Why We Eat What We Eat: Explanations for Human Food Preferences and Implications for Government Regulation
Torpoco, Edward A.
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CitationWhy We Eat What We Eat: Explanations for Human Food Preferences and Implications for Government Regulation (1997 Third Year Paper)
AbstractAs this paper will demonstrate, however, understanding the reasons behind human food preferences can make a tremendous difference in the well-being of the world's people. To this end, Part II examines two competing theories for the origins of human food preferences: cultural idealism and cultural materialism. The first approach starts from the premise that human food preferences are fundamentally arbitrary--i.e., that food preferences are the results of irrational cultural prejudices--whereas the second theory posits that human food habits are rational adaptations to material conditions. Part III illustrates these two theory's explanations for two well-known food taboos: the American taboo on dog meat and the Indian taboo on cow slaughter.
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