Throughout modules 8 and 9, we will describe how viewing the food system as a coupled natural human system helps us to embrace and understand these socioeconomic and biophysical factors of the food system. Ultra-processed food products are produced by combining primary food products and other secondary food products to create ready-to-eat foods and beverages with high sensory appeal, for example, pastries, candies, jams, soft drinks and ready meals. Secondary food processes may vary depending on the type of food group, but may include physical processes such as pressing, milling and dehydration, and chemical processes such as hydrolysis, hydrogenation or the use of enzymes. Crop reproduction, agricultural practices, food processing), the natural environment in production regions, and social factors or environments such as government culture and food policy (Fig.
This process is vital for many precooked foods, as it ensures the availability of a variety of high-quality, nutritious and affordable foods throughout the year in the United Kingdom, Europe and around the world. Some secondary food production processes, such as heat treatment, fermentation and packaging, can be used to extend the shelf life of the main food ingredient. The third, or “tertiary”, activity of the global food system focuses on the food service industry, including food wholesalers, distributors and retailers. Pinstrup-Andersen and Watson, Towards a dynamic global food system in Food Policy for Developing Countries, available through the e-Reserves system.
These are analogous to the social and ecological dimensions of food that you have mapped earlier in food supply chain activity. The main examples of processing include the milling of wheat, the pasteurization of milk and the classification and refrigeration of meat and are often a necessary step to ensure food safety before food is consumed. These minimally processed foods retain their original properties, that is, the nutritional, physical, sensory and chemical properties in their unprocessed form, and are ready for further processing by the food industry (secondary processing). Supermarkets (especially in the United Kingdom) respond to consumer concerns; for example, they can participate in setting environmental standards in the supply chain by providing more sustainable food, such as organic and fair-trade products.
Another feature of the food system indicated by the exercise of the food supply chain is that food systems are everywhere: all human beings on Earth are part of some kind of food system. The final activity of the food system relates to food consumption and waste disposal, which is unfortunately beyond the scope of this course. The food you eat is produced by a complex global food system, which involves many activities and processes that take food from farm to table. As seen in the exercise on the food supply chain that you have done, it is also useful to think that it includes the production, transportation and distribution of food, and the preparation and consumption of food, as major parts or subsystems of the food system (10.1).