The average person in the world today is under the impression that because of our now globalized food production and advances in transportation that we actually have a larger variety of foods available.  In one sense this is correct because supermarkets are no longer dependent on a local source for a large amount of their goods, but rather can out source all over the world for produce and other foods.

The larger truth is due to the fact that we are able to get food from all over the world all of these foods have to be genetically altered and many variables have to be cut out of the equation so that transportation and stocking will go as smoothly as possible.  So, because of this only a few types of certain products are actually grown and shipped leading to a much smaller variety of choices available.  For instance a few decades ago if you were to go to the local market for apples you would have at least a dozen different types to choose from and now because each type of apple isn’t able to retain it’s quality after having been shipped across the country, only the 3 or 4 that are able to are offered.  This also means that because they’re all coming from somewhere else, no matter where you live, the same apple is going to be offered at your store as in a different store across the country.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 75 percent of the world’s agricultural diversity has been lost in the last century.  This includes in the US, where 95 percent of cabbage, 91 percent of the field maize, 94 percent of the pea, and 81 percent of the tomato varieties have fallen victim to the globalized food market.

I think this is definitely a shame, I’m not by any means a food junkie or anything, since I usually just eat food for sustenance and go about my business.  But, just knowing that there is such a lack of variety already is kind of alarming, and it’s only getting worse.  By the time I’m my father’s age food will be even more boring than it already is, probably leaving me to care about it even less.  What are you going to do when every time you eat you’re essentially eating the same vegetable and cow that you ate yesterday and it always tastes the same?

-Dan Mitchell (DeathMetalDan)

Check out this link for a little bit more in depth information.

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2 responses »

  1. Jacob Berrier says:

    Many fruits are picked before they are ripe and during the shipping process they are covered in an artificial ripening chemical. For example, bananas are gassed with ethylene, an unsaturated hydrocarbon.

    Depending on where they are coming from some fruits are covered with methylcyclopropene to delay their ripening then gassed with ethylene later to accelerate it in order to bring the consumer the fruit of perfect ripeness/

  2. Dave Swanson says:

    Imagine what the world’s restaurants would be like if we still had that 75%. instead of eating a chef salad or chicken fingers we might be eating something much more exotic, much more delectable.

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