Ingridenents of the Food System
English and Literature
Submitted By bigguy68
INGREDIENTS OF THE FOOD SYSTEM
"How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used."1 –Wendell Berry, author and farmer
Food holds many meanings and serves many roles. At its most basic level, it is a source of nourishment, without which we would cease to function. On a global scale, nations depend on food for political stability.2 Among the one in six people worldwide who lack adequate access to food,3 it may be viewed as a rare and precious commodity. Others who enjoy access to an abundant food supply may take it for granted; in many parts of the world, consumers and food industries discard it in great quantities.4 Beyond its biological roles, food has deep social meaning; it can serve as a mark of culture, values or taste, a gathering point among communities or an opportunity to reinforce relationships.5,6 On a personal level, food and emotion are closely tied.7 Food may provide temporary relief from anxiety, depression, loneliness and boredom.7 Feelings of joy and other positive emotions may inspire healthier, more pleasurable eating experiences.7
These examples illustrate just a few of the ways that food is an integral part of human lives. We all experience food, if for no other reason than because we all consume it. Our relationship with food, however, extends far beyond the act of eating.
Food takes a complex journey from its origins on farm fields, ranches, rivers, oceans and other sources to consumers’ plates. Along the way, it passes through the hands of producers (including farmers, ranchers and fishermen), processors, transporters, warehouse operators, retailers, consumers and waste handlers. The term food system or supply chain describes this series of interdependent links, including the people and resources involved at each stage. In this curriculum, we frequently refer to five major stages along the supply...