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Processed Food: A 2-Million-Year History


Society & Culture  (tags: humans, processed food, society, world, interesting, health, news )

Carrie
- 472 days ago - scientificamerican.com
Humans have been "processing" food ever since we learned how to cook, preserve, ferment, freeze, dry or extract. Processed food has powered the evolution of the species, the expansion of empires, the exploration of space. Here are highlights.



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Comments

Jennifer C. (169)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 5:41 pm
Thanks.
 

Laurie H. (730)
Sunday September 8, 2013, 6:36 pm
Thank you Carrie for this posting & sharing~~~
 

Fi T. (16)
Monday September 9, 2013, 6:51 am
But is it healthy and safe enough?
 

Elizabeth M. (68)
Monday September 9, 2013, 10:52 am
Thank You for this article Carrie, I agree that food has been processed forever,,,,the only difference being that food was more pure than the ones of today where so many chemicals have been added, or they have been sprayed with poisonous chemicals.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday September 9, 2013, 6:33 pm
Yes, but for 1,999,900 of those years, processing was very limited,, (salting meats, grinding grains, fermenting some fruits and vegetables, etc.). It's only been the hundred years or so that we've started using hundreds of chemicals, artificial flavorings and colorings, hormones, antibiotics, etc.
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Monday September 9, 2013, 8:45 pm
Food wasn't actually so "pure" for most of human history, Elizabeth M. It much more easily spoiled without modern preservatives and refrigeration. Eating a more coarse diet in the ancient world ground down the teeth. Food was usually overwhelmingly more infested with various insect life, parasites, rat droppings, and the like than today. They had less (often no) means of detecting toxins in foods.

I remember watching a documentary on the earliest European settlers in America in which it was reported they often had to pick maggots out of their meat before cooking it - since, of course, the meat spoiled so quickly and they couldn't just throw it away due to food shortages.
 

GGmaSheila D. (169)
Monday September 9, 2013, 11:09 pm
Slowly but surely I've been cutting down on processed foods. Thankful now that I have. However, I find I do eat more in the winter. Guess not this year. Been wanting to lose more weight anyway.
 

Julie W. (22)
Tuesday September 10, 2013, 12:15 am
So this article is recommending we eat processed foods? Sure, I process my food at home by cooking etc, but I don't then add chemicals to preserve it for weeks. This is not what I expect from Care2.
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Tuesday September 10, 2013, 4:41 am
This article, Julie W., isn't from "Care" (like those in the Causes section). It's from an individual member. Luckily we have lots of different outlooks here on C2 - which makes things much more interesting.
 

Winn Adams (205)
Tuesday September 10, 2013, 7:13 am
Thanks
 

Melania Padilla (185)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 9:56 am
Thanks!
 
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