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Wednesday, 11 December 2013 05:15

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Short Answers

  1. The art of cooking was important for the development of humans and their society as it led to the growth of the human brain (Sanderson, 2001). Cooking made it easy for humans to eat, digest food and absorb essential nutrients leading to the development of big brains. The art of cooking also led to the development of family relationships, homes and health, which are an essential part of the human society. 
  2. The transatlantic exchange was a trade that entails export of African slaves from the Africa to the American continent. One of the consequences of the social consequences is the rapid economic growth of the American content. The trade also led to increased diversity within human society. Today, the American continent has a highly diverse human population.
  3. Epidemic of obesity can be defined as the prevalence of individual with excess body fat and weight within societies (Sanderson, 2001). Poor eating culture is one of the primary causes of the epidemic of obesity. Development of a passive culture has also contributed to the prevalence of obesity. Genetics also play a significant role in the development of obesity.
  4. Food preferences are produced socially. People from the same social context tend to have similar food preferences. For instance, the Japanese are widely acknowledged for their sushi, American for the hamburgers and Italians for the Pizza (Sanderson, 2001). The confinement of these food preferences to social context supports the argument that food preference is socially produced. Similarly, people who live a cultural framework that is dissimilar from their indigenous culture tend to adopt the food preferences of the local culture. For instance, Japanese who are born and raised in America are likely to prefer American dishes to native Japanese dishes.
  5. The meaning of food can drastically change overtime, in line with changes taking place in other aspects of society. For instance, in the ancient times, people dedicated a lot of time to the task of finding food (Sanderson, 2001). The entire day was spent in activities such as hunting, fishing and gathering. Food was seen as the goal or end-result of all daily activities. However, today people take food in order to facilitate their daily activities. Food has become a means for them to continue with other economic activities. The perception of the link between health and food has also been altered. In the past, humans used to take a lot of calories in order to boost their health. Today, many health conditions are associated with the intake of excessive calories of food. Opponent of this argument may point at the fact that food remains a vital part of the human society (Sanderson, 2001). While this argument is true, it cannot disapprove the fact that the meaning derived from food by modern day people is significantly different from the meaning perceived by ancient people.

Long Answers

People who argue that food preferences are naturally produced suggest that people are born with the food preferences. Existence of people with different food preferences with the same social setting is one of the examples used to support the argument that food preferences are naturally produced (Sanderson, 2001). Proponents of this argument suggest that people within the same social context can have different preferences because their genetic make-up is different.  However, this argument can be disapproved by the fact that close family members, who live far from each other, tend to develop different preferences.

If genetics was the main determinant of food preferences, then, close family members should have the same preferences regardless of the differences in the social contexts. Another example used to support the nature argument is the fact that food conditions such as diabetes, lactose intolerance and obesity can be genetically transmitted. However, this argument can also be dismissed because the largest proportions of individuals who have this condition acquire them through their lifestyles rather than genetics.


African Creates (2005). The Transatlantic Trade. May 20, 2013. http://www.dac.gov.za/publications/heritage%20booklet/slave%20trade.pdf

Sanderson S. (2001). The Evolution of Human Sociality. USA. Rowman & Littlefield

Read 2127 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 05:18
Prof. Morgan Clinton

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