Group Writing - Food 2018

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Nutritionism is the idea that food is nothing more than the sum total of its known nutrient parts. It negates the possibility that food is more than the nutrients we are aware of and argues that a healthy diet would defined by a balance of "good" and "bad" nutrients. Nutritionism would not take healthy, natural foods into account; nutritionism would argue that you can eat anything as long as you get the correct number of each nutrient necessary to the human body. In this sense, it does contribute to an ideology about food. It contributes to an ideology in the sense that it veils the truth of what's being done to our food and what we should really be consuming. Additionally, we see that food labels are nothing more than marketing the current fad and can adapted to the needs and wants of the consumers. Additionally, the food itself can be re-engineered to contain and reflect the nutrient in the spotlight in current culture. For example, Pollan discusses how omega-3s are now appearing in foods that never naturally contained this nutrient. These foods, those that make nutritional claims, are actually the most dangerous because they have been re-engineered and processed the most in order to contain nutrients that are not naturally occurring. We all held similar views in favor of the fact that nutritionism does contribute to an ideology about food. However, we see that there could be a scientific argument in favor of nutritionism because it allows us to increase the basic nutrients we need as humans and to decrease nutrients that do not contribute to our health. Additionally, nutritionism could be viewed positively if it corrects a problem with an existing food. For example, if a food contains more protein and it is marketed as such, this food would be more popular among people who cannot afford enough food. The increase in necessary nutrients would theoretically contribute to their nourishment.


Nutritionism as an ideology can be harmful to society because it often portrays an idea of nutrition that may not be accurate in all aspects. One big issue is that the nutritional value of something is different for every individual who is consuming that specific product. Nutrition for one person can significantly differ from what is nutritious to someone else, thus changing the overall nutritional value of the product. Companies put the generalized nutritional value of a product on the label based on a generic health standard that is not always considered healthy for every person consuming the product. Another common misconception accompanying the nutritional value within products is that marketers advertise heavily about what ""is not"" in their product, however just because the product is without one harmful product doesn't mean that there are not 10 more harmful products on the food label that are just not advertised. Another reason that we believe nutritionism is harmful to society is because is promotes the idea of ""low calories are healthy."" However, in most circumstances the lack of calories is overcompensated with an addition of some other added ingredient. Products that advertise ""no fat"" or ""low fat"" often times have 3x more added sugar in them to make up for the lack of taste.

Nutritionism also seems to promote to whatever the newest fad in society is. Avocados are highly promoted in society today however not a lot of people know that a healthy serving size of an avocado is less than half of the 'cado. So while the avocado is marketed as a healthy/popular thing to eat, sitting down and eating a whole avocado could actually be unhealthy. Overall, Nutritionism could be a great thing if it was accurately promoted and researched but without taking into consideration all aspects of the meaning of ""nutrition"" it can cause more harm than good.

Back Corner Group!!

Nutritionism assumes that food is the sum of its nutrients, or that the key to understanding food is to look at its nutrient value. The whole point of food is to promote bodily health, rather than considering culture, lifestyle, or economics. We think that nutritionism contributes to an ideology about food. The ideology is the symbols and imagery used in food marketing actually markets processed and manipulated food, even though it shows images of whole and natural foods. The reality is that by quantifying nutrients that are advertised to us, we are losing the quality of true, whole foods. For example, when we look at nutrition labels that express nutritional values, we can see numbers that express ‘ideal’ nutrients, rather then actually knowing the truth about the food processing. We do acknowledge, however, that food processing can let foods be preserved longer and still have nutrient content. This could benefit low-income families or families without access to real foods. However, by reducing food to its nutrients, processed foods are potentially more appealing then whole, non-industrialized foods. This is because food companies can promote the nutrient content of their foods on their food labels, advertising nutrients that appeal to the fads and trends of foods. The food industry says we still have a choice though: essentially the individual can choose what kinds of foods that they eat. The belief that the individual should be responsible for their choices does not take into account the cultural or economic constraints that are placed on the individual. If a food label claims to have the nutrients that are currently popular in health (i.e., appealing to fad diet), and is less expensive then a real food, then it might make sense for the individual to choose that food.

Fantastic Four

Nutritionism is the belief that food is nothing more than the sum of its nutrient parts. This belief excludes any ideas of pleasure or culture that are equally important aspects of the food experience. This can also be a problem because it contributes to a harmful ideology regarding food. In reality, nutrients are not universal and can differ depending on the food they constitute. Furthermore, people digest nutrients differently. For example, fat coming from eating an avocado is different than fat coming from a bag of Doritos. The body digests and breaks down nutrients in different ways. As Pollan argues, “When the emphasis on the quantifying the nutrients contained in foods…, any qualitative distinction between whole foods and processed foods is apt to disappear.” This is especially harmful when fake foods are made even more nutritious than the real thing. Because of technology and the engineering of fake foods, people now believe that they are no longer fake and possibly healthier. Taking all this information into account, it’s plausible to say that reducing food to its nutrients is leading consumers to believe in a dangerous ideology. However, nutritionism is also a step towards thinking about what is in food and what sorts of health benefits one can receive from various foods. If executed well, nutritionism can be beneficial for long-term and short-term health. Understanding what nutrients your body needs, and what foods you can get them from, is knowledge that can help anyone maintain a healthy lifestyle. But Pollan is correct in pointing out how the American food culture has used nutritionism is a negative way by establishing an official new dietary language that is incorrect. Common people are manipulated by the media, food industry, and government into consuming unhealthy foods that contain “nutrients”.

Pumpkin Patch Pals

Nutritionism is an ideology that food is defined by the aggregate of the currently known nutrients in a particular food. We believe that it is an ideology because it definitely does suppress certain bad aspects of industrial food while praising and evaluating industrial food for certain nutrients. Nutritionism more over is a business and specifically a marketing tactic, designed to sell foods and make foods more attractive to people. Furthermore, it makes it easy for companies to tweak small nutrients in industrial food items to keep up with current trends and food fads. Nutritionism therefore also seems to be the result of capitalistic business competition where companies want to be able to adapt their product to compete with other companies. It definitely contributes to an ideology about food because it creates a mismatch between what the consumer thinks they are getting out of the food versus what they are actually getting out of the food as well as blurring the lines regarding what people need to get from food. Nutritionism also has paved the way for imitation foods to be presented as natural foods when they in fact are industrial fake copies of whole foods. The fact that labeling imitation foods as imitation would hurt their sales seems to dictate then that consumers do not want imitation industrial foods. However, because imitation foods are not labeled as such, and because nutritionism has dissected foods into their component nutrients, consumers are tricked into eating foods they otherwise might not want.

The Breakfast Club

Nutritionism is not the same thing as nutrition. The very act of adding "-ism" to the end of the word indicates that it must be an ideology. The fact that we are spoon fed ideas about what foods are good for us and not good for us show that there are other motivations, like politics and industries, play a role in advertising what we should and should not eat. There are forces that exist to push consumers toward one direction, as opposed to another, producing socially necessary illusions about nutrition and what we should eat. For example, genetically modified foods are pumped full of nutrients and vitamins that we've been told are necessary for our general well being, however because they are industrially produced that also means that there are chemical additives that may prove themselves to be more harmful than beneficial. The creation of margarine, the first synthetic food, intended to take out saturated fats, which the food industry claimed was bad for consumers. This fat was replaced with unsaturated fats, which resulted margarine in becoming unhealthier than what already existed. Nutrients were added to make consumers believe its healthier. Nutritionism is the justification for processed foods and for the food industry to make claims about what is healthy and unhealthy and for what people should be buying and physically consuming. Nutritionism then promotes the idea that "even processed foods may be considered healthier than whole foods" as long as they have the right amount of nutrients (Pollan, 32 ).

Back Row

Nutritionism is the belief that a food can be broken down into its individual nutrients as a way to analyze its nutritional value. Diet advice based on nutritionism is constantly changing, disproving old findings, and discovering new benefits. This advice shapes our ideology about food, and aims to reduce the need to eat natural foods, so long as each new diet provides the necessary nutrients. Each food’s nutritional value, then, can be manipulated by research that proves the food provides some nutrients, even if overlooks the other “bad” nutrients. Whether or not nutritionism is leading to truth about food, each new finding contributes to the way we view food. the famoompaloompas Nutritionism is a very complicated science and it’s easy to analyze and research it and think we understand it but when we learn new things it’s hard to admit what we don’t know especially when needing to reteach the consumer what they have already learned. Nutritionism can lead the consumer to feel helpless at times especially when the scientists who are supposed to be experts on the subject vastly change how food works every couple of decades. It is an ideology because when it is taken to the extreme it creates fad like diets and leads to tunnel vision for the consumer and not seeing the bigger picture of nutrition and the many benefits all foods can have for you. Some radical diets can even lead to radical and cult like mentalities in consumers especially when they are encouraged by the food industry. Additionally, when consumers start to think that the food industry is misleading them and causing them to get fat and the rest of the nation to become obese it causes people to try and experiment with the foods that they eat and even possibly lead to harmful outcomes. Nutritionism can often lead to society wanting to have an “enemy” food to focus on (for example the issue of eating fats about a decade ago). The food industry will take advantage of this and insert unhealthy substitutes to please their consumers (sugar for fat). Nutritionism allows you to learn about what role foods have in your body. This can enable people to develop diets that are tailored for them as an individual with unique characteristics. For instance, people who sweat a lot need to eat a lot more salt in order to maintain the same level of health that someone else would with a body that does not produce a lot of sweat.


Nutritionism is an idea says that food is wholly defined by it's nutrient breakdown. Because nutritionism comes up with a definition for what food is, it does make sense to say that it contributes to our ideologies about food in many ways. Nutritionism falsely places quantitative measures over qualitative ones, parts over whole, and disregards the differences between naturally created and scientifically generated foods. It says it doesn’t matter how you get your nutrients, it only matters what the breakdown of them is.

For example, this means we wouldn’t think about a tomato as one food, but as a combination of different nutrients. It would make us ignore the way those nutrients work together, the way they work with other foods they are traditionally prepared with, and the way GMOs or pesticides have changed the make up of a tomato over time. Nutritionism overlooks all of those things, which are vital to how we think of food. This becomes even more clear when we look at heavily processed foods like frozen meals which have had certain fats taken out and fake sweeteners added in. In that way, Nutritionism changes our conversation from talking about food as a whole to nutrients as single parts, which doesn’t just affect our ideology about food, but changes the entire premise that it is based on.


Nutritionism, as Pollan describes it, is the idea that foods can be reduced to the sum of their macro and micro nutrients. Nutritionism contributes to the ideology about food because there is a systematic mismatch between the way we understand nutrients and the way they work. For example, scientists believe that they know enough to design food that can sustain and grow an infant. In reality, children that are raised purely on formula tend to do worse than babies raised on breast milk. This mismatch between reality and thought is being taken advantage of by major food corporations. Food companies utilize nutritionism to justify the making of designer foods. These foods contain large amounts of “fresh, new and hip nutrients”. The marketing involved in these products changes the way consumers view processed foods. Marketers use nutrients as an easy vessel of informing the consumer about their product. Fad diet creators use nutrients use it as a skeleton key for unlocking weight loss. As a result, consumers psyche has changed from 1977 and now we are okay with the “nutrients only” approach. Nutritionism contributes to idealogy because it has taken over the way we understand food and has become the popular consensus. On the other hand, nutrition science has helped us figure out how food sustains us. Without the focus on nutritionism we may not be at the same place that we are today with nutrition science. Would we understand that trans fats are bad for us if it wasn’t for the focus on micro and macro nutrients? This doesn’t defeat the fact nutritionism is deceptive. Food clearly has more going on with it than just it’s micro and macro nutrients. Food feeds not just us but our microbiome, so clearly it is not just nutrients that we should be concerned about.

Food Philosophers

Nutritionism is the belief that food can be broken down into their nutrients. We think that nutritions is not quite an ideology. Based on the text, n. includes "unexamined assumptions", however, as we see it, n. is scientifically based and research based that the food industry uses to promote their sales. these research finding are actually effective in showing the benefits of some substances. Nutrition fats can be manipulated by food scientists to meet the current nutrition diet that people are looking for in fad diets. That contributes to n. being an ideology b/c people believe that they are eating healthy when they are really eating a chemically modified food which on the nutrition label looks healthy.

M. A. L. Inc.

Nutritionism is the belief that nutrition is the most importan aspect to food and of food. N. is the part that nourishes your body, giving your body access to the most important parts of the food source. N. is the idea of the 3 most essential parts of food, macronutrients. Nutrients cause people to think in bad patterns when they are mislead to think that a certain food is good for you. Breakfast cereals market themselves to have all of these great nutrients but people are taken advantage in this perspective, how good is cereal for you? We only focus on the good nutrients of the food but we don't further evaluate the ingredients that we have never heard of and are probably not good for us.

N. informs our ideology of food through people buying low-fat, when there are more additives to a filters type of food. People have become unaware of what is actually good for you. People rely on the majority and the news to make them aware of what is good or bad but never do research on what is truly good or bad for you. Foods have been altered, like margarine, to seem like they are better for you but have undergone an intense chemical process to be transformed, for example margarine was blasted with hydrogen and it produced unhealthy fats.