The production and transport of food has been heavily influenced by modern technology. To what extent so you think this is a positive development?
The impact of modern technology on the food industry has been an issue of public concern for several decades.
I believe that modern food technology has a wide range of benefits. For consumers, the application of technology in food production and food transport has greatly increased the variety of food available in supermarkets and grocery stores, which means a wider range of food choices. For example, modern technology can modify the genetic makeup of livestock to produce meat that is rich in protein but low in fat. Also, packaged food such as canned and bottled food makes life easier, especially for city residents whose busy lifestyles have made it difficult to prepare three meals every day by themselves. From an economic point of view, industrialised food production reduces the costs for food manufacturers. As a result, consumers can buy food at lower prices than before, and are left with more money for education, healthcare and entertainment.
On the other hand, the modern way of producing and transporting food has caused some environmental damage and health concerns. To increase crop yields, farmers often grow crop plants with the help of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which pollute soil and water. Another problem is although the developments in food transport give consumers easy access to food produced in other countries and regions, these developments increase carbon emissions from trucks and flight and traffic congestion on a global scale. Health concerns are also raised about genetically-modified food and junk food, which have become an important part of many people’s diet.
It seems to me that overall, the changes brought about by modern food technology contribute to a simpler and more pleasant lifestyle. Nevertheless, it is an important task of food scientists and engineers to make the food industry more eco-friendly and health-conscious.