Once obscured in the back aisle sections of large grocery stores, wide-ranging assortments of fruits and vegetables are now the first thing a potential customer sees as they enter: you can’t miss the mushrooming displays of organic freshness. Consumers are continually becoming well-educated about the impending health risks linked to junk food. Meticulous modern day organic agricultural practices are now very popular, and organic produce is more readily available than ever before.
The beginnings of the twentieth century saw a hugely rewarding progression in engineering and biochemistry, which rapidly changed farming processes. Tractorless farms segued into streamlined daily routines with the skyrocketing usage of over three million tractors by 1950. With such a profound advancement in inventive technological know-how, excessively difficult manual labor was finally manageable. Rural fields expanded across the nation, making it cost-efficient to use such inventive equipment on bigger plots of land.
Primarily synthesized in the mid-19th century, nitrogen fertilizer became evermore inexpensive, and artificial fertilizers had been developed with ammonia during the First World War. With origins wholly based on an innocent yet driving emphasis on high production figures, the mass production of fertilizer in the 1940’s gave birth to the now infamously termed “pesticide era”. Inorganic – and mouth-mumblingly unpronounceable – products were cheap to manufacture and, with safe methods of transportation across the country, became swiftly ubiquitous.
Independent to this rise in chemical use, there was a budding separate social mindset by people strongly eschewing such new-fangled routines. This conscious movement from natural food enthusiasts started, completely coincidently, at roughly the same times in both India and Central Europe. Many were vocally encouraged to boycott agricultural mechanization by the simple credo “Allow nature to do what it does best” and chose to only imbibe fruits and vegetables personally grown by their own communities. Anything chemically-altered is stringently verboten.
Nowadays, the general public are becoming increasingly interested in the genesis of store-bought produce, and its journey to their own plates. A steady stream of bad publicity relating to GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) as well as torrents of vitriolic criticism aimed at multibillion-dollar food corporations have started turning the junk food tide. Sure, there are those who will go to their (premature) graves clutching a grease-coated bucket of fried chicken lovingly draped in bacon and buried under a thick skin of nacho cheese but, for an emergent number of the US population, a move towards clean eating is as natural as the food they eat.
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