Adapting to an industrialized food system
The way we eat is broken.
From the temptation of fast food to the convenience of supermarket snacks or take-out meals, our industrialized food system is great at delivering addictingly tasty goodies that beg the question...
Why should I ever cook?
As a result, we're cooking less and relying too much on a food system that values profits over health. Here, we seek to understand this societal transformation and envision solutions to its challenges.
What does an industrialized food system look like?
A home-cooked meal and one from the industrial food system differ in a few important ways:
These components have all undergone significant changes, each of which we will explore.
The basic picture is...
Cooking at Home
1. Whole Ingredients
3. Nutritious meal
Industrial Food System
1. Commodity ingredients
3. convenient meal
Change #1: ingredients
lower spending on Ingredients
Every time we spend a dollar on food, some portion of it goes to
(1) the farmer who grew the food, and the rest to
(2) the processing, distribution, and marketing of that food.
These two portions are known as:
the farm share
the marketing share
1. Farm vs marketing share over time
Change #2: process
lower reliance on cooking
We are relying more and more on the industrial food system to provide us our sustenance, while cooking at home has declined significantly.
1. share of calories consumed at home
Change #3: result
more calories, worse health
The growth of the industrial food system has left us cooking less and relying on cheaply sourced food, and the results are evident in our diet and health.
1. Average daily caloric intake, 1970
how can we adapt?
The industrial food system is here to stay.
The question is then how we can responsibly nourish ourselves without ignoring the importance of quality ingredients or the health impacts of consistently consuming highly processed foods.
no one needs to be perfect
Everyone should feel perfectly free to enjoy their favorite fast foods and snack foods from time to time. It's hard to cook every meal at home, and realistically, you don't need to.
The key is to achieve a balance. The convenience of the industrial food system should be taken advantage of when necessary, but relying too much on that convenience has proven very dangerous for our health.
Cooking puts the control back in your hands. When you cook, you control your ingredients, your nutrition, and ultimately your health. Why surrender control of such an essential aspect of your life?
Cooking brings people together. Gathering friends and family around your table for a meal is an act of great generosity and love that builds relationships and community.
Cooking is fun. Exploring the vast culinary world has never been easier, and honing your cooking skills can be deeply rewarding and enjoyable.
Cooking is less expensive. Even when using fancy ingredients, cooking at home can save you a significant amount of money over time. Calculate how much you could save.
why do we care?
We believe that a good life is nourished by good cooking. Cooking creates vital connections – to your food, to your culinary heritage, and to the people who gather around your table. These connections are often strained by modern life, but can and should be restored by the creative power of cooking.