Is hormonally enhanced food necessarily bad food?
Marion Nestle is a consumer activist, nutritionist, and academic who specializes in the politics of food and dietary choice. Nestle received her BA, PhD, and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1988, Nestle was appointed Chair of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. She held that position until 2004, when she became the Paulette Goddard Professor in the same department.
Nestle is the author of numerous books, including "Food Politics," which explored the way corporations influence our nutritional choices, and "What to Eat," an survey of how to navigate the modern American supermarket. Aside from her books and teaching, Nestle writes a popular blog for the Atlantic Food Channel.
Marion Nestle: Well the Food and Drug Administration says that adding bovine growth hormone to cows who are producing milk produces milk that’s identical to cows who haven’t been treated, and that’s why it’s not labeled. I think for a lot of people the idea that cows are being artificially treated in a way that will cause them to produce more milk is not particularly good for the cow. It’s not natural. It’s not what nature intended. They don’t like it. They’re worried about it. It’s very difficult to prove that a food, or a hormone, or an ingredient in a food is perfectly safe. That’s really difficult to prove. It’s also hard to prove that it’s harmful in any way that’s measurable. People eat very complicated diets. Milk is only one portion of the diet that people eat. But they would rather not have it. It’s hard to explain to a consumer why you need to have this hormone in the milk. It doesn’t seem necessary, and so why have it?
It's just not natural, says Nestle.
A pragmatic approach to fixing an imbalanced system.
- Intentional or not, certain inequalities are inherent in a digital economy that is structured and controlled by a few corporations that don't represent the interests or the demographics of the majority.
- While concern and anger are valid reactions to these inequalities, UCLA professor Ramesh Srinivasan also sees it as an opportunity to take action.
- Srinivasan says that the digital economy can be reshaped to benefit the 99 percent if we protect laborers in the gig economy, get independent journalists involved with the design of algorithmic news systems, support small businesses, and find ways that groups that have been historically discriminated against can be a part of these solutions.
Is there a way for more human-centered algorithms to prevent potentially triggering interactions on social media?
- According to a 2017 study, 71% of people reported feeling better (rediscovery of self and positive emotions) about 11 weeks after a breakup. But social media complicates this healing process.
- Even if you "unfriend", block, or unfollow, social media algorithms can create upsetting encounters with your ex-partner or reminders of the relationship that once was.
- Researchers at University of Colorado Boulder suggest that a "human-centered approach" to creating algorithms can help the system better understand the complex social interactions we have with people online and prevent potentially upsetting encounters.