Open Access Opinion

American Culture: Keeping Public Health Professionals Gainfully Employed

Colin G Pennington*

School of Kinesiology, Tarleton State University, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date: January 30, 2021;  Published Date:March 30, 2021


The geographical location of a community is very important for eating habits. Geographic location used to dictate the readiness of certain foods and resources. For example, before the advent of refrigerated trucks and mass-transit of food resources, Americans used to be privileged to only foods which were geographically available (corn and wheat in the Mid-west; beans, squash, and sweet potatoes in the East). Now it is not uncommon to see (in any grocery store) bananas and other tropical fruits for sale in the month of January. How can this be? Bananas are not native to any American region in the dead of winter. Picture the geographical location growing bananas in January and consider the cost [fuel and transportation cost, the economic cost, and the carbonfoot print Burdon] to bring it across the Globe to a southern United States grocery store. This act is an environmental burden in numerous ways. This is a relatively new phenomenon. Over thousands of years humans have evolved to be able to obtain the most amounts of nutrients from their native growing regions – in harmony with the regions’ seasons. Certainly, culture can influence the selection of foods community-by-community, but no more than what the region will provide in the first place. Picture traditional Italian food, Japanese food, Mexican food; each of these types of food are products of what their soil and climate are capable of providing. Now picture “American” food. Is traditional American food fast-food? I suggest this may be the case because our culture of instant gratification, paired with a lack of long-term geographical and cultural history with the continent, has removed our need or ability to develop a culture of food unique to America. Instead of developing the evolutionary trait of absorbing the nutrients provided by our specific growing regions in the United States, we “cherry pick” desired foods from any place on the map whenever we would like them – often times from outside our region, out of season, and typically of the fast-food variety. What are the hidden costs – to our physical environment, to our finances, to our health? This is no accident; we have been trained to behave this way concerning our food decisions. The food industry is designed, not to nourish people, but for profit [1].

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