Cuisine, broadly food culture, has evolved greatly in the past ten thousand years, following the domestication of plants and animals which greatly increased the food supply and led to villages, cities and civilizations. Major factors in the evolution of cuisines have been the existing biota, soils, fuel for cooking and climates, followed by new technologies, exploration and trade. These provide the context of the world's amazing variety of cuisines, but not the understanding of why cuisines developed as they have, in particular why China has the world's greatest cuisine.
Diet and health clearly are linked intrinsically. Today, more than ever food is functionalized and tailor made for specific groups (e.g. athletes, the elderly, and people with specific conditions). Increased life expectancy has resulted in an increase in the quest for diets which allow for a healthy ageing. In looking back 100 years, we try to assess how of our diets will evolve in the next 100 years and how this may be linked to a 'healthier ageing'.
This review starts by introducing the history and underlying culture of meat production and consumption in Japan since early times, and the effects of social change on these parameters. Meat processing in Japan is described, and certain other related papers are also introduced. Automatic machines for meat cutting have been developed by the Japanese food industry and are currently being used throughout the world, particularly in Europe.
In the emergence of diverse animal life forms, food is the most insistent and pervasive of environmental pressures. As the life sciences begin to understand organisms in genomic detail, evolutionary perspectives provide compelling insights into the results of these dynamic interactions between food and consumer. Such an evolutionary perspective is particularly needed today in the face of unprecedented capabilities to alter the food supply. What should we change?
Foods produced by genetic engineering technology are now appearing on the market and many more are likely to emerge in the future. The safety aspects, regulation, and labelling of these foods are still contentious issues in most countries and recent surveys highlight consumer concerns about the safety and labelling of genetically modified food. In most countries it is necessary to have approval for the use of genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs) in the production of food. In order to police regulations, a technology to detect such foods is desirable.
Adverse reactions to food and food additives must be classified according to pathogenic criteria. It is necessary to strictly differentiate between an allergy, triggered by a substance-specific immunological mechanism, and an intolerance, in which no specific immune reaction can be established. In contrast to views expressed in the media, by laymen and patients, adverse reactions to additives are less frequent than is believed.
The development of new strategies for the delivery of vaccine antigens or immune modulators to the mucosal tissue includes innovative approaches such as the use of genetically modified food microorganisms and plants. Even though the 'proof-of-concept' has recently been established for these two systems, key questions mainly related to efficacy and risk of breaking oral tolerance remain to be critically addressed in the immediate future.
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Changes in food production and dietary practices are occurring faster than our understanding of their potential impact on children's health. Traditionally, pediatric gastroenterologists have studied food with respect to its nutritive value and digestibility, its influence on metabolism, its growth-promoting characteristics, and its relationship to risk and severity of disease. Biotechnology is now expanding the science of food to include disease prevention and treatment, as well as the feeding of children on a global scale.
The rapid globalization of the world economy has increased the need for an astute understanding of cultural differences in perceptions, values, and ways of thinking about new food technologies. In this paper, we describe how socio-psychological and cultural factors may affect public perceptions of the risk of genetically modified (GM) food. We present psychological, sociological, and anthropological research on risk perception as a framework for understanding cross-national differences in reactions to GM food.
This study investigates why consumers accept different genetically modified food products to different extents. The study shows that whether food products are genetically modified or not and whether they are processed or not are the two important features that affect the acceptance of food products and their evaluation (in terms of perceived healthiness, naturalness, necessity and tastiness).