Urbanization, Lunchboxes, and Food Fights 28 Feb 2013
The world is becoming increasingly urbanized. Check out the infographic on Kris Sollid’s blog @FoodInsight if you have any doubts. With more and more people living in cities, it leaves fewer people being able to grow/raise their own foods. If you live in one of the 20 largest cities in the world, you will be increasingly dependent upon an agri-food industry capable of bringing safe, nutritious foods to you. There are 847 urban areas in the world with over 500,000 people. That creates a lot of competition for locally grown produce and livestock. So, most of us our food security is dependent upon the products and services provided by others.
As Melanie Warner, author of Pandora’s Lunchbox, and Kris Sollid both write, “it’s important to understand what we are eating.” However, it is even more important to have food choices. But without a food industry, most of us will be hungry. And more importantly, our nutrition would probably be worse.
Fulgoni and co-authors examined the relative contribution of foods, fortified foods and dietary supplements to nutrient intake in over 16,000 Americans >2y of age. The majority aren’t eating recommended amounts of vitamin A, C, D, or E from foods naturally containing these nutrients. Dietary intakes improve when people eat fortified foods. Nutrient intakes are even better when people also use dietary supplements. In fact, they wrote, “enrichment and/or fortification dramatically improved intakes of several key nutrients, including folate, thiamin, iron, and vitamins A and D.” We benefit from having a robust food industry. It reduces our food costs, improves food safety, and contributes to our nutritional well-being.