Natural Food and Technological Food Production

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There have been various debates on the relationship between nature and technology in food production. The current age has witnessed scientific invention and the utility of scientific methods in food production. Use of scientific methods in manufacturing has led to an increase in production of food, especially in Third World international locations which have constantly been faced with the food crisis. The predominant reason for application of technology and science in meals production is an increase in production. However, debates indicate that as a lot as food is currently produced in large quantity, the scientific strategies come with health issues to the consumers. Thesis: is nature better than technology in food and Nutrition regarding physical health and food security?

Food production has increased tremendously Since the industrial revolution. The use of science and technology took root during the period and has diversified ever since. The main areas of focus in food production using scenting includes the use of pesticides herbicides, use of artificial additives in the processing of do and genetically modified food among others. All these fields of science have shown remarkable improvement in food production over the years.  Debates have however risen over the years on the effects that technology and science in food production have to do with health issues. The health issues associated with food from artificial include obesity, high blood pressure and heart conditions among others (National Republic Radio). Research also indicates that chemicals used food preservation and processing may be the cause of some cancers. The proponents of the use of natural food products cite that they are healthier than food made from technology. Their argument is based on the research that attributes various ailments to foods produced by use of scientific technology.

Genetically modified food has had the most focus on debates recently. Most of the crops planted nowadays are genetically modified by scientists to increase production, drought resistance, and pest resistance.  From a scientific point of view, genetically modified crops have been a breakthrough regarding food production and food security. According to National Public Radio, the farmers who use genetically modified crops have a higher yield in crop production and use pesticides that have fewer effects on the environment.  Research indicates that the population of the world is expected to shoot up to 9 billion by 2050 from the current population of 7 billion. This estimate calls for elaborate means of crop production that will cater for this increase in population.

Apart from mass production of food, genetically modified foods are more flavored than the natural food. Research indicates that genetic modification can increase flavor in food, for instance, corn can be made sweeter while pepper can be made spicier (Watts).  Food testers n blind testing have given genetically modified food a higher sweetness rating as compared to natural foods.  Other benefits of genetically modified foods include the production of healthier food products. Scientists have successfully managed to increase nutrition in various food products through genetic modifications.  Research shows that genetic modification in Tomatoes causes them increase their natural production of antioxidants that help prevent heart diseases and cancer (National Republic Radio).

Although these modifications have been deemed useful in the food production and consumption arena, the critiques of genetically modified food have objections to these scientific methods of food production on various bases.  For instance, scientists have proven that GMO poses a great threat to the environment.  Cross-pollination has resulted to ‘superweed” weeds that are resistant to herbicides. This “superweeds” subsequently poses a great risk to other plants including wild plants. Genetically modified crops also have a devastating effect on the ecosystem. Watts goes further to explain that these chemicals go down the food chain and affect another organism, for instance, the decimation of butterfly population in the United States.   Proponents of natural food products also cite that they need products to have their natural tastes, according to this argument, food products that are made from nature taste better and are healthier. For instance, apple tastes better when it’s natural rather than when its sweetness has been enhanced genetically. Small former who can afford the biotech is also disadvantaged as they don’t get the market to their products, due to the overshadow they get from companies that produce genetically modified food products.

The current and past century has witnessed other technological advancement in food production, particularly food processing. Most of the company that process food use artificial additives, sweeteners, and flavors. The essence of these artificial products is diverse. For instance, artificial preservatives ensure that food products sty for longer before going bad, Sweeteners adds tastes to food products such as snacks and soft drinks while additives increase the nutritional value of the food products (Gareth). All these artificial ingredients ensure the increased presence of food to cater for the increased population.

According to Gareth, Some of the most common artificial additives include Aspartame; (E951) which is commonly found in foods that are labeled “Sugar-free” or “Diet.” As much as these additives are nutritious proponents of natural food products argue that they pose health risks to the users. Research indicates that Aspartame, (E951) poses various health risks such as ailments including brain tumor, depression and anxiety attacks, mental confusion, diabetes, Lymphoma and Alzheimer's, and chronic fatigue (Gareth). Other health risks related to increases in artificial additives, ingredients, and flavors in the food product are complications at childbirth. The rate of Caesarean section at childbirth has significantly increased over the years due to increase in technology in food production, the accumulation of chemicals from the artificial components leads to various complications that lead to c-section during childbirth (Hall).

Other additives that pose health risks to the consumers include High Fructose Corn Syrup, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG / E621), Tran’s fats and common food dyes. Most of these additives have been approved by the FDA in the united states despite the health risks they pose. The proponents of natural food products explain that these food products do not pose any health risks to the users. Instead, they are very healthy and highly recommended by doctors and other medical practitioners (Gareth). The high rate of diseases and condition prevalent today are attributed to the lifestyle of the people. Te main suspect of this unhealthy lifestyle is the high consumption of food with artificial components. However, due to this enlightenment, people are turning from the artificial products and going for healthier natural food products. Whole food market, for instance, is a food chain in the United States that specializes in the sale of foods products made from natural ingredients as well as natural food products (Philips).

Susan Watts in her article "Genetic moderation is needed to debate our food future," she recognizes the need for genetic modification in food production due to its essence in ensuring food security for the future.  She goes farther and states that there is ramification to this genetic modification that needs to be checked. She, therefore, stipulates that although genetically modified food products pose risks to the health of users and the environment, their benefits to the increased population are undeniable. She, therefore, employs the scientist to moderate the production of GMO and the government to formulate policies that regulate them to healthy standards (Watts). 

From the articles, it can be deduced that technology in food production poses a risk to both the environment and the health of the users. However, it is still necessary for the continued survival of humanity through food security. Both sides of the argument have basis and merit, but one clear fact is that natural food products won’t be able to cater for food production in the next 30-40 years due to the projected increase in population. The current world population is 7 billion as mentioned above but some regions still lack enough food production. Farther increase in population will, therefore, require the maximum use of technology in food production. When the use of natural food products is aligned against the use of technology in food production, the short-term decision will be the use of natural food production due to the health factors associated with it. However, in the long term, natural food production techniques will not be able to cater for the increased population, which will subsequently lead large-scale shortage of food. Therefore the best option for long-term sustainable food production is by the use of technology.

Works cited

Evans, Gareth. Rood Processing Technology. 20 10 2010. 24 11 2017 <https://www.foodprocessing-technology.com/features/feature99273/>.

Hall, Harriet. Nature vs. Technology. 18 3 2014. 23 11 2017 <https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/nature-vs-technology/>.

Nelson, Philip E. Feeding the World Today and Tomorrow: The Importance of Food Science and Technology. 26 8 2010. 24 11 2017 <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2010.00127.x/full>.

Staff, NRP. Debate: Should We Genetically Modify Food? 10 12 2014. 25 11 2017 https://www.npr.org/2014/12/10/367842658/debate-should-we-genetically-modify-food

Watts, Susan. "Genetic moderation is needed to debate our food future." 23 7 2014. 24 11 2017 <https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329794-400-genetic-moderation-is-needed-to-debate-our-food-future/>.

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