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Feeding and nutritional security: the construction of knowledge with emphasis on cultural aspects

This essay on food safety stresses the importance of cultural aspects in assessing food and nutrition policies. It thus intends to contribute to topic discussions in educational centers interested in research on this issue. Such an objective involves various disciplines, including those concerned with law and culture. A bibliographical review was carried out in order to contextualize food and nutritional safety problems within the macro and micro-social spheres. Anthropological studies, the analysis of official documents and sample situations related to the subject were considered in an attempt to strengthen concepts comprising cultural aspects in order to improve the evaluation of social policies on nutritional and food safety. The anthropological approach is emphasized for an understanding of the diverse meanings of chronic hunger, one of the most perverse effects of food and nutritional insecurity. It was concluded that a better understanding of cultural factors brings forth a new analytical perspective for the study and evaluation of the efficacy of food and nutritional safety, beyond the explanatory and normative scope of the biomedical model.

culture; social food policies; food security

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