it falls to the scientists (and to the journalists through whom the scientists speak) to explain the hidden reality of foods to us’ (Pollan, M., 2007). This nutritional gaze overwhelms other ways of seeing and sensually experiencing food’ (Scrinis, G., 2008, p46).
The pharmaceutical industry which monopolised the ‘pathological’ public body and funded medical scientists to advance their goals- was followed by similar behaviour within the food industry. Of course, nutrition science differs from medical science however, principles are formulated using similar rationale. Nutrition scientists use ‘individual variables they can isolate’ despite the complexity of whole food’s ‘virtual wilderness of chemical compounds, many of which exist in complex and dynamic relation to one another’ (Pollan, M., 2007). Using nutrients as normative principles of rationality scientists can formulate truthful facts about food; nutrition science is a legitimising force; an exercise of Foucauldian biopower (Rabinow, Rose & Foucault: 2003). Biopower relates to the regulation of citizens by modern states through ‘an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations’ (Foucault, M., 1976, p140). Despite the advances in nutritional science knowledge ‘rates of obesity and diabetes have soared’ in the US in recent years, making ‘lucrative business opportunities’ for medicine; ‘diet pills, heart-bypass operations, insulin pumps, bariatric surgery’ (Pollan, M., 2007). With nutrition science’s confusing, controlling and constricting information, also comes health promoting and life saving knowledge, such that like biopower it is constricting, yet ‘productive, pleasure inducing and knowledge forming (Foucault, M., 1980). In fact, biopower’s system (or ‘regime’) of truth is so concrete that it becomes impossible for ‘actors, spectator witnesses, or objects’ not to commit the truth acts they are subject to (Foucault, M., 1980, p80-81). This helps to expand the assumption of the essay title- nutrition science must be understood as part of the knowledge forming discourse of biopower.
The relation of power and knowledge is important not only in the way knowledge was taken from and then denied to women in the 17th and 18th century, but also in the way that the food industry manipulates nutritional information to market products. In Europe and the USA, research scientists are mostly dependent on funding from government and its agencies as well as from industry. Often funding comes with expectations favourable to certain findings that the science must meet (Cannon, G., 2005, p704). A U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition released the 1977 ‘Dietary Goals for the United States’ which correlated plummeting heart disease during war years and the rationing of meat and dairy products (Pollan, M., 2007). It was recommended that US citizens cut down on saturated fat rather than animal products (which would damage the meat and dairy industry economy- see Nestle, M., 2000). By focussing on a nutrient rather than whole-food, the food industry began to market ‘low-fat pasta and high-fructose (yet low-fat!) corn syrup’ which fails to address other factors such as ‘if you eat a lot of meat you’re probably not eating a lot of vegetables’ (Pollan, M., 2007). Scrinis describes this ‘nutrient bias’ as an environment that allows the easy manipulation and aggressive nutritional advertising which has caused the current obesity and diabetes epidemic that we see today in America (Scrinis, G., 2008, p46). Nestle describes this phenomena as a ‘nutrition confusion’ about the ‘basic principles of diet and health’ which is ‘conducive to overeating and poor nutritional practices’ leading to the sales of processed products (Nestle, M., 2000, p.vii)
Moreover, nutrition science’s ‘functional’ understanding of the body leads to the development of ‘functional foods’ (Scrinis, G., 2008, p43). The ideologies which the West produce food by are often marketed through food policy markets or even aid agendas, do not take into account digestive differences. Some populations can metabolise sugars better than others; some bodies ‘may or may not be able to digest the lactose in milk’ (Pollan, M., 2007). The medical doctor Guila Enders refutes the functional understanding and nutrient bias and posits that what the body does to the food is just as important. She problematises ‘general dietary tips’ by looking at the unique and ‘specific ecology’ of bacteria that exist in the intestine (Enders, G., 2015, p161). For example, more than 50% of Asians but only 25-30% of Europeans benefit from the protection soya can give against prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease because of the work that certain bacteria do that are found ‘more commonly in the guts of Asians’ (Enders, G., 2015, p161). Similarly – the Maasai have surprising low levels of cholesterol in their blood despite a diet consisting almost entirely of meat and milk because their intestines harbour high levels of lactobacillus fermentus- a bacteria which lowers cholesterol (Enders, G., 2015, p179). Importantly, chemicals added to the food we eat also affect intestinal bacteria- the use of antibiotics in animal farming can be significantly destructive (Enders, G., 2015, p222). This shows the ability that biopower has to create regimes of truth- nutrition science analyses molecular substances inherent in food, but not molecular chemical substances used in food production, such as antibiotics, fertilisers, and growth hormones. Nutrient profiling can add value to food, whereas chemical and hormonal use to produce high yielding crops detract from food value.
In this way, by promoting the nutrient value of food and ignoring the potential devastation to intestinal bacteria, knowledge is being controlled. There is, therefore, no place from which scientists can ‘speak truth to power,’ since they ‘are themselves agents of [a] system of power’ (Foucault, 1977, p207).
Governmentality, technologies of the self and the state, philanthrocapitalism
In the 1980s Illich stated that the personal responsibility individuals were taking in pursuit of a ‘healthy body’ facilitated the ‘smooth integration of one’s body to the requirements of the socioeconomic system’ (Illich, I., 1994). We can see the first signs of this behaviour in the beginning of the 19th century when Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, started one of the first health organisations to be developed by the USA based on whole food evangelism. Graham promoted a ‘health, individualism and self-reliance’ philosophy- that individuals are responsible for and should promote their own health (Porter, D., 1994, p317). He marketed this with his own brand of commercial foods, including Graham crackers. He encouraged individuals to affirm and confirm regimes of truth which they used to act on themselves through techniques of self-discipline. Foucault calls this governmentality through ‘technologies of the self’. Scrinis describes how by using ‘simplified scientific explanations, the nutricentric person (those vulnerable to the nutrient bias way of decision making) can feel empowered by the ability to count and control their intake- a modern day technology of the self (Scrinis, G., 2008, p46).
Kellogg, a religious leader and Medical Director, swiftly followed Graham in the 1890s, he focussed on diet-based treatments such as breakfast cereal. Kellogg became accepted as one of America’s leaders in nutrition and medicine and he attracted rich and famous patrons such as Ford and Rockefeller. His products are still marketed as health foods in the cereal aisle in supermarkets worldwide (Money, J., 1985)
By the end of the nineteenth century, nutrition science was a credible Western paramedical profession. Wilbur Atwater, the most renown American nutritionist of the time, employed a Cartesian understanding of the body to measure food as an energy ‘input’ and ‘output’ by surveying what the public were eating (Turner, B., 1982, p266). With the help of philanthropists and missionaries Atwater calculated weekly food expenditure and nutrition estimates in impoverished areas which were used to calculate a ‘standard of living’ and daily requirements of nutrients for individuals. The state was able to use this data to engineer food systems to increase yield and bolster human resources to fuel a large and growing body- that of industrialisation (Turner, B., 1982, p266). Moreover, Atwater’s studies were pivotal in making systems more efficient and economical to appease peasant hunger revolts, such as the 1863 Southern bread riots which saw the violent looting of shops and stores Southern America by malnourished people.
The ‘eye of power’ normalises the use of ‘examinations, timetables, taxonomies, classifications and registers’ to provide the means for the detailed surveillance and disciplining of the body . More broadly, Foucault calls this governmentality; ‘an art which attracts the organising technologies of the modern state’ (Turner, B., 1982, p256). Knowledge and power work together and so techniques for knowing the population are valuable and ever-advancing. As we have seen, this knowing extends to a government and surveillance of oneself; the body in the modern West is subject to a scientific discourse which numerates and monitors certain elements of consumption. People are born into technologies of the self which have existed before them. They are socialised into moving towards being a rational, healthy subject by policing their purchases and consumption including the use of nutritional labelling. The reliance on nutritional information to make rational choices reinforces its existence and furthers research into new food technologies. This research is something that is undertaken by those with the trained eye and is in line with the way we treat our medicalised bodies- only with the advice of an expert. Although we have advanced since Atwater’s understanding of the body as an input/ output machine, there is still an assumption that the body is a functional, generic commodity that reacts in the same way as other bodies to nutrients. This core mechanical view promotes the understanding that nutritional science contributes to the perception that food is something to be controlled.
In the early 20th century, the US state, concerned with the rising problem of infant mortality, allowed women to undergo training in the form of ‘Home Economics’. Rossiter’s data shows that in 1921, all the nutrition writers listed in American Men of Science (AMS) were female (Kohlstedt , S., 2004, p2). However, science was beginning to train its eye on nutrition and within a decade it had overtaken the practical understanding of food that women were developing. By 1938, AMS declared that ‘nutrition’ was the fastest growing field for male scientists and by the end of the 20th century men represented 75% – 80% of the 3500-member American Institution of Nutrition (Rossiter, M., 1984, p196).
An increase in men in a particular field signifies an increase in power, money and governance. As male-dominated fields of knowledge gained more attention, the absence of men in the development of practical, ‘traditional’ or alternative knowledges of food and nutrition added to its invalidity as a serious form of knowledge. Nutrition science became the ‘common sense’ and continues to inform female-dominated food practice. In this sense, the primacy of science moves in a reductionist direction and expands only to include other discursive regimes, such as that of policy, trade and the food market.
For example, nutrition science and the British state engineered a national food system during war time when food was scarce. John Boyd Orr did much of this work and became the first director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the UN (Cannon, G., 2005, p703). He was awarded a Peace Prize for his work advocating world food equity. His programs have come to exemplify the huge economic and nutritional impact large scale food programs can have. Boyd Orr’s programs were the first large-scale attempt to feed the poor and embrace ‘the environmental, social, economic, political, ethical and human rights dimensions of nutrition’ (Cannon, G., 2005, p703). Despite his programs acclaim, we should not take this approach for granted and assume all nutritional implementations are long-term improvements, especially when they are scaled up across various nations and cultures. We must ask what is at stake in the complex web of vast wealth of philanthropists, charities, companies and states involved in food policy programs which attempt to reduce poor health, malnutrition and food insecurity in poor communities and in the ‘developing’ world. Rockefeller- a patron of Kellogg- established one of the first philanthropic foundations in line with the principles of ‘scientific philanthropy’ to tackle ‘the root causes of social problems’ (Brooks, S., 2009, p8). However, development agencies understanding of ‘the root causes’ often does not challenge the ‘prevailing social order’ within which those rich agencies made their wealth (Brooks, S., 2009, p9). Moreover, today global nutrition foundations are often controlled by trade groups which distort nutrition advice to protect their own interests (Nestle, M., 2013)
So we see the continuation of philanthropic and capitalist powers acting on impoverished communities with the ruse of doing ‘social good’. Brooks et al explains the rise of ‘grand challenges’; an approach to research and development by a new generation of philanthropists, led by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation (Brooks, S. et. al., 2009). These philanthrocapitalists (a term coined by Edwards (2008)) operate by transferring business methods to the social sector, ‘extending leverage’ by linking with the private sector, and rapidly ‘going to scale’, thus maximising returns on investment by transforming ‘complex and diverse needs into ‘demand’ for pre-defined technical solutions’ (Brooks, S., 2009, p4). Some call these initiatives which bypass the usual bureaucracy of interventions in order to see immediate results (referred to as ‘America’s passing gear’(Brooks, S., 2009, p9)) as ‘silver bullet’ solutions; a ‘magical solution to any vexing problem’ (Brooks, S., 2009, p5). This term is often employed in a negative way by those who spurn particular technologies as reductionist; unable or unwilling to comprehend and tackle ‘the complexity of the problem they are supposed to solve’ (Brooks, S., 2009, p5). For example, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations employed international agricultural centres to start a ‘Green Revolution’ in Asian agriculture in the 1960s and 1970s, which, despite improving productivity and averting famine, also lead to damaging ‘socioeconomic dislocations’ (Buttel, F., et al, 1985, p31). Proponents of the Green Revolution assumed that ‘developing’ countries are developing along the same trajectory as ‘developed’ or high-income countries and doing so they are able to simplify the complexity of nutrition in certain countries (Buttel, F., et al, 1985, p31). Expensive foreign implementations psychologically and socially affect the targeted area by stripping local or ‘traditional’ food systems and knowledge of their independence in favour of a rationalised and seemingly ‘advanced’ Western technology or politically and economically indebting poor countries to rich countries .
Moreover, the agencies involved in nutritional interventions aimed at ‘social good’ direct research with a heavy emphasis on technological, productive and economic innovations rather than social or local ones and especially ignoring any harmful and exploitative ‘corporate interests from which their wealth derives’ (McConnell, 2008, p17). Edwards describes the assumption of social enterprises that ‘the social will take care of itself if the enterprise is successful’ (Edwards, 2008, p9). This social versus technological debate has been discussed elsewhere and I do not have the scope here to address it apart from to say that development agendas neoliberal goals are less geared towards repairing ‘poverty and social inequalities than to manage them.’ (Farmer, P., 2004, p313) This management is rooted in a knowledge which should not assumed to fit with different systems of truth. In this sense, nutrition science strengthens discourse that runs through development agendas that are both constricting to certain social groups and productive to others. This is expressed best by Pierre Bourdieu:
’Scientific rationalism—the rationalism of the mathematical models which inspire the policy of the IMF or the World Bank, that of the great law firms, great juridical multinationals which impose the traditions of American law on the whole planet, that of rational-action theories, etc.—is both the expression and the justification of a Western arrogance, which leads [some] people to act as if they had the monopoly of reason and could set themselves up as world policemen, in other words as self-appointed holders of the monopoly of legitimate violence, capable of applying the force of arms in the service of universal justice.’ (Bourdieu, P., 1998, p25).
This can be seen in the example of infant formula milk. Under a philanthropic guise wealthy food companies such as Nestle implemented solutions to problems raised by nutrition science and development agencies- high infant mortality due to malnutrition in impoverished communities. Social and economic forces shifted feeding from the breast to the bottle in both ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries (Muller, M., 2013). After the second World War, soaring birth rates, the liberation of women from the home and the increasing interest and dependence on science helped make powdered bottle formula for infants very popular in Europe an the US (Soloman, S., 1981). It wasn’t long before formula milk companies began aggressively advertising worldwide. Theoretically it is a nutritious product which can save the lives of babies who cannot breastfeed.
Multi-national brands who were selling formula staged saleswomen in traditional nurse’s uniforms in the maternity wards in hospitals. They gave the false impression of being independent health professionals, offering childcare advice to new mothers, promoting formula giving free samples (Soloman, S., 1981). The hospitals, happily created partnerships with these multimillion dollar companies and even signed contracts such as the 1974 contract between New York City and a formula company which gave the guarantee that a free sample would be given to every new mother leaving a municipal hospital (Soloman, S., 1981). By the time the free tin of formula had been used, the baby is less able to suckle from a breast, eventually ‘the mother’s milk can dry up and then the baby is hooked on formula’ (Dr. Carl Taylor, cited in Soloman, S., 1981). Formula companies spread their business internationally to other low income areas such as the Philippines where new mothers were routinely separated from their babies in order feed them with formula. In 1975, after much anecdotal criticism of formula, mothers began demanding to breastfeed their babies. The results showed that as breast-feeding increased, the rate of infant illness and mortality dropped dramatically (Soloman, S., 1981).
Mother’s milk naturally provides a babies underdeveloped immune system with important antibodies that protect against fatal infections. Women in ‘developing’ countries often dilute the formula as a day’s feed could cost up to half the average daily wage (Muller, M., 2013). The powdered formula had to be mixed with water, which was often to be unsanitary causing malnutrition which could be fatal (Muller, M., 2013).
The term structural violence results in the sickness of subaltern people by ‘historically given (and often economically driven) processes and forces [which] conspire to constrain individual agency’ (Farmer, P., cited on http://www.structuralviolence.org/structural-violence/). Forcing babies to be dependant upon a specific product that their family cannot afford is a clear and harrowing example of the structural violence. A structural violence that indexes the biopower of nutrition science with research paid for by multinationals.
The formula company’s unethical practices were exposed in 1974 by War on Want which lead to wide-spread protests, campaigns and boycotts. The W.H.O surveyed formula promotional practices in ‘four underdeveloped countries during 1976 and 1977,’ and concluded ‘the distributors themselves reported that they were not limiting the distribution of products by either geographical or socioeconomic criteria’ (Soloman, S., 1981). In Brazil, for example, infant formula was advertised as a modern and upwardly mobile method of feeding babies. It was the most advertised product after cigarettes and soap (Soloman, S., 1981). The UN World Health Assembly recommended ‘the adoption of an international code of conduct to govern the promotion and sale of breast milk substitutes’ (Muller, M., 2013). Nestlé’ responded to criticism and criminalising trade regulation with the argument that malnutrition wasn’t spread by their formula, but by pathogens in water. They have now produced their own bottled water, making money from a problem that they created (Muller, M., 2013). This shows how power is carried in the discursive regimes which have ‘the financial resources’, ‘the sales personnel, distribution channels and marketing apparatus’ to affect the public health (Soloman, S., 1981).
As well as malnutrition, discourse that favours capitalism, advertising and nutrition also affects low-income communities to cause over-nutrition, starting at school.
School is a powerful influence on children’ behaviour in all life settings and how you interact with food at school often continues into your adult life (Dietz and Gortmaker, 2001). Crooks explains the ‘aggressive marketing of low-quality foods to children’, and reduced physical activity paired with under funded educational services which leads to ‘a higher rate of overweight children in low income communities’ (Crooks, 2003, p183). She studies the sale of snack food to children at a low-income US school. These sales bring in ‘$7,000-$8,000 per year’ and funds programs that are ‘perceived to be fundamental to the education of the children especially those who come from poor families’ (Crooks, 2003, p192). Evidence shows that those with less money are more exposed to low-cost, low-quality foods and have less nutritional choice (Drewnowski and Specter, 2004).
So, is nutrition science a progressive force for social good?
As I have tried to show, nutrition science, as a product of enlightened rational thought, is used by discursive regimes to direct and validate capitalist agenda’s. It is important to mention that, of course, not all nutrition science is funded by and produced for those seeking material or political gain but has been ‘co-opted, promoted, and exploited by the food industry, with the assistance of compliant governments, regulatory bodies, and health institutions’ (Scrinis, G., 2008, p47).
Billions of people, whether they are the consumers of the food industries products, nutrition scientists, advertisers, philanthropcapitalists, factory workers, consumers take part in and strengthen the legitimacy of unsustainable food production and trade. We cannot ‘praise or blame individual actors’ but must see from a wider lens the discursive regimes and truth acts that are being reproduced in order to widen our lens of knowledge (Farmer, P., 2004, p307).
Nutrition science is a very narrow lens in which to understand food, and the food industry exploits this. The idea that bodies need certain nutrients lends itself to the idea that people need nutritional information and ‘nutritionally engineered and functionally marketed foods’ (Scrinis, G., 2008, p46). Nutrition science and ‘nutritionism’ needs to be identified as one of the many ways in which we can make decisions about, access and regulate food production and consumption.
The bigger picture of what food is involves the critical questions of where it has come from, who has produced it, what harm has it done? This reminds us of a Gramscian idea of ‘common sense’ – the rational and ‘common’ use of nutrition science to make consumer decisions which restricts the use of ‘good sense’- to make informed consumer decisions (Gencarella, S., 2010). For example, an individual may feel like they have a lot of choice in the breakfast cereal aisle of the supermarket, however, by what standards is one free to choose? Discourse restricts choice and knowledge, but also the awareness of the choice. Can they choose a product by minimal environmental impact? By minimal damage to the creatures we cohabit with? Or by any other standard that the person might think important? This information is not readily on the label and those specific and controlled ‘specialist’ products that do exist, such as free-range, organic or fair-trade meet some questionable standards (see Luetchford, P. (2008) and Safran-Foer, J., 2009). Moreover, ‘specialised’ products are economically discriminative and targeted at those who can afford to pay double for organic or to take time to visit farmers market; those who can afford to choose. All those whose socioeconomic status denies them fresh and organic and restricts them low-quality, heavily processed food (as we saw in Crooks study in the low-income school) puts them in danger of depression, heart-disease, obesity and other dietary related disease. This puts a twist on Farmer’s description of a structural violence ‘visited upon all those whose social status denies them access to the fruits of scientific and social progress’ (Farmer, P., cited in http://www.structuralviolence.org/structural-violence/). We might argue that Farmer is assuming all scientific ‘fruits’ are heathy and progressive, overlooking the role of food science in making cheap and heavily processed, chemical, modified, disease-causing food. The kind of food that low-income communities can be limited to and the kind of socio-economic forces that inflict structural violence.
The inter-connected foodways that might influence food choice are cherry-picked by food companies- the marketing of ‘fresh’, ‘happy’, ‘whole-grain’ and ‘fortified’ is a meagre impression of that product. How differently might we consume if we were able to choose by our ‘good sense’; the impact on the soil, on water supply, on animal suffering, on chemical use, on political and trade relations, on rainforest destruction etc. By narrowing our standards to a ‘nutrtionised gaze’ food producers can easily monopolise on our nutritional needs, whilst continuing to use food systems which ‘excessive exploitation of the natural resource base, leading to megafauna extinctions, deforestation, soil erosion, salination, water shortages, biodiversity losses (including, now, fisheries depletions), and mobilisation of infections into human populations’ (Lang, T., 2005 p708).
Lang tells us that ‘nutrition is generally blind to the environment despite the geo-spatial crisis over food supply’, it is a system of truth that asks ‘people to eat fish when fish stocks are collapsing’ etc. (Lang, T., 2005 p712). This makes us wonder, what other ways of understanding does it make us blind to? I don’t have the ability to discuss the myriad ways of understanding food, but I can say that nutrition science, despite its benefits, can block us from other ways of understanding food.
Nutrition science as a ‘force’ is perhaps where it intersects with being progressive. If nutrition Science dictates where the consumers spend their money, then alternative foodways are being sidelined.
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