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Blog Post #4: Strain Theory at Work in the Modern Food Movement?

The above video features some highlights of the “TEDxManhattan 2013” conference. The main topic of discussion at the conference was the food movement. Just walk into a supermarket or watch a food commercial, and you’ll notice that there has been this massive push to change the way in which we eat. Why? As preventable diseases and cancers of ambiguous origins continue to be responsible for more deaths in the United States than ever before, it is safe to say that individuals are starting to question whether food plays any part in this problem. They would argue that food, indeed has a major role. Because of this, they have revitalized the food movement, incorporating efforts such as juicing, raw food diets, marketing “superfoods”, non-consumption of fast food/processed foods, and rejection of medication. As I watched the above video and continued to research the topic, I could not help but notice some elements of Robert Merton’s strain theory at work in this movement. I particularly thought of the rebellion mode of adaptation. Rebels reject both society’s culturally defined goals and structurally defined means of attaining those goals. The culturally defined goal in this case relates to why we eat. Society would say that we eat to stay alive, and there is not much of an emphasis on health. Food is an experience, and the pleasure that eating brings us is more important than anything else. In response to this, society has mass produced food and created it to be purposely more pleasurable to us. As a result, less nutrients are being retained by our food. Food movement advocates would argue that we primarily eat to stay healthy and sustain life. Instead of contributing to the market and associated institutions, they choose to eat specific foods. They believe that through their alternative methods of eating, they will achieve their goal and empower others to challenge these concepts as well.

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2 responses to “Blog Post #4: Strain Theory at Work in the Modern Food Movement?

  1. I think we are only able to eat healthy when we are financially stable. In the modern society, most people dont have the time to eat so they don’t even bother to know whether they are eating healthy or not. Most healthy food are more expensive than normal food to me. Since the economy is not well, being able to fill their stomach has always been their primary desire, and not to eat healthy.

  2. I agree with most of what you say, food is one of the biggest factors to health. what you put in your body is literally what it uses to fuel itself. that being said I would be careful using TEDx for information and evidence or proof. TEDx is rather poorly run, they allow many individuals who speak total nonsense to present and much of the research conducted is faulty and inaccurate.

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