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Evolution of the Food Industry

It has never before been so easy to choose from such a huge range of – mostly processed – foods in Western society. It used to be very different.
How has our food supply become what it is today and what is the downside of this?

Originally, agriculture was developed to create a continuous flow of food supply, to feed the growing world population. Due to the rise of modern agriculture at the beginning of the 19th century, the proceeds of agricultural products became higher and of better quality. For example, the invention of fertilizer and the rise of mechanization by crossing and selecting plants (plant-breeding).

 Focus on carbohydrates

In 1840 scientist Justus Liebig discovered that all our food consists of three important nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. From then on, plant breeding and cultivation optimization focused on those three nutrients. Consequently, other nutrients are seen as less important. Where in the past, crops such as spelt and buckwheat were often grown; now wheat and corn are massively cultivated.

In the 19th century, the food industry emerged with the aim of preserving food and making it transportable. Convenience becomes important. For example, broth can quickly be made using “meat extract”. Large processing plants create cheap raw materials that have a good shelf life and a predictable, consistent quality. This is the beginning of processed food.

Copy and paste

Factories take agricultural products apart and “put” the nutrients in new proportions back together. For example: If corn is processed into starch, nutrients that are not “needed” are – at best – processed into animal feed. Even though this “waste” consists of valuable fiber, minerals, vitamins and micronutrients.
Whether the development of “hyper processed foods” is desirable for a fit and healthy life is not being questioned at all. A few examples of processed carbohydrates include white flour, starch, corn syrup, and sugar.

Not feeding but filling

Today, the food industry earns a lot from cheap, tasty convenience products. By adding sugar and starch, products are made “tasty” – should we be so happy with that? A large amount of carbohydrates disrupts our digestion. We get fatter and hungrier fast, which leads to more eating. As a result, diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are lurking.

So what is healthy then?

The basis of a healthy diet is formed by Whole Foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables and fruits. Hence, little to non-processed foods. Whole Foods contain the natural ratio of nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein, which is important for a fit and healthy life. In addition, they saturate a lot better than refined carbohydrates such as starch from corn and added sugars which leave you carving more and more.

TastyBasics develops healthy food for every meal, without added sugars and with a significant reduction in carbohydrates. Our basis is formed by Whole Foods which is why we say: The Future is Whole Foods.

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