Food is essential to sustain human life. But it also has other functions like uniting family and friends, triggering revolutions, transforming our means of transport along with the way we live. Since the time humanity originated, we have eaten. That fact still hasn’t changed; we eat to survive and live. But what has changed is the ‘way’ we eat.
Climate change, technology, and globalization have led people to move from their traditional diets to new multi-cultural cuisines. These are major factors that have changed not only a person’s eating habits but also their lifestyle. It has caused a major behavior change among people—a part of this major shift in eating habits.
We have moved from the days of roasting food on coals to cooking with gas and electricity, and now to robot cooking or factory-made processed food. The way we cook, what we eat, and the raw materials for the food, have all changed. Let’s take a look at how we have changed the way we eat.
Why the change?
There are many reasons for this change, but the three main factors are:
- Changes in farming
- Different Mindset
- Climate Change
These factors have diversified the way the billion people in the world eat.
Changes in Farming
Back in 2019, the world began talking about the threats facing the planet’s most critical job –food production. Food demand is rising, but fewer people are joining farming or quitting. To compensate for these gaps in demand and production, several new ways of food production were developed.
Farmers still in the profession have moved from being a one-man show to resembling a medium to large-size business. It has become a mix of multi-generational families and hired-employee businesses. This movement has driven a need for outside labor to work on the farms.
Robot Farmers have taken the role of humans in the fields. Robotic Tractors and Sprayers, Robotic cultivators, planters, and drillers have been hired to handle the fieldwork without the human touch of the previous generations. Robotic milkers are also employed in dairy farms.
Gene-edited crops have enabled farmers to grow in the adversities of droughts and bad soil conditions. These have also helped in compensating for the amount of care and traits hampering production. Artificial or lab-produced food has also helped greatly in filling the gaps in food demand.
The numerous devices helping in assisting efficient farming have also led to the reduced need for excessive manpower in the field. Devices that measure soil health, plant growth and also provide satellite and aerial imagery to monitor plant growth have enabled the convenience of fewer man-force.
Developing and developed countries are converging in their diet patterns as globalization forces an adjustment in food consumption. When it comes to choosing what to eat, we now have a large selection of options, from beef, poultry, and fish to fruit and vegetables brought in from around the world. There are also all the restaurants offering multi-cultural cuisines that make the everyday meal more exciting.
The rising income and urbanization have driven a global dietary transition from traditional local diets being replaced with multi-culturally derived new diet plans. Globalization has affected agri-food systems altering the quantity, type, cost, and desirability of foods available for consumption.
This dynamic shift prompted various governments to make food and health policies to address certain negative imbalances. These policies have streamlined the nutritional value of the exotic produce being sold in the markets. This, in turn, has raised awareness among people about the various nutrition-rich food around the world, prompting people to search for and buy this healthy food.
The rising technology in food preservation has increased the longevity of food. This has made the transport of exotic food from far lands easier. This has reduced the amount of wastage of food and helped in even distribution across the world. The different techniques used to produce sustainable production and consumption have allowed every person to experience the taste of every cuisine worldwide.
Globalization has allowed wide choices available to eat outside, which has almost made home cooking take a back step. The numerous varieties in the menus of restaurants and cloud kitchens are difficult to recreate at home. Hence, people have started to eat out more.
In the current world, eating outside is much cheaper and healthier than cooking indoors. The large selections of vegetables, meat, fish, and fruit available in the markets are highly-priced to cover the costs of imports. The ease of access to processed food has made home kitchens almost redundant. At the same time, restaurant chains and cloud kitchens offer the same food you make at home and more for lower prices.
A few years ago, people spoke of eating what farmers grow in our part of the world. This was because it was believed that the globalization of the food supply schemes made the food more processed and less nutritious. But now, there are ways to preserve the nutritional value during long travels.
This has made people, even those extremely health-conscious, prefer to eat out. Now, the restaurants and eateries have covered all the requirements of people, whether they want to eat healthy, junk food, or a multi-national lunch, all of it is available easily at a lower cost. People are conserving their time spent cooking and also experiencing the tastes of the wider world.
All that has been said above mainly results from one main cause, climate change. The rise in temperatures has caused lands to dry up, making farming almost impossible. In such nations, global imports have sustained the population.
This has made farming limited to certain regions of each country, almost limiting traditional farm-fresh food. This has allowed the increase of lab-grown, processed and intensive farming techniques to sustain the consumption demands.
The changes in temperatures have also resulted in changes in the diets of the people. Studies have shown the need for plant-based diets to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Though it hasn’t been forced onto people, the influences of the people and environment around them have changed their attitudes toward their preferences.
Has Home Cooking Taken A Back Step?
There was a time in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, making everyone stay indoors. This saw a step-back in the rising number of people dining out. Through this period, home cooking was a major trend. A few years after, when people started moving out of their houses and getting back to work, it brought back the numbers and, even greater, to eat out.
During that period, everyone understood the time and hard work to put food on the table. It was also a period of climate change awareness and animal welfare concerns. This bought new changes in people’s diets, like the rise in the popularity of veganism and being a ‘flexitarian.’ This time has also seen a boom in cloud kitchens that deliver food to the doorstep.
The rise in cloud kitchens and the number of restaurants offering healthy food has helped people move out of their kitchens to eat outside. These eateries are also assisting people in easing the burden of cooking at home after a long day of work. These lucrative benefits have put people outdoors for their food than staying at home.
The birth of robots in kitchens has also pulled people outdoors. For those interested in home cooking, robots have taken their place. These kitchen robots can cook anything from your grandmother’s recipes to an international delicacy. They even take out the burden of stocking up the pantry. Just your desire, and these robot kitchens will serve you a taste of goodness.
The benefits of Robots in the kitchen and automated kitchens have allowed people to save time by freeing up the day from routine cooking. It enables one to plan and adjust their menu according to different diets and lifestyles. It also has the benefit of cooking you any international cuisine at any time and the comfort of home.
Robots in the kitchen have you experience the cooking of world-renowned chefs at your dining table. These benefits of automated robot cooking have made people physically move out of the kitchen to let machines provide for them.
For so many reasons, people have made kitchens grow smaller.
The rising concern and steps taken to prevent environmental conservation have greatly changed the way people eat. The root of food production, farming, has changed greatly, from being human-intensive to robotic work.
These changes in farming by themselves have changed what people eat. Then globalization, where people all over the world are interconnected, has made people experience different cuisines around the world. All these factors have influenced people’s minds to change their attitude towards the food they eat.
Gone are the days of self-cooking at home. People are driving away from traditional eating habits to sustain their lives. Over the past centuries, the way we eat has changed several times. With the discovery of cooking food to the robots in kitchens, the way the global citizens around the world eat has changed and will change again in the future.