Introduced in the early 20th century, synthetic fertilizers dramatically increased crop yields, eliminating the need for farmers to use fallow or manure to renew soil. The biggest dietary change in the last 50 years could be the fact that, for the first time in recorded human history, people are eating too much. Food programs about personality, competition and lifestyle continue to attract a large audience on television and on the Internet, as exemplified by YouTube channels such as Tastemade and Food Network stalwarts such as “Chopped” and “Barefoot Contessa”. Chains such as Panera Bread, Shake Shack and Chipotle have helped introduce the so-called fast and informal restaurant concept, which is based on freshly prepared food with quality ingredients that cost only nominally more than fast food in terms of money and time.
Nearly all members of Generation X are familiar with the Food Pyramid, a graphic produced by the government designed to show the type and proportions of foods that Americans should eat to stay healthy. The sustainability of the food industry has recently become a difficult topic to digest, as essential questions arise around the global food supply chain “just in time”.
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