Nature v/s Technology: the changing face of food

The world as we know it is fast changing. Innovation, globalization and the rapid growth of technology is causing the world around us to shrink while doubling up our opportunities. We are moving towards a tomorrow where time is optimized and menial jobs are outsourced to machines. These advancements are causing mammoth changes in our life style and eating patterns.

There was a time when, even if you were in a metropolitan city, you were forced to cook and eat only what was locally available. Eating out, or rather eating different types of cuisines, was a luxury only the very rich could afford. Today, we can order-in pretty much any cuisine we can think of, at a fraction of the cost it would have taken us to prepare the same. Sitting in Mumbai City I can enjoy Acai berries, Kale, Yuzu lemons and vanilla from Madagascar to name a few.

Evolution and the use of technology in food production is making it easier for us to consume a host of different minerals, vitamins and nutrients in one sitting. We no longer need to consume an entire lemon for vitamin C, we can just pop a tablet or drink a vitamin C infused water or better vitamin C infused chocolate milk. These processed alternatives are  tastier, cheaper and more convenient.

While its wonderful to have come closer to achieving food security and convenience through these processes, the price to be paid is very high.  Technology, like fire when first discovered, is wild. When harnessed well, it can do wonders for our well-being. However, if misused, it has the potential be disastrous not just for us but for many future generations to come. By stripping crops, fruits and vegetables off their natural nutrients and minerals to increase their shelf life or make them more convenient to consume we are doing irreparable damage to both ourselves and our ecosystem that sustains us. Manipulation of natural processes, like the ability of cows to produce milk or chickens to lay eggs, is disrupting the natural cycles present. These disruptions are bound to create catastrophic results in the future to come.

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