This piece got me wondering about how often one group's objection to a particular food or food producing practice is influenced as much by that groups' feelings and attitudes about the people producing the food, as it is about the food itself. In the article the author makes the point that South Korean students protesting the recently resumed importation of American beef because it allegedly contains BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or mad cow disease) are also expressing their dislike/ distrust of Americans in general.
I've long believed that the big scare over MSG in the late 1980's that resulted in what amounted to a national boycott of Chinese restaurants in the US was as much an expression of xenophobia as it was any genuine (if misplaced) concerns over the alleged negative health affects of mono sodium glutamate. And how much of the typical "foodies" rejection of bland, genetically altered and chemically treated factory-farmed produce and meat is a rejection of the food itself and how much is an indictment of the people who produce it?
South Korean internet geeks trigger panic over US 'tainted beef' imports - Times Online