Processed Foods: The Pros and Cons – A Balanced View

In food processing, harvested crops or butchered animals are used as the raw ingredients for making and packaging food products that are attractive, marketable and have long-shelf lives.

Attractive means that the product both tastes and looks good. To be marketable, it must match the kinds of food being demanded by consumers. Food products that have a long-shelf life reduce the costs of wastage for producers, distributors and retailers.

Development of food processing

Food processing dates back to our prehistory — when fire was discovered and cooking invented. The various ways in which food can be cooked are all forms of food processing.

Food preservation also began in prehistory, and the first ‘long shelf-life’ foods were produced by drying food in the sun and by preserving food with salt. Preservation with salt was common with soldiers, sailors and other travelers until canning was invented in the early 19th century.

The ancient Bulgarians invented the first instant food (bulgur)…

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