[OPE-L:8151] Re: poison and the political economy of food

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Dec 09 2002 - 13:05:03 EST

Hi Jerry,

Re your 8133:

By 'poison' I had in mind definite poisonous substances, definite 
substances in definite quantities which kill us immediately after 
being consumed, so that they are never generally treated as food in 
any society. 

Best wishes,


From:           	"gerald_a_levy" <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>
To:             	<ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Subject:        	[OPE-L:8133] poison and the political economy of 
Date sent:      	Fri, 6 Dec 2002 07:39:56 -0500
Send reply to:  	ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu

> 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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