Food industry: business logic

THE FOOD INDUSTRY HAS ONLY ONE LOGIC: FOOD MUST BE CHEAP, AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.

It is natural that the food industry prefers the product that costs less, but this should be for the same quality. However, for food this is no longer the case: what matters is only the price, the product must be available everywhere at derisory costs.

This is the result produced by the food industry: to turn food into a consumer good, stripped of all its cultural and traditional values. The system that was built around it, or in which it was inserted, replaced the qualitative value with the price. Paradoxically, what appears is that no more food is produced to eat it, but to sell it. The price becomes the main, if not the only, discriminating for choice. In the global food industry system, food has thus become a commodity like any other. Subjecting food to the same laws not only creates product approval that reduces biodiversity and promotes monocultures that are harmful to the environment, but also causes great iniquity. The food industry, the processing of food, the distribution across the five continents of local arable products, price hegemony and the laws of the free market have made food one of the most unsustainable sectors of all human activities.

In the last hundred years there has been a very serious reduction in biodiversity: the need for the food industry to have extensive monocultures in order to obtain large quantities of cheap food has focused the choice on a few varieties suitable for this production model, to the detriment of many others. Wherever the industrialization of food has triumphed, there has been the triumph of flattening and homologation, a serious danger to one of the foundations of life on earth: biological diversity and the ability of species to adapt. They are damage of biblical proportions: in a single century the food industry has allowed in many parts of the world to disappear what had been shaped and developed over the millennia. What is more, in recent years the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has increased exponentially: in ten years it has been fed into the soil and into the natural cycle the same amount that had been used in the entire previous century. The damage to the environment caused by the food industry is so great that the alarm has now become a constant one. News of what is happening has come out of the “alternative” circuits linked to the world of organic or environmentalism and has become public knowledge. The evidence can no longer be denied: agriculture, which should be based on an alliance between man and nature, has instead become a war on Earth. Until now, environmental devastation has never been calculated in food economies, despite the fact that it is an increasingly heavy cost that people obviously bear. We believe we pay little for food, but we pay a high and hidden price in ecological terms. The low price of food, therefore, not only impoverishes its value, but hides within itself everything we are doing to the Earth.

Sooner or later someone will have to pay and, in the end, it will be precisely those consumers who are convinced today that they are doing a deal by spending little on food.

Dott. Francesco Cappelletto

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