Food is one of the reasons we are able to sustain ourselves in such a highly demanding society. It is described as one of the essential needs for surviving in a competitive, fast-paced world induced by growing technology. Technology has ensured the creation of new inventions and had to break away from rigid stereotypes and societal constraints.
Therefore, in addition to being a significant essence to the life of a human being, is also a means of pleasure to the human heart. Surprisingly, food is not restricted to one specific zone or geographical area. It translates from one city to another, from one state to another, and transcends to spread of different cultures.
In other words, the impact doesn’t just restrict itself to just taste buds getting the pleasurable taste, it extends itself to emotions and diverse relations. “Ah, divine marvelous taste” is the common compliment we hear to eating good food. We don’t understand how it connects distant parts of the world and immerses us in a single sphere of the planet we live on.
1. The Sprout of Technology
With the complicated technology we subject ourselves to when we entrust that into a culturally contrasting element like food items, it is no surprise that this field had become more technologically oriented.
As we have established before, food is a cultural product. However, it is important to note that nothing in this world reaches the masses of population around the globe without a slight brush of modernistic technology. The element of food is now incorporated into the cultural world as well as the modern technological world.
Let’s focus our critical thoughts onto food technology. Food doesn’t magically drop itself down onto our hands. It is a mixture enveloped with ingredients to bring about a marvelous result that we swallow as a savoring reward. Where do we get these ingredients? How do we know if these are appropriate for tasting good food?
1.1 Origin of Food: –
The question firstly starts with ‘where’? Where do we get the ingredients that we process into a well-tuned fine recipe? This is when we moved from the rapidly towering skyscrapers with a bustling and buzzing environment to the quiet calm of the village with harvest approaching the corner.
1.2. Role of Farmers: –
Farmers are the pinnacle of the food industry. They are the reason why ever-growing industry is earning millions and dozens. The reasons may be countless, but it is notable that farmers are the reason why the life continues to thrive, the distinct and diverse culture seems to survive and the society is constructed upon.
They are the source from which raw materials are extracted and refined into a better product. All farmers are considered part of the food business and are the core center through which people from urban side survive which is also provided in good quality
Farmers are also the reason why the available raw materials are put to good use. In retrospect, they harvest it and this way food is curated to the masses, not to mention both rural and urban areas. Even if, this is more relevant to urban masses who are not as involved in agriculture and enforce their strengths more upon technology and its growing popularity.
Another way through which farmers contribute towards this is how they provide employment to rural poor in need of jobs to sustain their livelihood. They are also inclined towards the natural side of things and are more connected with nature.
Mankind has revolutionized the world into a place with tall buildings with smoke and fog. In such a world, farmers continue to work behind the scenes and provide us with a basic necessity that keeps us breathing and functioning. However naturalistic and hard-working it may seem so; our world is much more dependent on machinery and electronic communication more than ever.
Therefore, a culturist concept like food is now bundled into the various nuances of technology and electronics.
2. Food Technology
This is the modern component of the world of the catering industry. Food technology is defined as a separate branch which explains the science and techniques involved in furnishing the processing of food.
The techniques include the production of raw materials, processing, preservation techniques, packaging of various items and labelling, and distribution to various masses. Working in the food industry is no easy job. People will have to ensure that the food is edible and nutritious enough to be consumed. This starts with raw materials and the culmination of them into a better-furnished product.
2.2 As a Branch of Study
Food Technology widened into a branch of study with its increasing popularity. In this particular field, where one is looking forward to satisfying their daily needs and pleasure. It is of different dimensions and deep layers, so it is no wonder that the industry of food had elevated to a higher level i.e. the field of study.
Although a fairly new phenomenon, it has taken the world by storm with its arrival introducing healthier and more nutritious conventions for the betterment of food standards. It had gone through a paradigm shift and is moving towards a world of sustainable and personalized choices of eating.
These are some of the trends that food technology has undergone in such a short period of time:-
2.2.1. Alternative Protein Choices:-
The idea of protein intake was emphasized and taken into consideration. Healthier protein choices were discovered, and people began to lean more toward that aspect of things. Primary protein sources that are looked at as possible alternatives are cultured meat, lab-based food (prepared prior), plant-based nutrition as well as edible insects are some of the prominent ones.
This reduces the dependency on livestock and animals. The focus is thus established towards new advancements such as 3D printing, fermentation and molecular biology which help create a more balanced and sustainable lifestyle even in the kind of intake that is required.
As the name suggests, it deals with the increasing concern on healthier nutrition. The COVID-19 pandemic had a long-lasting impact on the world, not only at a regional level but at a global level.
With that, accompanied the increasing worry on hygienic food habits and relevant lifestyle that is suited. Nutraceuticals stay true to their name and include nutritional supplements, functional foods, medicinal foods (I. e on an Indian note, the Siddha and Ayurvedic medicinal techniques applies too) and gut microbiomes which also has many various components.
Scientific research results have proven that the intake of nutraceuticals helps ward off neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, allergy and immune diseases.
2.2.3. E- Commerce
Covid-19 had a massive impact that disturbed the lingering food chains that had supported the world. People had lost jobs and were striving to get their livelihoods going. The demand for food and eating was high.
However, native supply chains provide services such as delivery, and online platforms that help in speeding up the process. During the pandemic, free food delivery took place for the people whose livelihoods were shut down and whose standard of living wasn’t exactly at their comfort zone.
Government NGOs, in particular, played a crucial role in providing the necessities to the people who are in a need of a basic necessity required for survival.
2.2.4 Food Safety and Transparency
Eating healthier is one of the major and important essentials that one needs to make sure of in their life. With that being said, how would it be if we are unaware of what kind of ingredients we entrust into our bodies?
It wouldn’t be safe, with the hygienic anxieties that had freshly resurfaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of such a deadly virus. Safety can be assured from our side by practising hygienic habits with a healthy mindset and lifestyle.
The other side of things is food delivery. Technological conventions have made this place a much safer environment to exist in. There are systems where you could grade items before they are delivered to you, making the eating experience much more satisfying. Hygiene is also ensured during this process.
2.2.5. 3D Printers
A new emerging form of creating food items is the 3d printing mechanism. It is becoming widely popular, specially curated in reality cooking shows that bring a lot of attention. It is a fun creative way of piecing together refreshments and supplies and creating a dish out of it. But is it only for entertainment purposes?
No is the answer you had expected. 3D printers have also the alluring component of nutrition which is the whole point of this modernistic approach. With the consciousness surrounding our hygiene and our health, this mechanism might well be what constructs our future doings.
It is also to be noted that many startup companies benefit from this by using a variety of techniques using laser and inkjet food printing along with the likes of bioprinting. Although it is in the beginning stages, the popularity it had gained in such a short span of time is commendable.
3. Cooking as a Career: –
The rise of food technology as a field had given way to new forms of career paths. One of the most prominent and widely appreciated ones is in the area of cooking and catering. The modern techniques of preparing dishes and cooking were incorporated by designated chefs infusing never seen before creativity.
It is more prevalent in reality tv shows where participants compete with each other in order to win a cash prize to propel their cooking career forward. The competition that exists between each other is enough to bring out the depths of creativity and thinking processes to serve the best dishes the world has ever seen.
Cooking is an art. This differs between hierarchies in the way it is perceived. Cooking is survival for some, whereas art for others. This was the perception for some time and the view that people from poor backgrounds do not have time to yearn for passions. These days, however, cliched it sounds, their hard work earns them the reward in society.
The arousal of creative thoughts and ideas doesn’t exist in the arts alone. It can be brought about in any form. These shows push the individual to explore the creative styles ( even if they are the most absurd ones!) and bring new taste palettes and styles of preparation to forte.
4. Conclusion: –
The trends in the food world are enormous and have been taking gentle slow strides into the modern era. Food is a conventional and traditional concept embedded deep within our roots and the question that emerges in our minds is how we will place such a culturally rich element in a period of computers and intellectuals.
Humans seem to have found a way to incorporate a culturally diverse concept. The techniques to bring about a nutritious and healthy society might be unconventional and almost absurd. To bring about the necessary changes for a healthier and better society, we have to look towards breaking the traditionally established norms and be open to all possible ideas.
That way, especially in the world of food, we are a step ahead.