[OPE-L:8133] poison and the political economy of food

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Fri Dec 06 2002 - 07:39:56 EST

In [8128] Andy wrote:

>  Poison will never be food.

1) Never say never.   

2) Poisons *can* become foods -- e.g. there is a kind of sushi which is 
poisonous (and also considered to be a delicacy).  There are other 
examples as well.

3) Taking the point a step further one could add that much of the 
world's mass-produced food (especially non-fruits and non-vegetables)
is poisonous.  After all, not all poisons kill one immediately. There 
are many poisons which take longer periods to be fatal.  (This
is also a point to consider re occupational safety and health and
environmental pollution.)

4) There is also the question of dosage.  Some foods might be OK
in small doses but poisonous in larger doses.

5) The crucial point is that whether or not food is poisonous is
linked to the commodity-form and the capital-form.  A counter-
trend has also appeared for that very reason: the market for "healthy"
food (which is after all a multi-billion dollar industry.)

6) The state also plays a large -- or a small -- role in determining
whether poisonous foods can be sold and in defining what constitutes
poison and what are "acceptable" dosages.

Anyone care to discuss the political economy of food?

Should socialists be vegetarians?

In solidarity, Jerry

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