⒈ Food Inc: Consequences Of The Food System
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Why do we need to change our food system?
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But the U. And while you might be. Dow 30 34, Nasdaq 14, Russell 2, Crude Oil Gold 1, Silver CMC Crypto 1, FTSE 7, Nikkei 28, Read full article. Story continues. Recommended Stories. Motley Fool. In the pre-modern era, the sale of surplus food took place once a week when farmers took their wares on market day into the local village marketplace. Here food was sold to grocers for sale in their local shops for purchase by local consumers. Typically early grocery shops would be counter-based shops, in which purchasers told the shop-keeper what they wanted, so that the shop-keeper could get it for them. In the 20th century, supermarkets were born.
Supermarkets brought with them a self service approach to shopping using shopping carts , and were able to offer quality food at lower cost through economies of scale and reduced staffing costs. In the latter part of the 20th century, this has been further revolutionized by the development of vast warehouse-sized, out-of-town supermarkets, selling a wide range of food from around the world. Unlike food processors, food retailing is a two-tier market in which a small number of very large companies control a large proportion of supermarkets. The supermarket giants wield great purchasing power over farmers and processors, and strong influence over consumers.
Food prices refer to the average price level for food across countries, regions and on a global scale. Price levels depend on the food production process, including food marketing and food distribution. Fluctuation in food prices is determined by a number of compounding factors. The consequences of food price fluctuation are multiple. Increases in food prices, or agflation , endangers food security , particularly for developing countries , and can cause social unrest.
Food prices will on average continue to rise due to a variety of reasons. Growing world population will put more pressure on the supply and demand. Climate change will increase extreme weather events, including droughts, storms and heavy rain, and overall increases in temperature will have an impact on food production. To a certain extent, adverse price trends can be counteracted by food politics. Food speculation is betting on food prices unregulated financial markets. Food speculation by global players like banks , hedge funds or pension funds is alleged to cause price swings in staple foods such as wheat , maize and soy — even though too large price swings in an idealized economy are theoretically ruled out: Adam Smith in reasoned that the only way to make money from commodities trading is by buying low and selling high, which has the effect of smoothing out price swings and mitigating shortages.
For the global poor, food speculation and resulting price peaks may result in increased poverty or even famine. In contrast to food hoarding , speculation does not mean that real food shortages or scarcity need to be evoked, the price changes are only due to trading activity. Because of its centrality to human life, problems related to access, quality and production of food effect every aspect of human life. Between the extremes of optimal health and death from starvation or malnutrition , there is an array of disease states that can be caused or alleviated by changes in diet.
Deficiencies, excesses, and imbalances in diet can produce negative impacts on health, which may lead to various health problems such as scurvy , obesity , or osteoporosis , diabetes , cardiovascular diseases as well as psychological and behavioral problems. The science of nutrition attempts to understand how and why specific dietary aspects influence health.
Nutrients in food are grouped into several categories. Macronutrients are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Micronutrients are the minerals and vitamins. Additionally, food contains water and dietary fiber. As previously discussed, the body is designed by natural selection to enjoy sweet and fattening foods for evolutionary diets, ideal for hunters and gatherers. Thus, sweet and fattening foods in nature are typically rare and are very pleasurable to eat. In modern times, with advanced technology , enjoyable foods are easily available to consumers. Unfortunately, this promotes obesity in adults and children alike. Food deprivation leads to malnutrition and ultimately starvation.
This is often connected with famine , which involves the absence of food in entire communities. This can have a devastating and widespread effect on human health and mortality. Rationing is sometimes used to distribute food in times of shortage, most notably during times of war. Starvation is a significant international problem. Approximately million people are undernourished, and over 16, children die per day from hunger-related causes. Food loss and waste is food that is not eaten. The causes of food waste or loss are numerous and occur throughout the food system , during production , processing , distribution , retail and consumption. Overall, about one third of the world's food is thrown away. Food loss and waste is a major part of the impact of agriculture on climate change it amounts to 3.
Moreover, food waste that is not handled or reclaimed properly, i. For example, landfill gas from anaerobic digestion of organic matter is a major source of the greenhouse gas methane, and un-reclaimed phosphorus in food waste, leads to further phosphate mining. Moreover reducing food waste in all parts of the food system is an important part of reducing the environmental impact of agriculture , by reducing the total amount of water, land use and other resources.
Food policy is the area of public policy concerning how food is produced, processed, distributed, purchased, or provided. Food policies are designed to influence the operation of the food and agriculture system balanced with ensuring human health needs. This often includes decision-making around production and processing techniques, marketing, availability, utilization, and consumption of food, in the interest of meeting or furthering social objectives. Food policy can be promulgated on any level, from local to global, and by a government agency, business, or organization. Food policymakers engage in activities such as regulation of food-related industries, establishing eligibility standards for food assistance programs for the poor, ensuring safety of the food supply, food labeling , and even the qualifications of a product to be considered organic.
Most food policy is initiated at the domestic level for purposes of ensuring a safe and adequate food supply for the citizenry. Food policy comprises the mechanisms by which food-related matters are addressed or administered by governments, including international bodies or networks, and by public institutions or private organizations. Agricultural producers often bear the burden of governments' desire to keep food prices sufficiently low for growing urban populations.
Low prices for consumers can be a disincentive for farmers to produce more food, often resulting in hunger, poor trade prospects, and an increased need for food imports. Some countries list a legal definition of food, often referring them with the word foodstuff. These countries list food as any item that is to be processed, partially processed, or unprocessed for consumption.
The listing of items included as food includes any substance intended to be, or reasonably expected to be, ingested by humans. In addition to these foodstuffs, drink, chewing gum , water, or other items processed into said food items are part of the legal definition of food. Items not included in the legal definition of food include animal feed , live animals unless being prepared for sale in a market , plants prior to harvesting, medicinal products, cosmetics , tobacco and tobacco products, narcotic or psychotropic substances , and residues and contaminants. The right to food , and its variations, is a human right protecting the right of people to feed themselves in dignity , implying that sufficient food is available, that people have the means to access it, and that it adequately meets the individual's dietary needs.
The right to food protects the right of all human beings to be free from hunger , food insecurity and malnutrition. However, if people are deprived of access to food for reasons beyond their control, for example, because they are in detention, in times of war or after natural disasters, the right requires the government to provide food directly. The right is derived from the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  which has state parties as of April At the World Food Summit , governments reaffirmed the right to food and committed themselves to halve the number of hungry and malnourished from to million by However, the number has increased over the past years, reaching an infamous record in of more than 1 billion undernourished people worldwide.
Food security is the measure of the availability of food and individuals' ability to access it. According to the United Nations' Committee on World Food Security , food security is defined as meaning that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. There is evidence of food security being a concern many thousands of years ago, with central authorities in ancient China and ancient Egypt being known to release food from storage in times of famine. At the World Food Conference , the term "food security" was defined with an emphasis on supply; food security is defined as the "availability at all times of adequate, nourishing, diverse, balanced and moderate world food supplies of basic foodstuffs to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices".
The first World Food Summit, held in , stated that food security "exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Similarly, household food security is considered to exist when all members, at all times, have access to enough food for an active, healthy life. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or FAO, identified the four pillars of food security as availability, access, utilization, and stability.
Food aid can benefit people suffering from a shortage of food. It can be used to improve peoples' lives in the short term, so that a society can increase its standard of living to the point that food aid is no longer required. Sometimes a cycle of food aid dependence can develop. Sometimes, food aid provisions will require certain types of food be purchased from certain sellers, and food aid can be misused to enhance the markets of donor countries. Foodborne illness , commonly called "food poisoning", is caused by bacteria , toxins , viruses , parasites , and prions. Roughly 7 million people die of food poisoning each year, with about 10 times as many suffering from a non-fatal version.
Less commonly, acute adverse reactions can also occur if chemical contamination of food occurs, for example from improper storage, or use of non-food grade soaps and disinfectants. Food can also be adulterated by a very wide range of articles known as "foreign bodies" during farming, manufacture, cooking, packaging, distribution, or sale. These foreign bodies can include pests or their droppings, hairs, cigarette butts, wood chips, and all manner of other contaminants. It is possible for certain types of food to become contaminated if stored or presented in an unsafe container, such as a ceramic pot with lead-based glaze. Food poisoning has been recognized as a disease since as early as Hippocrates.
Discovery of techniques for killing bacteria using heat, and other microbiological studies by scientists such as Louis Pasteur , contributed to the modern sanitation standards that are ubiquitous in developed nations today. This was further underpinned by the work of Justus von Liebig , which led to the development of modern food storage and food preservation methods. Recommended measures for ensuring food safety include maintaining a clean preparation area with foods of different types kept separate, ensuring an adequate cooking temperature, and refrigerating foods promptly after cooking.
Foods that spoil easily, such as meats , dairy , and seafood , must be prepared a certain way to avoid contaminating the people for whom they are prepared. As such, the rule of thumb is that cold foods such as dairy products should be kept cold and hot foods such as soup should be kept hot until storage. Cold meats, such as chicken, that are to be cooked should not be placed at room temperature for thawing, at the risk of dangerous bacterial growth, such as Salmonella or E.
Some people have allergies or sensitivities to foods that are not problematic to most people. This occurs when a person's immune system mistakes a certain food protein for a harmful foreign agent and attacks it. In some instances, traces of food in the air, too minute to be perceived through smell, have been known to provoke lethal reactions in extremely sensitive individuals.
Common food allergens are gluten , corn , shellfish mollusks , peanuts , and soy. The digestive complaints usually develop within half an hour of ingesting the allergen. Rarely, food allergies can lead to a medical emergency , such as anaphylactic shock , hypotension low blood pressure , and loss of consciousness. An allergen associated with this type of reaction is peanut, although latex products can induce similar reactions. Food contaminated with fungal growth may contain mycotoxins such as aflatoxins which may be found in contaminated corn and peanuts. Other carcinogens identified in food include heterocyclic amines generated in meat when cooked at high temperature, polyaromatic hydrocarbons in charred meat and smoked fish, and nitrosamines generated from nitrites used as food preservatives in cured meat such as bacon.
Anticarcinogens that may help prevent cancer can also be found in many food especially fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants are important groups of compounds that may help remove potentially harmful chemicals. It is however often difficult to identify the specific components in diet that serve to increase or decrease cancer risk since many food, such as beef steak and broccoli, contain low concentrations of both carcinogens and anticarcinogens. Certification, iTQi. They use high-quality evaluation methods to make the food safer. Many cultures hold some food preferences and some food taboos. Dietary choices can also define cultures and play a role in religion. For example, only kosher foods are permitted by Judaism , halal foods by Islam , and in Hinduism beef is restricted.
This is highly related to a culture's cuisine. Dietary habits play a significant role in the health and mortality of all humans. Imbalances between the consumed fuels and expended energy results in either starvation or excessive reserves of adipose tissue, known as body fat. Kwashiorkor and marasmus are childhood disorders caused by lack of dietary protein. Many individuals limit what foods they eat for reasons of morality or other habits. For instance, vegetarians choose to forgo food from animal sources to varying degrees.
Others choose a healthier diet , avoiding sugars or animal fats and increasing consumption of dietary fiber and antioxidants. This has led to the emergence of a movement with a preference for organic and local food. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Food disambiguation. Substances consumed for nutrition. This article may be written from an excessively human-centric perspective. Please improve this article so that it appropriately covers non-human species, or discuss this issue on the talk page.
Learn how and when to remove this template message. See also: Herb and spice. Main articles: Animal source foods and Food chain. This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: arbitrary list of topics, that are not really "representative" or well organized for readers -- should be organized in a more discrete, focused, readable way. Please help improve this section if you can. December Learn how and when to remove this template message.
Main article: Adulterated food. Main article: Camping food. Main article: Diet food. Main article: Finger food. Main article: Fresh food. Main article: Frozen food. Main article: Functional food. Main article: Health food. Main article: Live food. Main article: Medical food. Main article: Natural foods. Main article: Negative-calorie food. Main article: Organic food.
Main article: Peasant foods. Main article: Prison food. Main article: Seasonal food. Main article: Shelf-stable food. Main article: Space food. Main article: Traditional food. Main article: Whole food. Main article: Taste. This section is an excerpt from Umami. Soy sauce , ripe tomatoes and miso are examples of foods rich in umami components. Main articles: Cuisine , Regional cuisine , and Global cuisines. Main article: Food presentation. Main article: Outline of food preparation. Main article: Cooking. Main article: Cookware and bakeware. Main article: Restaurant. Main articles: Agriculture , Food industry , and Genetically modified food. Main article: Food manufacture.
See also: Population density. Main article: Food marketing. This section is an excerpt from Food prices. This section is an excerpt from Food speculation. This section is an excerpt from Food loss and waste. This section is an excerpt from Food policy. This section is an excerpt from Right to food. Adopted or drafting a framework law Constitutional, explicit as a right Constitutional, implicit in broader rights or as directive principle Direct applicability via international treaties No known right to food.
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