One ecosystem, one food system: the social and ecological context of food safety strategies

  • David Waltner-Toews
Article

Abstract

Eating is the most intimate relationship people can have with their environment. As people have migrated, in very large numbers, from various parts of the globe, as well as from the countryside to the city, they have brought to their new homes not only their intimate familial relationships, but also their intimate environmental relationships. Intraand international trade in human foods and animal feeds amounting to billions of dollars annually support these transplanted eating habits. Infectious disease agents, toxins and environmental contaminants of all sorts are globally distributed along with these foods. Furthermore, the internationalization of a substantial portion of the food industry, along with urbanization, has resulted in unrealistic consumer perceptions of food, and fostered ecologically and socially unsound food production and food safety practices, which themselves are creating new food safety problems. Effective food safety strategies, which by necessity must account for the contamination of the environment in which the food is grown, as well as the environments through which it passes on the way to the consumer, need to be global in both breadth (socially and geographically) and depth (ecologically). As well, the desire for democratic social control now evident throughout the world, along with this diversity of culinary tastes, suggest that a successful global food safety strategy would do well to reflect the kinds of diversity and complex interactions seen in natural ecosystems.

Keywords

food safety ecological social 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Agriculture Canada. 1989.Growing Together: a vision for Canada's agri-food industry. Ottawa: Agriculture Canada.Google Scholar
  2. American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians. 1989. CDC identifies listeriosis risks.J Am Vet Med Assoc. 194: 34.Google Scholar
  3. Bertell, R. 1985.No Immediate Danger? Toronto: Women's Educational Press.Google Scholar
  4. Brady, M.S., and S.E. Katz. 1988. Antibiotic/antimicrobial residues in milk.J Food Prot. 51: 8–11.Google Scholar
  5. Bryan, F.L. 1981. Current trends in foodborne salmonellosis in the United States and Canada.J Food Prot. 44: 394–402.Google Scholar
  6. Bullerman, L.B., L.L. Schroeder, and K-Y Park. 1984. Formation and control of mycotoxins in food.J Food Prot. 47: 637–646.Google Scholar
  7. Busby, W.F., and G.N. Wogan. 1979. Food-borne mycotoxins and alimentary mycotoxicoses. InFood-borne Infections and Intoxications, edited by H. Riemann and F.L. Bryan, pp. 519–610. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  8. Carter, A.O., A.A. Borczyk, J.A.K. Carlson, B. Harvey, J.C. Hockin, M.A. Karmali, C. Krishnan, D.A. Korn, and H. Lior. 1987. A severe outbreak ofEscherichia coli 0157:H7-associated hemorrhagic colitis in a nursing home.New Eng J Med, 317: 1496–1500.Google Scholar
  9. Celum, C.L., R.E. Chaisson, G.W. Rutherford, J.L. Barnhart, and D.F. Echenberg. 1987. Incidence of salmonellosis in patients with AIDS.J Inf Dis. 156: 998–1002.Google Scholar
  10. Collins-Thompson, D.L., D.S. Wood, and I.Q. Thomson. 1988. Detection of antibiotic residues in consumer milk supplies in North America using the Charm II procedure.J Food Prot. 51: 632–633.Google Scholar
  11. Committee on the Applications of Ecological Theory to Environmental Problems, National Research Council. 1986.Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Problem Solving. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  12. Dupont, H. 1986. Consumption of raw shellfish—is the risk now unacceptable?New Eng J Med. 314: 707–708.Google Scholar
  13. Franco, D.A., J. Webb, and C.E. Taylor. 1990. Antibiotics and sulfonamide resides in meat: implications for human health.J Food Prot. 53: 178–185.Google Scholar
  14. Gunnison, A.F., and D.W. Jacobsen. 1987. Sulfite hypersensitivity: a critical review.CRC Critical Reviews in Toxicology. 17: 185–214.Google Scholar
  15. Hockin, J.C., J-Y D'Aoust, D. Bowering, J.H. Jessop, B. Khanna, H. Lior, and M.E. Milling. 1989. An international outbreak ofSalmonella nima from imported chocolate.J Food Prot. 52: 51–54.Google Scholar
  16. Kneen, B. 1989.From Land to Mouth. Toronto: NC Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  17. Leaf, A. 1989. Potential health effects of global climatic and environmental changes.N Eng J Med. 321: 1577–1583.Google Scholar
  18. Levy, S.B. 1984. Playing antibiotic pool: time to tally the score.New Eng J Med. 311: 663–664.Google Scholar
  19. McCabe, R., and J.S. Remington. 1988. Toxoplasmosis: the time has come.N Eng J Med. 318: 313–315.Google Scholar
  20. Ogilvie, T.H. 1986. The persistent isolation ofSalmonella typhimurium from the mammary gland of a dairy cow.Can Vet J. 329–331.Google Scholar
  21. Pearce, F. 1989.Turning up the Heat. London: The Bodley Head.Google Scholar
  22. Pimentel, D. 1987. Technology and Natural Resources. InResources and World Development, edited by D.J. McClaren and B.J. Skinner, pp. 679–695. New York: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Google Scholar
  23. Purcell, R.B., and E. Morrison. 1987.US agriculture & third world development: the critical linkage. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Riemann, H., and F.L. Bryan. 1979.Food-borne infections and intoxications. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  25. Schlech, W.F., P.M. Lavigne, R.A. Bortolussi, A.C. Allen, E.V. Haldane, A.J. Wort, A.W. Hightower, S.E. Johnson, S.H. King, E.S. Nicholls, and C.V. Broome. 1983. Epidemic listeriosis-evidence of transmission by food.N Eng J Med. 308: 203–206.Google Scholar
  26. Schwabe, C.W. 1979.Unmentionable Cuisine. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.Google Scholar
  27. Settepani, J.A. 1984. The hazard of using chloramphenicol in food animals.J Am Vet Med Assoc. 184: 930–931.Google Scholar
  28. Silliker, J.H. 1982. TheSalmonella problem: current status and future direction.J Food Prot. 45: 661–666.Google Scholar
  29. Smulders, F.J.M., ed. 1987.Elimination of Pathogenic Organisms from Meat and Poultry. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  30. Statistics Canada, International Trade Division. 1989a.Exports: merchandise trade 1988. Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services.Google Scholar
  31. —. 1989b.Imports: merchandise trade 1988. Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services.Google Scholar
  32. Statistics Canada, Education, Culture and Tourism Division, International Travel Section. 1989c.Touriscope: 1988 International Travel. Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services.Google Scholar
  33. Todd, E.C. 1987. Impact of spoilage and foodborne diseases on national and international economies.Int J Food Micro. 4: 83–100.Google Scholar
  34. Visser, M. 1986.Much Depends on Dinner. Toronto: McLelland and Stewart.Google Scholar
  35. Waltner-Toews, D. 1989. One animal among many: veterinarians in the global community.Can Vet J. 30: 13–20.Google Scholar
  36. WHO Working Group. 1988. Update: foodborne listeriosis.Bull Wrld Health Org. 66: 421–428.Google Scholar
  37. Woolaway, M.C., C.L.R. Bartlett, A.A. Wieneke, R.J. Gilbert, H.C. Murrell, and P. Aureli. 1986. International outbreak of staphylococcal food poisoning caused by contaminated lasagne.J Hyg Camb. 96: 67–73.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Waltner-Toews
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Population MedicineUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

Personalised recommendations