A1 Journal article – refereed

Food, Food Substitutes and Food Supplements

List of Authors: Helena Siipi

Publisher: University of Sassari

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Argumenta

Issue number: 10

URL: https://www.argumenta.org/issue/issue-10/


Distinguishing between food, food substitutes and supplements is common in everyday
life and academic work. The aim of this paper is to analyze this distinction.
The question is approached from the point of view of functions. The hypothesis
reads as follows: “Food has several nutritional, culinary, social, cultural, aesthetic
and other functions. These functions are necessary and sufficient for something to
be food. Food substitutes and supplements, serve some, but not many, functions of
food. Thus, food substitutes and supplements are not food”. The contemplations
of the paper speak against accepting the hypothesis. This negative view is reached
by defining the central terms, discussing the differences between eating and swallowing,
analyzing the different meanings of the term ‘edible’ and a throughout analysis
of functions of food, substitutes and supplements. As a part of the discussion
an idea of origin based functions is developed. If the hypothesis is false (as argued),
then the distinction between food and other edible entities must be based on something
else than differences in functions. Alternatively the distinction may lack metaphysical
justification. The view following this latter alternative is developed for
the purpose of further studies.

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 11:09