The food governance (in its widest meaning and inclusive of safety governance, security governance, market regulations, trade agreements, food prices etc) albeit meliorated along last centuries, still presents a number of shortfalls that consent the coexistence of malnutrition and obesity; around 25.000 deaths each year for zoonotic agents in Europe only – as well as the recursive presence of food scares (dioxin and E. Coli in Germany being the last ones), or wider mismanagements, both at the collective action and individual practice levels. Even if clearly the food never has been safer and so abundant, there is still a plenty of paradoxes and irrational aspects which often spill over into the public sphere, sometime magnified by our food environments and media channeling. The resulting sense of scandal in such cases is great: mainly because food has its own inherent physiologic rationality, linked to the most basic human need and pragmatic solution implied. Not by chance the ideal food dose for a meal was called the “ratio”. The scope of the presentation is to stress, departing from case-studies analysis, how when talking about food the idea of rationality seems implicitly to take the stage: and the underlying concept of “nature” (evolving or stationary), even if evoked, does not add clarity, since it is linked to a progressing scientific environment in the life sciences.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The reasonable food
The public speech among evolving science, regulation and baseline human physiology

Corrado Finardi   University of Parma

The food governance (in its widest meaning and inclusive of safety governance, security governance, market regulations, trade agreements, food prices etc) albeit meliorated along last centuries, still presents a number of shortfalls that consent the coexistence of malnutrition and obesity; around 25.000 deaths each year for zoonotic agents in Europe only – as well as the recursive presence of food scares (dioxin and E. Coli in Germany being the last ones), or wider mismanagements, both at the collective action and individual practice levels. Even if clearly the food never has been safer and so abundant, there is still a plenty of paradoxes and irrational aspects which often spill over into the public sphere, sometime magnified by our food environments and media channeling. The resulting sense of scandal in such cases is great: mainly because food has its own inherent physiologic rationality, linked to the most basic human need and pragmatic solution implied. Not by chance the ideal food dose for a meal was called the “ratio”. The scope of the presentation is to stress, departing from case-studies analysis, how when talking about food the idea of rationality seems implicitly to take the stage: and the underlying concept of “nature” (evolving or stationary), even if evoked, does not add clarity, since it is linked to a progressing scientific environment in the life sciences.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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