There has been a growing controversy as to whether it is good for us to have our food subjected to packaging machinery before we buy it or whether we should revert to days gone by and have all our produce loose, ready to be packed in paper on purchase. IrreverentVegan.com for more on containerized foods offers excellent info on this.
Now there are arguments for and against both sides. Before food packaging machinery was invented, food would be delivered to the shop loose, in boxes, and then wrapped in paper as and when it was sold on to the customer. One of the arguments for this is that the wrap around food is contaminated with substances that could possibly be carcinogenic.
This theory has not been proved however. Although many people want to go back to the methods of early days is it really practical? Would supplying enough paper to wrap all food in not be detrimental to the environment in the chopping down of more trees?
We then have the ability to keep food fresh if it is exposed to the elements. Food picked locally and sold locally would have a limited shelf life if it was constantly open to the air and food that was shipped from abroad would be limited much further. This would result either in a great deal of wastage of we would be eating spoiled food.
The population of the world is vast compared to one hundred years ago and we have been subjected to many things during that time that inhibit food production, such as water shortages. With more and more people to feed it has become essential to find a way of feeding everyone with food that will not only travel well but last when it reaches its destination.
This is the precise reason why we have come to rely on packaging machinery. It can pack large amounts of food in measured quantities in such a small space of time that it becomes impractical to do it by hand.
Some argue that food is factory packed purely for the manufacturer’s purpose of being able to sell more and make more profit. Well, this is of course, part of it. All manufacturers, whether they deal in necessities or luxuries, need to make a profit. But this shouldn’t cloud our judgement.
They have, in fact, been able to pass on savings to the customers that have been the direct results of so much less wastage. Food is subjected to packaging machinery and is instantly frozen in time, so to speak.
This has huge benefits to the consumer – not just in the fact that we can get fresh food from around the world in a reasonable condition but also the fact that we can store it longer at home means that we have to go food shopping less frequently – and let’s face it, that can only be a good thing because who enjoys food shopping?
Providing manufacturers can assure us that the wrapping that comes into such close contact with our food is safe, then I can personally see no problem with packaging machinery used on our food. It keeps our food fresher for longer, it ensures that more people can be fed for less money and it means we have to shop less.