We’ve spent the past three months or so going through a load of different information. We’ve talked about things like what it means to have, “normal health”, what science literacy (and illiteracy) is, as well as what we are doing the environment and how people view it. The two things that really jumped out to me the most were how we describe having a normal sort of healthy life and how misinformed the general public is when it comes to advertising about the environment. This class certainly opened my eyes to many new ideas and challenged me to think for myself and formulate my own ideas about them.
The first part that really stuck out to me was the idea of normal health. The thing that amazed me the most was how relative everything is. The first example, and really the one that resonates in my mind, is the growth in weight of children and how those numbers in the United States are somehow supposed to represent the whole world. We learned of firsthand experience of our Professor’s child supposedly being far behind the curve in the United States, when in India, he would be seemingly way above the curve. They tried to categorize this measurement and make it so everyone could be based on the same numbers. It amazed me because people in America have drastically different lifestyles than everyone everywhere else in the world. We live in different societies and have different cultures that involve so many different day-to-day practices. To compare the U.S. to a different countries cultures and say certain things aren’t normal, is incorrect. It’s all relative.
The second part that struck me was the advertising about organic and all-natural products on the market today. People are so rushed to believe everything they see on labels. These oranges are labeled all natural, that must mean they are better than the other brand of oranges that don’t clarify if they are all natural in the first place. What does all natural even mean? We have talked about this a great deal in class and the more I think about it, the more I get disgusted with it. The companies are distributing guarantees that their products are all natural or organic and sometimes have nothing to back it up. Somehow putting a label on your product saying it was grown in a sustainable way and somehow if you buy this product you are contributing back to the environment is a load of crap. This aspect of the class was something that I took to heart and will continue to look out for in the news as well as journals.
All in all, this class was extremely informative. I learned to take an issue and dissect it and take a look at it from different angles and perspectives. I was introduced to different issues that I actually wasn’t aware of in the first place. It was nice being able to learn about things that are actually applicable to everyone’s day in and day out lives. I truly did enjoy this class!