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Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed.
Demand for organic milk is partially driven by consumer perceptions that it is more nutritious. However, there is still considerable uncertainty over whether the use of organic production standards affects milk quality. Here we report results of meta-analyses based on 170 published studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and conventional bovine milk. There were no significant differences in total SFA and MUFA concentrations between organic and conventional milk. However, concentrations of total PUFA and n-3 PUFA were significantly higher in organic milk, by an estimated 7 (95 % CI −1, 15) % and 56 (95 % CI 38, 74) %, respectively. Concentrations of α-linolenic acid (ALA), very long-chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) and conjugated linoleic acid were also significantly higher in organic milk, by an 69 (95 % CI 53, 84) %, 57 (95 % CI 27, 87) % and 41 (95 % CI 14, 68) %, respectively. As there were no significant differences in total n-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) concentrations, the n-6:n-3 and LA:ALA ratios were lower in organic milk, by an estimated 71 (95 % CI −122, −20) % and 93 (95 % CI −116, −70) %. It is concluded that organic bovine milk has a more desirable fatty acid composition than conventional milk. Meta-analyses also showed that organic milk has significantly higher α-tocopherol and Fe, but lower I and Se concentrations. Redundancy analysis of data from a large cross-European milk quality survey indicates that the higher grazing/conserved forage intakes in organic systems were the main reason for milk composition differences.
Demand for organic foods is partially driven by consumers' perceptions that they are more nutritious. However, scientific opinion is divided on whether there are significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods, and two recent reviews have concluded that there are no differences. In the present study, we carried out meta-analyses based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop-based foods. Most importantly, the concentrations of a range of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were found to be substantially higher in organic crops/crop-based foods, with those of phenolic acids, flavanones, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols and anthocyanins being an estimated 19 (95 % CI 5, 33) %, 69 (95 % CI 13, 125) %, 28 (95 % CI 12, 44) %, 26 (95 % CI 3, 48) %, 50 (95 % CI 28, 72) % and 51 (95 % CI 17, 86) % higher, respectively. Many of these compounds have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including CVD and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers, in dietary intervention and epidemiological studies. Additionally, the frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was found to be four times higher in conventional crops, which also contained significantly higher concentrations of the toxic metal Cd. Significant differences were also detected for some other (e.g. minerals and vitamins) compounds. There is evidence that higher antioxidant concentrations and lower Cd concentrations are linked to specific agronomic practices (e.g. non-use of mineral N and P fertilisers, respectively) prescribed in organic farming systems. In conclusion, organic crops, on average, have higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower concentrations of Cd and a lower incidence of pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators across regions and production seasons.
This chapter continues the examination begun in Chapter 6 of the text-worlds which relate to remote or unrealised situations. As we have already seen in the preceding analysis of instructive and informative discourses, the creation of imaginary states of affairs is not confined to literary fiction alone, but is a common feature of all types of communication in the everyday world. In Chapter 6 we saw how expressions of unfulfilled wishes and desires trigger the creation of discrete text-worlds with their own world-building and function-advancing elements. Such boulomaic and deontic modal-worlds, whether they originate in the discourse-world or in a text-world, exist at a conceptual distance from their creators. In the present chapter, the notion of conceptual distance will be explored in more detail and the investigation of the text-worlds of modalised discourse will be extended. The discussion here concentrates on the articulation of knowledge and belief through language and the processes by which such abstract concepts are conceptually managed. Two different types of political discourse, a speech and a transcript of a television debate, are analysed in order to uncover the conceptual structures which underpin them.
In Chapter 2 we saw how the participants in a discourse-world are wilfully engaged in an act of communication which is greatly dependent on various kinds of knowledge. We saw how different aspects of discourse require us to access different areas of our perceptual, linguistic, experiential and cultural knowledge in a process which is essentially text-driven. Our existing knowledge frames enable us to conceptualise and understand discourse and we use them as the basis for the mental representations we create of the language we encounter. This chapter examines how the process of constructing these mental representations, or text-worlds, is facilitated. It begins the exploration of the precise conceptual structure of the worlds we create in our minds, which will form the focus of the coming chapters of this book. Of central interest in this chapter is the relationship between our conceptualisation of real-world experiences and our mental representation of discourse. In particular, this chapter investigates how our understanding of physical space and the progress of time in our everyday lives has a direct influence on how we create text-worlds from discourse. The processes by which we begin to conceptualise the spatial and temporal setting of a text-world are examined in relation to an internet audio-guide and some extracts from literary prose fiction.
Text World Theory is a cognitive model of all human discourse processing. In this introductory textbook, Joanna Gavins sets out a usable framework for understanding mental representations. Text World Theory is explained using naturally occurring texts and real situations, including literary works, advertising discourse, the language of lonely hearts, horoscopes, route directions, cookery books and song lyrics. The book will therefore enable students, teachers and researchers to make practical use of the text-world framework in a wide range of linguistic and literary contexts. Features*An accessible and enabling course book which includes suggestions for exploration and further reading.*Draws on linguistics, cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, poetics and stylistics, and will be attractive to students and researchers working in all of these disciplines.*Each chapter provides a reader-friendly introduction to an aspect of Text World Theory and includes at least two practical applications of these ideas to real discourse examples.
Old cockerel seeks hen to scratch around new pastures. Ex-farmer, 57, seeks lady, 45–55, without ties to move to Hants/Dorset & develop a natural, self-sufficient lifestyle. SE. Call 0905 123 4567. Voicebox 20ABC.
‘Soulmates’, The Guardian, 15 January 2005
It is highly unlikely that your first intention when opening this book was to find yourself an old cockerel with whom to settle down in Dorset. Nevertheless, having now read his advertisement, you will have formed in your mind a particular impression of this lonely heart seeking a hen. Likewise, the first intention of Old Cockerel (let us call him) is unlikely to have been to make contact with the readers of Text World Theory: An Introduction. Nevertheless, he has succeeded in communicating, however indirectly, a picture of his needs to you. In the limited number of words available to him, he has been careful to specify his age (57), occupation (ex-farmer), and geographical location (South East England). Each of these linguistic details enables Old Cockerel's intended audience (of single female Guardian readers aged 45–55) to construct a picture of him in their minds despite being separated from him in both time and space. It is a mental picture which Old Cockerel hopes will be sufficiently impressive to attract a response from his ideal mate. To help him achieve success, he employs poetic devices alongside the personal details he provides.
This chapter explores how text-worlds develop in the human mind. Once the spatial and temporal parameters of a text-world have been established by the world-building elements of the discourse, how does that text-world evolve and progress? What kinds of textual features cause a text-world to advance and in what ways? This chapter is particularly concerned with how we conceptualise the actions, events and other processes described in a discourse. The relationships which exist between these discourse elements and the background of world-builders against which they take place are also explored. Three different reports of a football match taken from three contrasting sources are examined here in order to demonstrate the basic mechanics by which text-worlds evolve. These analyses also investigate how the manner in which an action is described in the discourse-world can affect the participants' perception of the relationships between enactors in the text-world. The range of possible language choices available to the reports' varying speakers and writers are compared and the effects of their final selections on the overall texture of the text-world are discussed. This chapter also explores how the text-worlds related to different genres of discourse advance in distinct ways.
In Chapter 3 we saw how some texts require multiple mental representations to be constructed in the minds of the discourse participants. The world-switches created by alternations in the deictic parameters of a text-world were considered in an introductory analysis of the shifts in time and space contained within an extract of literary narrative. This chapter examines multiple world-creation in more detail and looks in particular at the conceptual processes which enable us to manage several text-worlds in our minds at once. The relationship between the discourse-world and the text-world is also revisited over the coming pages. Specifically, the conceptual status of the different entities which populate these worlds is explored through contrasting analyses of the text-worlds constructed by a parenting manual and those constructed in an extract of literary fiction. Of central interest in this discussion are the processes by which participants assess the reliability of their co-communicators in the discourse-world, and how this assessment subsequently impacts upon their perception of the text-world. This chapter investigates the boundaries which exist between worlds and the ability certain entities have to transcend them.
This is the final chapter in this book to explain a specific aspect of the Text World Theory framework, before Chapter 10 moves on to explore some of the directions the text-world approach to discourse study as a whole might take in the future. The discussion in the present chapter concerns the conceptualisation of a particular linguistic and cognitive phenomenon: metaphor. Metaphor has received an enormous amount of attention from cognitive linguists and psychologists in recent years. Indeed, a new understanding of the conceptual properties of metaphor was the main driving force behind the cognitive revolution in linguistics from the 1980s onwards. This chapter begins with a summary of some of the most recent theories of metaphor to emerge from Cognitive Linguistics, alongside some typical single-sentence examples of how metaphor is processed in the mind. However, Text World Theory's encompassing and discourse-focused approach means that the extension of metaphor through longer texts, and sometimes throughout entire discourses, is of greater interest to text-world theorists. This phenomenon is examined in the later sections of the chapter. Poetry provides some obvious and useful examples on which to base an initial discussion of metaphor, though both literary and non-literary texts are analysed here. The chapter also includes an exploration of metaphorical constructions in non-literary discourse, and a range of examples of the same sort of lonely-hearts advertisements with which this book opened is examined.
This chapter explores the text-worlds created by a range of expressions of attitude in discourse. Over the course of the next few chapters, the processes by which readers and hearers conceptualise the varying attitudes of writers and speakers will be examined in relation to a wide range of texts. To begin, this chapter looks at the ways in which wishes, wants and desires are communicated in the discourse-world and the nature of the resulting text-worlds their expression creates. The glamorous fantasy worlds contained in an interview from a best-selling celebrity magazine are analysed in order to explore the discourse features which generate them in more detail. The chapter also investigates the text-worlds which result from expressions of obligation or duty in discourse and the persuasive effects such language often has on its recipients in the discourse-world. Some extracts from a car-owner's manual and from a magazine advice column are examined here and the fine line between different types of attitudes and their associated text-worlds is explored. The ontological boundaries and varying conceptual distances between discourse-worlds and their related text-worlds continue to be of interest over the coming pages.
Text World Theory begins its exploration of communication and the mind at the immediate level of discourse production and reception. In keeping with its cognitivist principles, it attributes primacy to the human experience of language and takes the face-to-face interaction between living, thinking human beings as the prototype for all other aspects of communication and cognition. The content of this interactivity, as well as the context surrounding it, is the subject matter of the discourse-world level of Text World Theory. This chapter examines the associated elements which make up a discourse-world: from the expectations and constraints which govern communicative behaviour, to the cultural and personal knowledge structures which influence our linguistic and conceptual choices. Of particular interest here are the notion of communication as a fundamentally wilful endeavour, the processes by which human beings make inference from particular discourses, and the principles by which the impact of context on a discourse can be systematically examined and understood. These subjects are investigated in relation to an example of a face-to-face conversation and a newspaper obituary in order to explore how the contextual and conceptual factors involved in the processing of language vary in accordance with the type of communicative situation.
Over the course of the last three chapters, we have looked in some detail at modal-worlds in their various forms. We have seen that these worlds occur for one of three reasons in discourse. Firstly, the use of boulomaic modality, including any description of wishes, desires or fantasies, will generate a boulomaic modal-world in the minds of the discourse participants. Secondly, the expression of any degree of obligation, from permission through to requirement, will generate a deontic modal-world. Finally, epistemic modal-worlds occur whenever some form of epistemic commitment is expressed in discourse. In Chapter 7, we saw that this category of modal-worlds includes any articulation of personal belief or knowledge, the representation of the thoughts and beliefs of others, hypothetical constructions and conditionality. We have also seen how various factors influence the extent to which each type of modal-world can be understood by the discourse-world participants to exist at a greater or lesser conceptual distance from his or her reality. Chapter 7 concluded with an analysis of the conditional structures operating across an entire political speech. In the next two chapters, this broad view is maintained and the means by which text-worlds are managed over the duration of extended discourses are explored in more depth. The main analyses in this chapter concentrate on prototypical narrative discourse: literary fiction. Two extracts from two examples of contemporary prose fiction are examined and the discussion then extends into an exploration of the manipulation of certain narrative structures for particular effects in both literary and non-literary contexts.