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What Is the Global Food Industry?

In the United States alone, the food industry is responsible for roughly $1-trillion in annual expenditures.
The companies that grow the potatoes, make the chips, and sell them to consumers are all part of the food industry.
Genetically modified crops produce more food for less money.
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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
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  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2014
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The global food industry refers to the entire food supplying industry, from the agriculture processes and farmers to the wholesalers and retailers who deliver the food to the general public. It is also the job of this industry to try to ensure that adequate food supplies are available to every country and area in the world. Part of the equation includes an understanding of global food economy, supply, and how the global food market works. The methods employed for food processing, distribution, and retail are huge components in this industry as well. The global food industry is one of the largest systems in the world and touches almost every community in terms of commerce and supplying sustenance in remote and well-populated regions.

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The global food industry starts with all types of farming and animal husbandry, from small, local farms to the huge corporate farms that supply some of the world's largest food companies with vegetables and meat for their products. Some of the farms involved in global food production focus on exclusively organic farming, allowing for no pesticides, herbicides, or unnatural fertilizers to be used on the food plants. This farming process also doesn't allow for genetically modified plants or food animals to be treated with growth hormones and other chemical-based medications. The remaining farms focus on farming techniques that cost less and produce greater amounts of food through the use of genetically modified plant life and animal husbandry techniques allowed by law. The consumer is allowed to choose the type of food they buy for consumption.

Another aspect of the global food industry to consider is food production. Mass production is used for items commonly found in grocery and convenience stores and refers to the creation of a large number of the same product. Batch production is the practice of making only a specific number of identical products for a short amount of time, such as a bakery making fruit cakes for the holiday season. For situations in which a customized food product is created, for example a birthday or wedding cake, the process is called one-off production. Within the global food industry, businesses involved include any type of service that grows, produces, or sells food goods.

Most people are familiar with the distribution of food and food related products. Grocery stores, farmers' stands, and restaurants are just a few examples of businesses that cater to the individual needs of the public. Food products are shipped to the retailers through a global system of trucks, trains, and planes from local sources as well as distant ones.

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Ana1234
Post 3

@Iluviaporos - I know it's not a popular opinion, but we could actually do worse than what we have right now. Yes, food often gets shipped long distances, but that is usually because it is grown far more efficiently in far away places. Growing food locally is often not efficient and might even waste more power or fertilizers and certainly more time.

The answer might be for people to start eating a less varied diet, but that could lead to malnutrition in a lot of places, where a wide variety of foods simply won't flourish.

Personally, I think food industry trends will end up heading towards using environmentally friendly shipping and that will solve that problem.

lluviaporos
Post 2

@MrsPramm - Modern food is so complex and diverse that it would be almost impossible to reduce it simply by encouraging more people to grow vegetables. I mean, the majority of the world's population live in cities now and simply don't have the room or the time to grow vegetables.

And vegetables are, frankly, not very calorie dense. Staples are usually starch based, like rice, wheat and potatoes, because they provide a lot of energy. And those starches need a lot of food processing to become palatable to most city dwellers.

With such a large urban population, we are all stuck depending on a global food industry.

MrsPramm
Post 1

I don't understand why more people don't just grow their own food. It's not really difficult or expensive and it would solve a lot of problems if the effort that people put into their lawns or their rose gardens was spent on tomatoes and cucumbers instead.

Then there would be less food shipped around the world and less rainforest cut down in order to create new farm land. The global food industry would not need to be the monster that it is today.

The average suburban family could probably grow a large percentage of their vegetables without much effort at all.

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