Monday, September 27, 2010

HW 5- Dominant Discourses

"The baby-carrot industry tried to reposition its product as junk food..." This is extremely startling to me. People trying to market vegetables as junk food? I understand why they are using this approach but I think it is sending the wrong message. What it is saying is that in order to get kids to eat vegetables, it must be considered by them as junk food. This presents me with a clear dominant discourse in food today- kids don't eat vegetables. They should, but they DON'T. Instead, kids seem to follow the foodways of somebody who eats snacks high in sodium, sugar and trans fat. They drink diet sodas and then the population erupts in diabetes. Has the discourse really stooped down to this level of treating kids like idiots and selling baby carrots in the same way as chex mix? Of course it's a great idea and it may convince some but it is clear that child obesity and general unhealthyness has become a topic of dominant discourse.

The foodways of a well-informed person can be two different things: There is the easily manipulated person who looks at a television advertisement or a billboard and is convinced to make their foodways as big businesses tell them. THEN, there is the well informed critical thinker who sees all of the ads and can see through the lies. This person listens to experts not affiliated with any food corporation and is mindful about how food makes them feel. The easily manipulated person will probably go to Starbucks or wherever a commercial suggests and their foodways will most likely be unhealthy. The well informed person who takes everything with a grain of salt will likely stay away from what they know is obscenely unhealthy, but is not ready to give up ALL comfort foods.

When it comes to the actual talking, nobody affiliated with any big chain should have a voice on their own food. They may defend themselves, but in the news today the credibility of "that McDonalds cashier" is not up to that of a consumer- somebody on nobody's side that has food experience. Professional chefs- those who make $100 meals, will probably know what they're talking about when it comes to food. However, the ones with the most credibility today among those who participate in food discourse are the doctors. The ones who spent two or more decades studying the human body and nutrition probably know a lot more than the chief executive who has spent the same amount of time counting profits and swimming in cash from food they would not likely even touch themselves. These are the highly acclaimed professionals who are not only the most legitimate voice in the dominant discourse, but the most listened to (or if not the most, just second to slimy ad campaigns).

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