08/04/2013

We are what we eat

From birth to fast food in the 30s in the United States, the controversy over the new food industry has constantly arise. Constitutes the industry really the solution to all problems of subsistence and supplies? Are we to think that just because she could feed healthy to all citizens of the West, and even end hunger in underdeveloped countries? Or, conversely, does the food industry has not only helped eradicate hunger but is liable to generate new illnesses linked to this system of food production on a large scale?

The complaints and criticisms from different fronts: environmentalists, farmers and citizens groups demanding legislation to ensure the interests of all and not just those of large multinational food. Instead, the current laws of the major world power (the United States) protect the small group of companies controls the entire food process, from the patented seeds resistant to various pests and diseases, seed grain that will become for cattle feed, so far as the products offered for sale at the supermarket.

The critical arguments are articulated from various sides: as the data of the World Bank, nearly 2,800 million people live below the poverty and hunger in the world is still the greatest social and political problem. The development of the food industry has not benefited the 46% of humanity and obesity, diabetes, cholesterol or nutrition-related diseases have increased exponentially with the expansion of the food industry. The large food multinationals, with the support of governments and laws, prevent the development of traditional farming ways, to the point that they claudican to their pressures and manipulations. Citizens feel cheated when they are hidden how certain foods are genetically engineered, their origin, maturation processes following fruits and vegetables, etc. The continuing emergence of diseases caused by the food we eat –for example, spongiform encephalopathy outbreaks or disease caused by the bacterium E. Coli 0157: H7– suggests that this is a very serious problem which is ultimately responsible for our economic and production system, and this system will ultimately affect our health and physical and intellectual. And the responsibility lies not only in the city that eats, but in an industry that hides modified food and handling.

It seems that much of what we are is what we eat. And much of what we eat is contaminated, adulterated and its production process occurs after mysterious spacecraft designed to conceal how it is handled before we put into our mouths.

: Based on an article by Iván Teimil and Asunción Herrera, from the University of Oviedo (Spain)

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1673 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3396) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-11-05 00:01:35" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-11-04 23:01:35" ["post_content"]=> string(7474) "En su ensayo 'Las posibilidades económicas de nuestros nietos', de 1930, el economista británico John Maynard Keynes predijo que al cabo de un siglo las sociedades industrializadas habrían progresado tanto que sus avances tecnológicos permitirían a las personas vivir con desahogo, sin apenas necesidad de trabajar, y que eso proporcionaría la felicidad. W_keynes
El bueno de Keynes predijo que la industrialización traería como consecuencia la felicidad humana —Foto Unknown Author
Casi ese siglo después y tomando como punto de partida ese ensayo, Robert Skidelsky, historiador económico y reputado biógrafo del creador del keynesianismo, ha publicado junto a su hijo y filósofo Edward el libro '¿Cuánto es suficiente?', en el que reflexionan sobre el sistema económico actual y el alejamiento de la sociedad del concepto de 'buena vida', algo que los seres humanos han intentado perfilar a lo largo de los tiempos, desde la Grecia clásica hasta el cristianismo o el marxismo. Según el libro, el progreso y la fuerte mejora en las condiciones de vida que siguieron a la Segunda Guerra Mundial se torcieron en los años 80, cuando Ronald Reagan y Margaret Tatcher establecieron el crecimiento de la economía como fin en sí mismo y no como un medio para la consecución de la buena vida de las personas. Ese indicador de crecimiento, que no tiene en cuenta otras preocupaciones del ciudadano como la salud, el ocio o el Medio Ambiente, tuvo un triunfo rápido y contundente sobre el resto de fines de la economía debido al espectacular aumento en el nivel de vida de las décadas de los 60 y 70 y a la cercanía al pleno empleo en las sociedades occidentales. 'En tales circunstancias, el pensamiento económico quedaba libre para concentrarse en la eficiencia de la eficiencia de la producción'. W_dinero
Unos cuantos miles de dólares americanos —Foto Unknown Author
La buena vida, a diferencia de la felicidad —algo privado y psicológico, no siempre conectado con las condiciones de vida— se basa para los Skidelsky en una serie de elementos básicos que el Estado debería promover, aunque corresponde a los ciudadanos disfrutar y desarrollar por completo: salud, seguridad —física o económica—, respeto, personalidad —libertad para actuar con autonomía—, armonía con la naturaleza, amistad —lazos afectivos con los demás— y ocio —lo que se hace porque sí, no por obligación o con un fin—. Los autores son optimistas sobre el futuro. Frente a la confusión entre necesidad y deseo que parece imperar, proponen una renovación ética, más políticas sociales y la reducción de la presión por consumir o la publicidad que altera la libre elección del ciudadano. Creen que hoy nos encontramos mejor preparados que nunca para esa buena vida: materialmente estamos mucho mejor que en los años 30 y el conocimiento es accesible a mucha más gente, dos factores que combinados con el despertar ético que puede suponer esta crisis económica podrían dejar a las sociedades avanzadas en una mejor posición de partida que la de Keynes en 1930.In his essay 'Economic possibilities for our grandchildren', in 1930, the British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that within a century industrialized societies have progressed so far that its technological advances allow people to live comfortably, with little need for work, and that provide happiness. W_keynes
A quite enthusiastic Keynes predicted that industrialization would result in human happiness —Photo Unknown Author
Almost a century later and taking that essay as a starting point, Robert Skidelsky, economic historian and biographer reputed creator of Keynesianism, published with his son and philosopher Edward the book 'How much is enough?', which reflect on the current economic system and society away from the concept of 'good life', something that humans have tried profiling over time, from classical Greece to Christianity or Marxism. According to the book, strong progress and improvement in living conditions that followed World War II were twisted in the 80's, when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher set economic growth as an end in itself and not as a means of achieving the good life of the people. That growth indicator, which does not take into account other citizen concerns such as health, leisure or the environment, had a quick and decisive victory over the other end of the economy due to the dramatic increase in the standard of living of the decades of 60 and 70 and proximity to full employment in Western societies. 'In these circumstances, the economic thought was free to concentrate on the efficiency of the production efficiency.' W_dinero
A few thousand US dollars —Photo Unknown Author
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They believe that we are now better prepared than ever for the good life: we are materially better than in the 30s and knowledge is accessible to many more people, two factors that combined with the ethical awakening can make this economic crisis could leave advanced societies in a better starting position than Keynes in 1930." ["post_title"]=> string(79) "¿Cuánto es suficiente?How much is enough?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(18) "how-much-is-enough" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 02:08:07" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 01:08:07" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=3396" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1671 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1829) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-05-18 00:14:04" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-05-17 22:14:04" ["post_content"]=> string(3315) "El Decrecimiento es una corriente de pensamiento político, económico y social que propone la disminución regular y controlada de la producción económica, con el objetivo de establecer una nueva relación de equilibrio entre el ser humano y la Naturaleza, y también entre los propios humanos. 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Otro de ellos, Paul Ariès, politólogo y escritor, defiende en este vídeo la necesidad de construir una sociedad que respete el planeta y cuyo objetivo sea el bienestar de la inmensa mayoría de sus integrantes.Degrowth is a current political, economic and social thought which proposes regular and controlled reduction of economic output, with the aim of establishing a new equilibrium relationship between man and nature, and between humans themselves. Born in the second half of the twentieth century, is presented at the beginning of XXI as a candidate to succeed Capitalism. He argues that we are playing with the resistance of the planet and must learn to live happily with less consumer goods, at a more natural, and believes necessary to achieve the combination of three types of actions: the personal —more responsibility, reducing consumption, reuse things, less use of the car, etc—, the collective or local —consumption of local products, support sustainable mobility, urban speculation rejection, etc— and policy or global —control of advertising, choosing local and ethical banks, job sharing with reduced working hours, protection of the most vulnerable sectors, etc—. The economist Serge Latouche, one of its greatest advocates, says that 'happy people do not usually consumes'. Another, Paul Ariès, political scientist and writer, argues in this video the need to build a society that respects the planet and aimed at the welfare the vast majority of its members." 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