Evolution of Food Industrialization

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What I found interesting this week was the evolution of food systems, from it’s beginning to it’s present forms. The lifestyles of humans have evolved dramatically. In a hunter gatherer society, food was consumed as it was available, and groups would migrate to find more food resources once theirs become scarce. However, as these evolved into settlements and communities, humans began to deplete the food sources in the area and had to become more ‘creative’ with their nutrition. Learning to trade food and resources with one another was necessary when abandoning a nomadic lifestyle for a long term settlement. Eventually, food became a form of currency, and structures took place within settlements to accommodate a forming economy and class system. (Ultimately becoming a patriarchal society). It is interesting to learn how simple trading (sugar and coffee for tea and silks) evolved into the modern food systems we have now through different phases of industrialization, and how the dependency on the use or desire of certain products built relationships between nation-states. The involvement of fuels such as coal powered factories and allowed production to accommodate large labor forces and produce a larger volume at a faster pace. Incorporating the use of additives and fillers allows for the productions of larger quantities of products, at lower costs, with a longer shelf life.
Modern agriculture now is dominated by industrialized food systems. Industrialized agriculture is common practice and involved the use of chemicals and other pesticides and artificially made fertilizers that are potentially harmful to both humans and animals in the long term, and is most likely unsustainable anyways. Chemical intensive farming is damaging to the surrounding environment. This is also true of our meat production. Industrializing meat production increased productivity and efficiency, but at the cost of using added hormones and various antibiotics to boost production, which is very unhealthy for the animals and for the humans to consume as well.

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