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Different foods exist in different counties as their staple food. Sometimes, these kinds of food influence the cultural factors, social issues, biological issues, and psychological issues among many other issues. In food production, people do not produce food crops for their edibility purpose only. These food crops act as income generating assists for people. They can also be used in industries to produce certain products such as oil and chemicals.
This paper explores rice as a totem food for various nations in America, Asia, and Africa. It looks at how rice affects the cultural factors, social, biological and psychological issues in those countries.
A totem food is food that people eat most of the time. However, the value of the food does not lie in the consumption rate of people. The food has other functions in terms of the benefits and influences that it poses to the society. A totem food influences the life of the society in terms of cultural, social, biological and psychological setting (Davidson and Jaine, 630).
Rice makes the staple food for most people in the whole world. Rice cultivation began in china more than five thousand year ago. In the United States of America, the rice culture began in Carolina and Georgia. This estimates for about three hundred years ago. Rice makes one of the oldest agricultural businesses the United States of America. After the civil war in America, rice cultivation spread to the western parts of the country in Texas and Louisiana.
In modern times, rice cultivation has concentrated in Arkansas, California, Mississippi, Texas and Missouri. The highest rice yield happened in 2000. The yield recorded six thousand two hundred and forty I/A for three million acres of land. In the last century, rice became the staple food in the diets of people in Latin America. Per capita, white rice consumption rose from ten kilograms in the 1920s to approximately thirty kilograms in the 1990s. Significant improvement has been recorded in America, and the demand surpasses production.
Rice has biological effects to people. It provides twenty-seven percent of energy supply and twenty percent of dietary protein intake. It does not matter from where a person comes from, whether in America, Asia or Africa. The biological effects of rice to the body off people tend to be the same. Rice has become the most vital crop for human consumption across most of the tropics. The food supplies calories to people's diets than maize, wheat, cassava or potatoes. In America, most populations of people live in urban Areas with concentration in towns and cities. Rice has become the staple food for them because traditional foods cannot be found easily in shops and supermarkets where people buy their food. Therefore, rice accounts for the dietary intake that most people in America take (Waldman, 11).
In India, most people live below the poverty line. Estimates show that that most people who live below the poverty line spent fifty percent of their expenditure on food. Rice adds up to fifteen percent of the expenditure for food. This means that the dietary intake of people in India has rice at the highest level. Thereof, it provides health to most people in India.
Rice has the same biological effect in countries, in Africa. For instance, most people in Tanzania take rice as their staple food. Therefore, their nutrition depends on their intake of rice.
The consumption rates of rice in America, India and Tanzania poses some health issues to the people in those countries. Compared to other foods like cassava, yams and potatoes, rice carries less energy and protein levels. Therefore, excessive taking of rice poses health risks to people, especially when people become sick. It does not provide enough energy for people to undertake jobs and responsibilities that require physical energy. Most people who take rice as their staple food in America, India and Tanzania do not do tasks that require much energy effort. In fact, these people have high susceptibility to fall weak quickly, when attacked by diseases.
Growing rice creates biological effects to people. In America, rice production does not pose serious problems for people actively engaged in rice production. This is because the country provides better safety measures for those people who produce rice. They work dressed in the appropriate clothing which shields them from the chemicals effects on their bodies.
However, in India and Tanzania, rice production poses serious health risks to people who actively engage in rice production. The chemicals they use may affect their body functionality causing disease. This is because; many people in the two countries do not put on the appropriate clothing when working in the rice fields. The biological dangers that people in the two countries also include the cold they have to work with in the process of growing rice. Rice grows in swampy places. Therefore, the people who engage in rice growing have to walk in the swamps when weeding and doing other things require in production of rice. The cold they go though does not function well with the system of their bodies. Therefore, at some point in their lives, the effect of the cold may catch up with them and cause serious health problems. The cold together with the chemicals used pose a threat to the lives of people who engage in rice production and people who live near rice plantation areas (Harris, 96).
Rice groing poses social effects to people in America. Rice fields form anthropogenic ecosystem in which rice production becomes the main activity.
India produces rice in large scale. The country consumes ninety five percent of all the rice produced in the country. However, India does not use rice as its food only. India exports rice to other countries earning revenue from that business. Small-scale farmers cultivate rice that serves as the wage commodity for cash crop to agricultural and non-agricultural workers. The dual use of rice involving two groups of people lades to conflicting objectives. In this case, policy makers always come in to protect the farmer against price declines. Therefore, the price with which consumers buys rice increases. Thus, causes consumer riots and protests not only in India but also in the developing countries.
The demand for rice in India has a projection of one hundred and twenty eight million tonnes in the year 2010 and 2011. The country requires a net production of about three thousand kilograms per hectare. India ranks at number seven worldwide. Estimates show that the country grows rice with three hundred and twenty nine million hectares. It serves as one of the countries that still record a low yield of rice production. Seventy percent of the four hundred and fourteen districts that grow rice record a production less than the national average. The increase in rice prices contribute to the inflation rate sand affects the lives of the poor and other consumers. This forms one of the social effects that come with rice. Rice does not just act as a staple food to people in India. The government also gets tax from rice. The government engages in setting up certain policies to govern the production and trading. It does this because the rice does not just satisfy the hunger need of the citizens in India. The government uses rice as a business commodity. Rice producers in the country also use rice as an investment that can help people pay for their bills, pays for the school fees of their children and do other things that need money. Therefore, to them rice becomes a source of livelihood (Joe Bindloss, 228).
The tussle between the government, farmers and businesspersons interested in rice often experience harsh relationship with each other. This is because one or more of these groups may feel left out of something that they should have done together. For example, exportation of rice in India caused uproar from consumers and businesspersons. They protested because imposing tariffs on the export of rice made global prices go up.
Rice production in India has created job opportunities for many people. Many people work in industries processes and package rice after harvesting. Many industries utilizing rice as their raw material exists. Therefore, rice does not act as a food commodity only. It offers people with an opportunity to work and earn some money for use in their needs and plans. Therefore, it affects the social life of people. In case rice production ends, in India, many people will suffer not only because of hunger but also because of lack of employment.
In Tanzania, social issues that arise because of rice consumption and production relate to the situation in India. The only difference that comes in involves the rate of production in the two countries. India records a high production of rice than Tanzania. People in Tanzania use rice as their staple food. However, the number of people who use rice as their staple food in Tanzania does not go beyond the number of people who consume rice as their staple food in India. In most cases, people in Tanzania have to take rice at least once or twice in a day, in their meals. Therefore, rice contributes to nutritional health to people in Tanzania.
In Tanzania, rice as a totem provides work for various people. Those people who work in factories that package rice and those who work in rice plantations earn their living from rice production. Therefore, rice influences the social life of people. To add on to this, people in Tanzania use rice in exchange for other goods. For example, one can change rice for cassava or something else that can be as valuable as the amount of rice is valuable.
In Tanzania, rice acts as a source of poverty alleviation among other farming activities. Research shows that rice stands out as the major crop that contributes to the welfare of reducing poverty in households. The crop serves as a cash crop and a food crop to the people of Tanzania. The crop serves to improve food security and financial well-being of the people of Tanzania. A poor household that cultivates rice successfully got more money than a family, which grew another cash crop. Income from rice production helps households get money to purchase goods such as cloths, pay for the school fees of children and cater for medical bills alongside other issues (Harris, 24).
Currently, Tanzania does not produce enough rice to satisfy the local demand. Most of the rice produced in Tanzania goes to urban markets such as urban supermarkets and markets outside the country. One problem that rice production suffers in Uganda has to do with processing, quality and marketing.
Mostly, people from the lower status groups in Tanzania engage in rice production either in their small-scale farms or in other large farms that grow rice plantations. These people engage in rice production for food and for money. They grow rice both for consumption and for sale in order to get money. They also work in large plantation ffarms for payment so that they can cater for their basic and secondary needs.
Therefore, rice as a totem food in Tanzania serves to help people socially, financially and biologically. About eighty percent of Tanzania's population has employment in agriculture. About forty percent of this population work in rice fields.
Rice as a totem food in United States of America has a history. In America, rice production is done in flooded fields he most common type of rice in the United States of America became the southern long-grain rice. The American population consumes this rice mostly. In the United States of America, long grain rice retails as white rice. Some percentage of it process in factories and sold as parboiled rice.
Rice has not been a staple food for people in United States alone. United States of America exports its rice to other countries such as Cuba, Iraq and Iran. The southern medium grain rice sales in the domestic table rice market in the south. However, much of it does not go to consumers in Puerto rice (Morton and Gawboy, 73).
Rice has other uses despite acting as food and assets for revenue.
In the United States of America, other uses of rice include making rice crisps and beer. Beer factories in the United States of America use rice as a raw material in the making of beer just as if they use barley. This makes another use for the totem food.
The husks that come from rice have their own use. Animal feeds can be obtained from the waste products from rice.
In the beginning of time when rice became a cash crop in the United States of America, it attracted slave trade. This became possible because farmers need people to work in their farms in order to produce a large quantity that could enable them sell and get money. It affected the lives of many people socially, psychologically, and biologically.
Biologically, rice production affected the health of the slave that worked in those fields. They did not put on protective clothing because their masters did not provide protective clothing for them. This affected them that some of them died because of the effects that came from rice production.
Socially, the slaves were forced out of their countries to come and work for the rice plantation owners. Some people who came to work in America displaced their family members because of the force that had been placed on them. This made them suffer psychologically and socially. The separation from their families and the forced labor that they experienced made them suffer socially. Rice production in America as a totem food has change over the years from slavery to machinery operations where people are employed willingly and not by force as it happened.
Generally, the world all over, the effects of rice as a totem food tend to relate. The influence it has on social, cultural, biological and psychological factors appear similar.
Rice production affects social factors in the said countries similarly. When rice production goes high, the social life of the people, in the society changes automatically and turns into partitions done according to class. The increase of rice production means that people get enough food to eat and get money to expend on their basic needs and other needs too. When people have enough food especially their staple food, the society tends to become peaceful. People become relaxed and associate in a social way with their peers. Therefore, in the above countries where rice forms the staple food, the increase in production means that social live of people become guaranteed (Katherinus, 263).
However, when shortage hits rice production in those countries causing prices to go up, people tend to riot and protect because their livelihood becomes threatened. People depend on rice for food and for finances that can cater for food, school fees, and medical bills among other issues. Therefore, reduction in production of rice can cause havoc in the social wellness of the community.
Production of rice has environmental effect to the atmosphere, which affects the social nature of communities.
Production of rice cannot attach to specific cultures in any way. Although some communities give cultural attachments certain foods such as cassava and yam, rice has not been given any cultural attachment anywhere in the world.
Rice as a totem food affects people psychological. When people take certain food types consistently over a period, they form an affiliation with that food. This applies to intake of rice. In America, India and Tanzania, there exists large-scale production of rice. This creates a situation where people get used to eating the rice often. In doing this their minds become accustomed to consumption of rice. When this happens, people become psychologically influenced by rice consumption (Davidson and Jaine, 76).
The notion about selling rice o get money affects people's psychology. People change their ways of thinking to make use of the venture and make more money while safeguarding some rice for food.
Social, psychological and cultural issues that come with rice production as a totem food applies universally, despite the country or continent where people live these issues appear the same because of similarity in usage of rice. Rice provides food for people in United States of America, India and Tanzania and other countries, which grow rice, and those that import. Because of this, people have made rice a staple food in their lives especially where rice grows in large scale.