Processed Foods - Deepstash
Processed Foods

Processed Foods

Processed foods are often looked at with disdain, and not without reason. We conjure up an image of ultra-processed, plastic-like foods with suspicious flavours, dipped in synthetic almost-edibles.

But processed food wasn’t always so bad, and has changed our relationship with food over the ages.

1

STASHED IN:

78

STASHED IN:

0 Comments

MORE IDEAS FROM How humanity has changed the food it eats

  • At the start of the 20th century, canned foods became popular in middle-class households.
  • The ongoing wars and limited availability of fresh food opened up the market for frozen food.
  • TV dinners became popular in the 1950s, not due to their taste(which was awful) but due to their convenience.
  • On the farmers' front, innovative efforts like cutting out-of-shape carrots into convenient sizes drove up consumption of food that would have been otherwise thrown away.

1

STASHED IN:

39

The first evidence of processed foods came between 2.4 to 1.4 million years ago, when our ancestors Homo Habilis understood that food had to be manipulated before it is eaten. Pounding certain roots on the rock or making thin slices of meat helped the chewing process, making food easier to eat.

The later ancestors, Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis, had smaller teeth, which is only possible in evolution if there is less chewing, due to food being processed thermally, or cooked.

1

STASHED IN:

40

Humans had to process milk to drink it as raw milk wasn’t easily digestible. They made it into curdled milk (curd), or cheese that could be stored for long.

Later cheese was processed further by adding natural yellow colour. Enzymes were added to milk to help it ripen quickly.

STASHED IN:

38

As manufacturers fine-tune the processing of foods and push it further, we need to be informed about what is acceptable and where the line has to be drawn.

Food processing innovations help the environment by reducing wastage and decreasing food insecurity, but the way food is ultra-processed nowadays begs the question of when innovation becomes deceitful to the average consumer.

1

STASHED IN:

39

Preservation was the main reason for the processing of food by our early ancestors, and it served us well. However, ultra-processed foods in the modern age have pushed this concept beyond its natural limits, and have unique evolutionary problems.

Apart from the effects of excessive chemicals in the body, ultra-processed foods are to be blamed for misaligned teeth, small face, a large body, and crooked teeth.

1

STASHED IN:

39

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEA

Processed Food in History

The need for food preservation has historically led the Ancient humans to develop techniques to process food.

From learning to control fire to grinding grains, our ancestors have been able to process food in a variety of ways.

STASHED IN:

77

Pasteurization
  • It is the process of applying low heat to kill pathogens and extend shelf life of food and beverage products.
  • The process does not eliminate bacterial spores, so it doesn't truly sterilizes products.
  • Pasteurization earlier use was to improve the flavor or food and beverages but not it's primarily for food safety.
  • It greatly reduces risk of food poisoning.

STASHED IN:

18

Ultra-processed foods like white bread, cereal, chips, and wafers are remarkably common, convenient, affordable, extremely profitable for the makers, come in strong flavors and are aggressively marketed.

These 'ultra-processed' foods are low on essential nutrients while being high in sugar, salt and oils. The base ingredients which are used to 'engineer' these foods (cheap vegetable oils, sugar, flour) are already refined.

1

STASHED IN:

117