Essay on The Food And Eating Practices

Essay on The Food And Eating Practices

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Food and eating practices are so diverse across different cultures, that often some are perceived as being maladaptive or pathological. Many animals, including humans, have been known to practice geophagy. It is more common for homo sapiens to consume dirt or dirt particles unintentionally, rather than consciously eating it. This is because according to western biomedicine, it is not socially acceptable, and has therefore the act of intentionally eating dirt is pathological. When comparing the average nutritional value of a North American diet, to the nutrients in dirt, process foods do not compare to the nutritional value found in dirt (Callahan, 2003). Many parts of the world use dirt as flavoring in their food, for nutrition, and use it to remove toxins from certain animals and plants. Dirt in the western biomedicine is considered to be unclean since there is the possibility of it being contaminated with living organisms that may cause sickness but in other cultures it can be used as a medicine, for nutrition, and can even increase immune systems(Callahan, 2003). The main reason dirt eating is considered maladaptive or pathological is north Americans believe humans should eat only food items. The difficulty is defining what food is from one culture to another. Just as dirt eating may be seen as pica, there are many eating habits in Western society that may also be considered maladaptive of pathological.

Food in western society has become so over processed that it should be considered to be maladaptive. In order for homo sapiens to grow and be healthy, there needs to be vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that bodies need to survive. Western societies expect food to taste delicious and anything that does ...


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...nitive function can never be restored to normal without the withdrawal of the sugar. Dirt however has no addictive properties, and can act as a supplement for vitamins and minerals (Callahan, 2003). In fact pregnant woman often use it to sooth upset stomach, and receive supplements such as calcium, which is important during the third trimester when the fetus’s bones are beginning to form.

Western Biomedicine see’s geophagy as pathological and maladaptive, and those who do purposely consume dirt are said to be dieses because no diseased person would make this choice (Callahan, 2003). However it may be the Western societies views on food choices may be pathological, especially since most of what is consumed is either chemically treated, or has large amounts of sugars and fats, along with the fact these foods cause physical dieses and behaviour differences.

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