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Omnivore’s Dilemma (2nd Part), Research Paper Example

Pages: 9

Words: 2434

Research Paper

Cultural Changes in Dinner Manners

Introduction

People’s ideas that pertain to elements of diets and contents of foods are considerations that affect nutrition. Consumers’ cultures such as religion or customs are prevalent aspects in the determination of food beliefs. For example, some religions believe in the custom of fast because it shows faith in God. This helps in preservation and conversation of foods for future utilization. Omnivores Dilemma’s theory of food consumption habits and challenges tackled at dinnertime. A person who does not eat during the day can determine the suitable food to take at dinnertime. Therefore, this eliminates the occurrences of conflicting ideas concerning dinnertime. Cultural beliefs can influence individuals eating habits at dinnertimes towards promotion of urgent changes, which contributes to a healthy nation. Although it is significant to take diverse foods from different sources, several challenges arise such as cultural affiliations and poor eating habits, however, preparation of homemade foods and strengthening of family values can assist in eliminating dinnertime dilemmas.

Cultural affiliations like religion helps in the elimination of overconsumption of industrialized meals because they recommend suitable foods that shall add nutrients in the body. For instance, Catholics celebrate their rituals by advising believers about taking foods free of spices and numerous fats. The priests suggest that the industrialized foods are rich in chemicals that are detrimental to the body. This is a different notion of the Americans who prefer taking ready-made foods from the convenience. Difference in beliefs and religious between the Latinos and Americans is evident in the illness that Americans experience from the foods that they take. This is due to the actuality that Americans are suffering from obesity while Latinos enjoy nutritious free illnesses (Bawadi, Al-Hamdan and Ershidat, 2012).

Cultural affiliations also limit over utilization of industrialized meals because of the choices that consumers opt for at dinner times and the deliberations that determine the genuine meal times. Latinos prefer sharing meals cooked at their homes during celebrations such as weddings and funerals. This happens when the church elders request believers to attend funerals or weddings with cooked foods. Unlike the Americans prefer purchasing foods from supermarkets and food stores, mainly observing the principles of the chain. Since the church teachings on the virtues of mutual appreciation and living as per the standards of one’s financial needs, organic foods are not a preferred food to them. This is due to the actuality that organic foods are costly to acquire because of the mineral enhancements used to manufacture them. This influences the food choices on the surroundings that are supplementary to the prices and benefits accrued (Bawadi, Al-Hamdan and Ershidat, 2012).

Lastly, elimination of dinnertime dilemmas depends on the beliefs that food sources are significant consideration. Some cultures consider farming their own foods, which they labour to enjoy. Food source determines the cost of consumption and nutrient derived from the foods. This is achieved by consuming varied natural foods, which are acquired through recognized sources, and evading oily, unhealthy products (Hellen, 2008). The author is instrumental in directing readers on how to eat the diverse foods in the food chain. This implies that a person should not eat many foods from one category in the chain, but try to combine the other clusters in the food chain. According to Pollan (2006), the three food chains offer different nutritional values that consumers ingest. Pollan (2006) suggests that eating traditionally reared meats and planted foods from the farm offers solutions to dilemmas that people experience during dinnertime. Therefore, individual’s beliefs stimulate cultural and religious affiliations that should help them in reducing the amount of organic and industrialized meal that they take during dinnertimes (Hellen, 2008).

Challenges of cultural inclination in solving Dinnertime Dilemmas

Cultural inclinations in the resolution of dinnertime can also pose challenges if the individuals do not take appropriate precautions. The other challenges include American orientation to industrialized foods, work ethics and lack of culinary skills. Some people will always observe the teachings of priests or doctrines of the church without questioning health aspects. This can cause health complications since it arises in severe eating disorders. Poor eating habits normally cause disruptions in the normal operations of meal times. This implies that a person who likes consuming industrialized meals obliges to taking natural meals will find it hard to adapt to the new system of farming and domestic cooking (Kulka, 2007). Therefore, eating the preferred meal in between meal times will lead to eating disorder. Another cultural aspect like fasting also affects people and can cause a dilemma if a suitable technique is not implemented. Fasting is a common ritual that different religious groups devout to and encourages starving for spiritual nourishment. Although it improves devotion to faith, starvation causes eating dilemmas as people save money for feasting festivities. Most Americans who prefer organic meals will find it difficult to eat the traditional foods (Kulka, 2007).

However, cultural affiliations can also hinder development of industrialized meals because of the opinions that people have on the foods. Most of the people who adhere to the traditional cultures are against buying of foods at the counters. This can contribute to collapse of the industries if demand drops. Industrialized foods are ready-made and can save time for a person who does not want to cook at homes. Alternatively, culture supports the practice of farming for domestic use. Pollan (2006) suggests that cultivating and rearing of agricultural produce is instrumental towards healthy development of the body organs. The church and other customary observers support this belief. This is due to the reality that people connect to their social group through identical food patterns. This involves modes of provision, preservation practices, food types and ingredients used, which are different to the ordinary foods from industries. This makes people prepare their foods rather than buy from supermarkets or McDonalds.

Dinnertime dilemmas arise due to difficulty in selecting the right food to cook, prepare or eat. This is because many socio-cultural aspects determine foods chosen and nutritional patterns that surface from these choices. Culturally, for many people, mealtimes observed as a chance to come together and reinforce social ties. Therefore, tradition plays a part in food varieties, and food habits linked to moral or religious beliefs (Kawash, 2011). Everyday factors also influence the decisions about the food to purchase, cook or eat, which entails preferred taste, price or available options. Young children are taught, on the suitable methods, to plan for mealtimes for their future preparations. This helps in developing a mealtime program that aims at resolving dilemmas at dinnertime. However, in America young people are not attaining the elementary culinary skills that facilitate them to have independence over the foods they chose. This deprivation of traditional cooking abilities in an age of culinary evolution appears to be arising despite the growing exposure to raw produce. This is the main aspect that motivates them to purchase ready-made foods.

Cultural traditions are slowly losing value due to industrialization, and this influences increasing consumption of ready-meals and convenience foods. This happens because limited food is cooked from raw ingredients. According to Americans, convenience is time saving and minimizes the physical and perceptual effort required for food preparation (Kulka, 2007). Several technological innovations influence the increasing demands for more commercial meals such as the microwaveable dinners, Cultural variations with multicultural civilizations presenting new foods as well as the rise in single families, a decrease in family feasting together and more women hunting paid work. The women nowadays opt to seek for employment opportunities rather than maintain their traditional roles of cooking. The foods cooked at homes still use some industrialized ingredients to organize foods, for instance, tinned tomatoes or frozen vegetables (Kulka, 2007).

According to Kawash (2011), in addition to influencing food selections, and religious beliefs, culture also sways food related customs. This involves the cultural belief of eating food or mealtimes at a table. The amount of food people eat and leave uneaten also varies as some consider food should not be insufficient at homes. This notion motivates preservation and conservation of food as people consider it appropriate to store food at home. This forms the etiquette criteria, which means that a visitor or a child must always find food to eat. It entails the role of conversation during mealtimes because it is a sign of satisfaction to many families from the Asian countries. It is essential that cultural beliefs that influence poor eating habits that may lead to complications due to inappropriate tendencies are avoided. This implies that traditional techniques of farming and rearing animals suggested by Pollan (2006) are still useful approaches that can prevent dinnertime dilemmas.

In conclusion, culture is an aspect that develops other elements in the food chains since it forms a behavioural inclination towards either industrialized, organic or traditional meals. It would be prudent that contemporary acquisition of foods does not interfere with the customary procedures (Kawash, 2011). The cultural beliefs and traditions like fasting can offer varied repercussions to people if done without care.

Solutions to avoid Dinnertime Dilemmas

Dinnertime dilemmas normally arise when individuals associate eating habits with cultural orientations or preference to industrialized and organic meals. Therefore, in order to solve the puzzle of dinnertime, a person should adopt habits that will reduce poor eating habits and spending money on over-the-counter meals.

Solving dinnertime dilemmas involves reducing food addiction, which results, from obsessive drive, to consume food. This can be due to a person planning to take junky foods at all times without considering the complications that can occur from poor eating habits such as overweight. Culturally, some people consume food and other substances to avoid emotions and feelings; hence, development of food addiction, which results from a disconnection of emotions and feelings (Riley, 2004). Therefore, addiction to preferred meals from supermarkets and McDonalds is an American culture that compels people to like the foods. A person should avoid taking foods that will lead him to crave for extra foods. Since people normally eat at all intervals, it does not lead to addiction, but influences the need to take the same food regularly. This implies that when eating habits are directed toward changing one’s state of mind, it is an indication of an underlying problem. Eating is something an individual can manage; hence, self-destructive behaviours are often rooted in a feeling of being observant of the cultural beliefs. Individuals need to have control over their eating behaviours and avoid over consumption of foods that their culture dictates (Riley, 2004).

Solving dinnertime dilemmas entails consuming and encouraging homemade foods instead of industrialized foods. The culture of fast foods needs to stop because it is assumed to cause obesity and the general absence of significance in relation to consuming homemade food (Pollan, 2006). However, some critics claim that homeland foods are expensive to prepare because of the ingredients and time involved in the process. This is a belief that should be stopped and people start cooking at homes because homemade foods are nutritious and obtained from recognized sources. Additionally, this is a viable solution to solve dinnertime dilemma because it is more economical to buy fresh food from vendors than purchase dinner and lunch from McDonalds for a family of three. This effect is that Americans need to make accurate choice regarding fast foods and other high calorie meals because they have many options, which offer cheap charges. For instance, shopping for fruits, vegetables, fish or grains is cheaper and a better option that purchasing industrialized foods. This clearly implies that a probable description for eating practices in the US may be cultural norms rather than earnings or access to garden-fresh ingredients. For instance, few people who prefer fresh homemade foods to supermarket foods derive the admiration from their upbringings (Kawash, 2011). A person who was taught from an initial stage to value food and prepared it at home will not consider buying readymade foods. Therefore, culinary skills should start, at family levels, to incorporate the belief in daily cultures. This is due to the reality that eating well is not a result of socio-economic elements, but rather how one is raised and views the planning and consumption of food. Riley (2004) suggests that being poor does not force a person to eat at McDonald’s, rather being trained that consuming pre-made foodstuff is acceptable, from an early age, and part of how a person considers the source of food.

Solving dinnertime dilemmas are attributed to embracing family values and strong cultural policies. Development of family policies and healthy patterns of eating will encourage people to introduce dinnertime programs. Meals in households should be regarded, as family or social occasions, to strengthen the family bonds and ensure that people observe meal times rather than buying personal foods at McDonalds. According to Pollan (2004), family members need to invest in cooking implement and encourage preparation of foods at home. This is due to the actuality that some families do not have enough culinary equipment or skills to cook family meals. Moreover, there are no table at which a meal could be served in common if someone had assumed of doing so. Children should be discouraged from depending on prepared foods by not stocking junk foods in fridges or microwaves. They should wait for foods to be prepared at homes and eat with other family members. Food desertification is a sign of the culinary inexperience, ineffectiveness and indifference of a substantial minority of the population (Kawash, 2011). For example by teaching girls the elements of cookery, they develop this as a culture and initiate it in their daily chores, in the family.

Therefore, a viable solution is change of diets and eating habits in the family because family values and cultures make people accustomed to eating or drinking same meals. This implies that families should not fear trying something new like change of diets and consumption of domestic foods, sourced from farms. Making changes in diets and lifestyles contributes to reduction in dinnertime dilemmas and healthy living (Pollan, 2006).

References

Bawadi, H., Al-Hamdan, Z., Ershidat, O., Hammad, F., et al. (2012). Cultural Eating

Practices among Jordanians. Food and Nutrition Sciences. Scientific Research Publishing. Irvine. P. 790-795.

Helen, K., M. (2008).Eating habits and the drive toward thinness: A cross-cultural Comparison. Psychotherapy. The American University.

Kawash, S. (2011). New Directions in Motherhood Studies. Signs: Journal of women in culture & society, P. 36(4), 969-1003.

Kulka, S. (2007). Dinner talk: Cultural patterns of sociability and socialization in family discourse. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Assoc. Publishers, P. 32-38.

Pollan, Michael. (2006). The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Library

Journal. Vol. 130, Issue 20. 03630277. New York, United States.

Riley, M. (2004). Marketing eating out: The influence of social culture and innovation. British Food Journal, 96(10), 15-15.

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