It presents food and all practices related to the production and distribution of food as a commodity. This is the structural problem
Discussions and comments about science are frequent at Nexo. The debate over Naturebas products expresses an underlying tension, often implicit, over the conflicting understanding of what science is, what it relates to technologies and technologies, and how scientific practices exist within society. This text is an attempt to clarify these categories in an educational way, not only to avoid misunderstanding, but also for the necessary theoretical depth of this important debate.
Science refers to a series of statements about specific beings that are organized through concepts and decisions. These statements are independent of pronunciation and can be judged as true or false (or indeterminate) by following a methodology specific to each class of organism. In this way, we can talk about various sciences. For example, a correct demonstration in mathematical sciences does not necessarily imply its suitability in the physical, economic, or biological sciences. In this sense, science is produced through social (not individual) practices historically placed in their own context. Since the sciences are produced by individuals organized into institutions, their practices are always subject to internal turmoil, internal and external political conflicts, socio-economic status of scientists, etc. Despite the sciences that proclaim true knowledge about well-defined things, scientific practice cannot be understood as something non-historical, because it is social and, therefore, will always be imposed by the social forms that make up the society in which they are introduced (This analysis follows the theoretical objective Presented in the bookState and political formAn interesting exercise is to compare the form and content of a scholarly text for Newton With one of Einstein.
In contrast, technology generally refers to knowledge of ‘how to do it’. There are techniques for making a soft cake and there is science to understand the chemical processes that produce a soft cake. In the first case, methods such as “trial and error” are sufficient to reach the expected result, in the second case, no, because they require abstract knowledge (conceptual, more general) about the compounds and chemical reactions that collectively lead to the desired property which can be classified as “ Soft. ” In the same way, all readers of this text know how to technically work with money within capitalism (for example, buying and selling products and labor, or investing in companies or bank funds), even if they do not know money scientifically as social. A form of money. Capitalism. It is clear that technologies are also restricted to current social forms. Then it affects and is affected by the way society is organized. Therefore, techniques always exist alongside other practices. The important thing here is to note that technologies are associated with interventions that have a specific goal, which is markedly different from science that produces (abstract) knowledge about well-defined things.
Nichterpa criticism is, at its root, a criticism of the commodity of food, a special form of capitalist production.
Technologies and science can be expressed and in fact are. Technology is the result of applying scientific knowledge to produce new technologies or improve existing technologies. Therefore, technology is not a science and therefore cannot be confused with it. Returning to the example of a soft cake, scientific knowledge can be applied to correct the primary production technique to replace eggs, milk and butter with vegan options. However, this replacement is not a direct result of scientific practice, but rather a technical improvement through technological intervention. Science can also be produced in technical and technological things. For example, Claude Shannon Scientifically proven the basic limits of communication systems, valid for all systems that existed before them, exist today and are likely to exist in the future.
Despite this, science, techniques and technologies are often confused. This may be due to the widespread cosmic concept of “the scientific method”. In a primitive way, the universal scientific method is to judge what is science and what can be and what is not science, regardless of the peculiarities of the type of thing that will be investigated and the history of scientific practices, as well as expressing this with other social practices (book)Philosophy of ScienceIt provides a detailed analysis of the subject.) Thus, any social practice that can be judged by the “tariqa” can become a science that includes techniques and techniques.
At this point, we can return to the debate about “Natureba”. My perception is that Alice Kualtosky is a follower of the “universal scientific method.” His critique of “Natureba” is closely related and indeed correct, but there is confusion between science and technology, and how they are expressed in a particular social context. Such an argument leads to a “technocratic” political position, in that it assumes that scientific knowledge in the chemical sciences is the most relevant determinant of the social process of food selection, which will motivate producers to follow what the “educated demand” wants. Gerd Sparovic and Andre Degensgen’s answer correctly points to the problem of Alice Kwaltovsky’s argument, demonstrating that the social defense of “Naturba” is more than acceptable: it is desirable, given the well-reported problems around the use (and misuse of) pesticides and fertilizers. In addition, Gerd Sparovic and Andre Degensgen explained very well how the transfer of knowledge from one field (biochemistry) to another field (agricultural ecology) is problematic. However, confusion of science, technique, and technology (shown here) also appears to be present. Hence, I believe that both texts are correct in their criticisms, but they are incomplete because they do not reach the root of the problems. Our challenge is to resolve this apparent contradiction.
The text’s position against “naturepa” is a critique of so-called Green wash They are widely used by capitalist firms, accompanied by consumer segmentation, massive marketing campaigns and a (capitalized) network of social and environmental certifications. In Alice Kwaltusky’s reading, the question is individual (to the consumer) where the problem is “lack of science” and the solution is “scientific” education. In this approach, “natcherba” will be a mark as meaningless as it is in gourmet products. In contrast, Gerd Sparovic and Andre Degensgen did not design “Naturba” as a method of green bleaching, but as a means of combating the evils caused by the mistreatment of capitalist companies after the Green Revolution. This certification would be a positive intervention, as it would favor recognized good practices.
The contrast is evident here. The first text tends to solve the greenwashing problem through an individual response, while the second text proposes an institutional solution through approved practices. None of them touch the key point: Food and all practices related to production (including institutional organization) and distribution (including quality labels) present food as a commodity. This is the structural problem. Techniques are mastered through scientific knowledge, producing techniques to increase the efficiency of food commodity production restricted to capitalist forms of production and distribution. If filtered in this way, both texts are considered a defense of the sciences and a critique of capitalism. But, be careful, in order to achieve an individualized healthy and environmentally sustainable diet, we cannot limit ourselves to scientific education, institutional certification, or abstract universal rights. The criticism of “Natureba” is, at its roots, a criticism of food commodities, a special form of capitalist production. Overcoming them depends on overcoming capitalist social forms. Only then can food be produced and distributed as a social need that everyone must have.
Pedro Henrique Giuliano Nardelli He is Associate Professor at Lappeenranta Lahti Technological University (Finland), where he leads the research group on electronic physical systems. He is also a Research Fellow at the Academy of Finland and holds the title of ‘Teacher’ from the University of Oulu (Finland). He earned his PhD in Electrical / Telecommunications Engineering in a double diploma between the University of Oulu and Campinas State University.
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