The search for the naturalness of food as emotional reflex.
Data of early 2016 say the Italians are strongly focusing on natural foods as a resource for their own health and well-being.
The success of “bio” seems overwhelming, while consumption of fruits and vegetables is growing, even in the form of juice or extracts: this is witnessed also by the appearance and purchase of centrifuges and extractors, now available at any home appliance chain and sometimes even in supermarkets (perhaps as a purchase using collection points). It seems that in an age of uncertainty and insecurity about the opportunity of maintaining the well-being achieved in past decades, turn to “mother nature” is an affective reflex, almost a request for pampering and attention: after all, “I’m worth” and it is fair that mother nature takes care of me. However this research of safe haven and full of care according to my opinion makes us forget reality data and promote the affective code in the rational one on a risky way. The need for emotional security is a very human feature but leads to very inconsiderate gestures like youth suicides or feminises, or to escape from reality through addiction or depression (all growing phenomena). We indignantly rejected the GMOs, ignoring that in fact the most widespread grain in the world is genetically modified, or that only artificial grafts of different nutrients can feed many populations. We defend Italian products (food and agriculture) as the best in the world, forgetting quickly the many phenomena of soils pollution, mishandling and lack of hygiene.
We want to believe that olive oil is Italian, but we know that most olives have foreign backgrounds (we don’t have enough). We want to believe that our milk is the best, but compared to French or German ones is not so. In this way we risk either to guiltily delude ourselves or to restrict to a few selected the “privileged” consumption of natural raw materials. We are against the snacks but among parents we are those who fill our children with “junk”, namely they are becoming the most obese people in Europe. So advertising promises with their images of nature and well being are enough for us, nor do we read labels carefully: but for vegan and fruitarians movements and similar that are looking for direct purchase (or direct cultivation) and self-managed preparation. But this is a solution only for the elite, not feasible to all of us. To have a more healthy balance than that of self-deception or deception in advertising first of all we should deal with the actual content of our “naturalness” and “welfare”: just asking the real question we can find a real answer, perhaps rearranging the
Ideological opposition between natural and artificial, a dualism to overcome in post-Cartesian age that takes the complexity and interdependence of phenomena.