Respond to The Plenty of Paradox

picture taken at Route 116, Amherst, MA
8/21/2017 6:52 AM

People live in different “standards” through the eyes of the others. I personally don’t think it is necessary to be able to get the right answer or argue if things are going right or wrong. How to cultivate a peaceful heart and manage the feelings in responding to others “standards” matters. Yet, what is standard anyway? Does standard has to have right or wrong answer? And how does values or beliefs play a role in human behavior and interaction? How can we become more accepted to others in terms of social interactions, cultural practices, and thus in return relieve our own minds in face of conflicts and uncomfortable? Sometimes I think we are too comfortable with living in our own “standards” based on what we already used to, or judge what is feel right to us. However, does rightness equal to truth, or rightness
equal to fair and fair shapes reality? Human beings like to make assumptions to things that based on their judgment. Therefore, we create laws, policy, regulations, structures, and administrative stuff in order to make the most of us to feel fair, safe and secured. We also like to conform and perform what we perceived is real, yet leave out many other contextual elements that we cannot perceive at the forefront. We also prefer things that are fitting into our own categories, and repeat that pattern all the time. Food for thoughts: how can we
challenge what we believe is real to us yet sometimes they are actually not? And how can we balance our own position to be able to look into reality rather than look down reality?

Speaking on food and self-control, I think it is a paradox itself when the food industry are constantly bombarded consumers with all the abundance image. One of the observations that always surprised me when I shop at the grocery store is all the super-sized packaged food. Not only the big fluffy bag that always seem to challenge our visual interpretation capacity, but also with all the health claims that make the outward display even more attractive. Yet, all the health claims are very confusing as well as misleading. All the supersized processed foods piled up on the shelves, look crowded, hasty, and they even seem as if “broadcast” their goodness, cleanness, and ‘perhaps’ “healthfulness” to the consumers. While food marketing keep enticing people with the model of “buy more purchase less,” consumers are really upset and confused by the labeling. What the heck does all the nutrition jargon tell..? Does bigger means better? Does no salt added means healthier? HOW zero-salt added associate with health benefits? At least for me, there are many questions popping up my mind at once while I trembling through the “abundant jungle.” However, I made my decision based on my senses, what calling my taste bud and my body needs.

Nutrition content could be a reference but not necessarily as a mandatory to be super alert in many circumstances. Because its barely tell the whole story, which regarding to food sources, labors, working conditions, and stakeholders. The portion size of the processed packaged food reflect the deep problems around the conflicting interests between food corporations and public health institutions. Levenstein mentioned in Depression Dieting and Vitamin
Gold Rush that the standards from New Nutrition is focus on the importance of dieting for health, which is not applicable to everyone as he mentioned that “salt and sugar, as we have seen, while perhaps harmful to a small minority, were condemned out of hand for all.” This social phenomena suggested that a linear way of finding the association between food ingredient and health concerns are limited based upon individual needs. It created excess but unnecessary fears among consumers. Reading Paradox of Plenty reminded me to think about the giant food corporations’ interests and the societal and media pressure blame on
individuals’ fatness. On the one hand, the greedy food corporations keep feeding up the consumers with the large portion size; on the other hand, people are telling to be self-control which associate with thinness, fitness or standardization. It is a paradox itself that when it comes to the illusion of being surrounded by abundance, I doubt for the many circumstances people would appreciate that choice-less can somehow save them out of the dilemma, of everything.

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