Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Food

Reject the Fat Acceptance Movement

As waistlines have expanded in the western world, we’re seeing a push for “fat acceptance”. This movement takes the view that society unfairly discriminates against fat people on arbitrary grounds, that being fat is a legitimate way of being that should be no more open to criticism than being gay or being black. As the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) puts it, “we come in all sizes”. While the Fat Acceptance Movement identifies some genuine problems in our society, its answers to these problems are wholly inadequate.

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How Food Subsidies Make You Poorer and Kill African Babies

Recently in the United States, congress has been fighting with the president about food subsidies.  The bill for renewing food subsidies also renews the food stamp program, which helps very poor individuals purchase food. Congressional republicans are seeking to make cuts to the food stamp program, denying food stamps to those who are not in part-time employment or in job training. They seek to pass a version of the farm bill that permits state governments to deny food stamps to the unemployed. The president threatens to veto the farm bill if it includes language of this kind, preventing a renewal of the subsidies. There has been no resolution to the dispute as of yet.  Today I wish to argue that congressional republicans are attempting to kill the wrong part of the farm bill–they should be targeting the farm subsidies rather than food stamps for the unemployed.

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The Soylent Revolution: Eliminating Food with Science

There’s a fellow named Rob Rhinehart who has a fascinating idea–he wants to eliminate food. Rhinehart takes our modern nutritional knowledge and puts it to work, synthesising a cocktail of nutrients he calls “Soylent” that he eats in place of his daily meals (for those readers who count themselves among the foodies, he does still eat and drink socially at say, restaurants, or for special occasions–it’s having to do the cooking himself on a day to day basis that irks Rhinehart). Assuming that this, or something like it, one day proves safe, I would like to speculate as to the potential social changes and ethical obligations brought on by this kind of scientific food minimalism.

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British Horse Hystericism

In the course of my trip (which I have been on since the 6th and will continue to be on until the 17th–blog posting, in the meantime, is consequently limited and intermittent), I have found myself watching news on television. This is something I do rarely, in no small part because TV news tends to be both repetitive and devoid of intellectual content. Very nearly every time I have turned on the news, whether it be the BBC or Sky, the story invariably has been about the fact that recently, there was some horse meat found in meat that was purported to be from cattle, not horses. The more I hear about this story, the more irrelevant it seems to me to be. Here’s why.

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