Food Availability and Selection Essay

=FOOD AVAILABILITY AND SELECTION= 1) Discuss the traditional diet of the Aboriginal people. Before the settlement of Australia by the white Europeans, Aboriginal people used a hunter-gatherer system to provide their communities with food, foraging for uncultivated plants and hunting wild animals. This traditional diet was high in carbohydrates, protein and nutrients, and low in fat and sugars. Since Aboriginal people were hunter-gatherers, their everyday diet changed, according to the type of plants and animals available in their particular location, and the season in which they hunted them.

They had a vast knowledge of plants, animals, the land and the effects of the weather and time of year. Popular energy-rich foods included animal meat and offal, honey, and insects like witchetty grubs. Women usually gathered food for everyday eating such as plants, reptiles and honey, while men hunted for land and marine animals. Most foods were eaten raw, but some were roasted or baked. The indigenous hunter-gatherer way of life also meant plenty of physical activity, so they were predominantly fit, healthy and of few diseases. 1) Bush fruits and other traditional plant foods that the Aboriginals ate are much healthier and more nutritious compared to the cultivated versions we eat today. The bush plants are high in fibre, and in vitamin and mineral content. The seeds contain essential protein and fat. Overall, the traditional diet of Aboriginals was a very balanced, nutritious and healthy one. (2) 2) What types of foods did the first settlers eat? When the European settlers first came to Australia, they were confronted with a land that was vastly different from their own. Also, few of the Australian animals weren’t at all like the ones in their home countries.

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There were some familiar animals; wild swans, ducks, geese and pigeons that were similar to their European cousins, as well as fish and eels that were not unlike the European varieties, although other game was foreign and challenging to their regular tastes. Some of the settlers were even drawn to hunting and eating the native animals, such as wombats and echidnas. But, generally, the early settlers set their hands to producing European crops and raising European herd animals for food. They introduced European game animals such as rabbits and deer for sport and hunting, and some of these nimals have since become pests for modern day farmers. Flour was a staple item of the early settler’s diet. It was made into other staple foods such as bread or damper, and had many other uses too. The available meat for the early settlers was usually beef, pork or mutton. It was usually salted or dried to preserve it, as there was no refrigeration. Tea was the staple drink and was considered a necessity. Salt was also highly prized for flavour and for preserving meat. The settlers also brought rum with them, and it became such a valuable commodity that it was, for some time, a prized currency for trade. 3) 3)How did immigration change the eating patterns of the Australian population? Immigration has greatly diversified the Australian diet as a whole, and the influence of multiculturalism on today’s food choices has been great. From the 1830’s onwards, the role of migrants in changing our food varieties has been rapidly increasing. In the 1830’s, German migrants began to come to Australia, settling particularly in and around the Barossa Valley. They established vineyards in this area for winemaking. The 1850’s brought about the Australian Gold Rush, as well as bringing various different types of migrants.

These included: +Chinese, whose alternative style of cooking involving stir-frying introduced a reduction in the amount of oil used in cooking. +Scandinavians, who settled in Victoria and were the key to establishing an industry for the production of dairy products. The Scandinavian foods such as cheesecake and smorgasbords were also a new experience for the British settlers. +Greeks, who introduced a number of new cooking ingredients like vine leaves, fetta cheese and filo pastry. +Americans, who brought implements and technology to further develop the Australian way of life, rather than bringing a distinct type of food or cooking.

By the 1880’s, communities of Italian migrants were being established around Australia. These migrants grew various breeds of fruits and vegetables, as well as establishing a thriving cheese market. In the 1920’s, a second significant boom of American immigrants was evident, and they set up large-scale production factories such as Kellogg’s, Heinz and Kraft. By the 1940’s, these Americans had also introduced Coca-Cola, hamburgers, tinned sweetcorn, dried vegetables and some frozen foods. The Americans had also brought in fast-food chains including McDonald’s, KFC,

Pizza Hut, etc. by the 1960’s, and by the 1970’s a large number of Asian immigrants from countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea had come to Australia. These immigrants introduced noodles as an alternative staple food to boiled rice. (4) It is evident today how these migrants, who have brought unique, varied types of food and dining styles to Australia, have vastly altered our food and culture, and this adds to the cultural diversity that our country possesses. 4)What part has technology played in Australia’s changing cuisine?

The changing technologies in our society have greatly affected the availabilities of different foods. The introduction of various new innovations and machines has led to: -A wider range of food varieties and choices and the ability to produce new foods, eg: tomatoes can now be easily turned into tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato relish etc. -Various new methods of food transportation and the ability to store and refrigerate foods for much longer periods of time, resulting in a wider distribution of foods to more remote places. This also allows people to have access to exclusively seasonal foods all year round. New methods of processing and packaging, making foods more visually appealing, thereby increasing the likelihood of sales. -The ability to mass-produce, resulting in more of the product, and therefore decreasing the prices of it. -New, more effective forms of advertising that entice us to buy certain products and thereby influence the way we eat. -The ability to concentrate and condense products, assisting with longer preservation times and better storage and transportation. -Easier access to recipes and information on alternative cooking styles, by means such as the Internet. Fast foods becoming cheaper and easier to obtain, therefore our diets are becoming semi-dependant on these less-nutritious foods. All of these technological advancements have changed our cuisines quite dramatically. 5)Distinguish between the different types of economies (use examples). *Subsistence economy – A subsistence economy is an economy in which a group attempts to produce no more output per period than they must consume in that period in order to survive, but do not attempt to accumulate wealth or to transfer productivity from one period to the next. In such a system, a oncept of wealth may not exist. (5) An example of a subsistence economy is the traditional Aboriginal communities, where every member of each tribe worked together doing their own specific jobs in order to sustain the community as a whole. *Mixed Economy – A “mixed” economy is a mix between socialism and capitalism. It is a mixture of freedoms and regulations, constantly changing because of the lack of principles involved. A mixed economy is a sign of intellectual chaos. It is the attempt to gain the advantages of freedom without government having to give up its power. 6) Australia as a whole is an example of a mixed economy. *Agricultural economy – An agricultural economy is one that relies primarily on agriculture as its primary form of income. The government applies a certain set of laws that assist with this dependence, such as laws dealing with a guaranteed supply level, price stability, product quality, product selection, land use or employment. An example of an agricultural economy would be the American agricultural economy of the 1920’s – 1940’s. 7) *Relative poverty economy – Relative poverty is a poverty measure based on a poor standard of living or a low income relative to the rest of society. Unlike absolute poverty, it does not necessarily imply that physical human necessities of nutrition, health and shelter cannot be met; instead it suggests that the lack of access to many of the goods and services expected by the rest of the contemporary society leads to social exclusion and damaging results for the individuals and families in relative poverty. 8) An example of an area in relative poverty is Southern Mexico, where a large percentage of inhabitants live in relative poverty. *Absolute poverty economy – Absolute poverty measures the number of people living below a certain income threshold or the number of households unable to afford certain basic goods and services, such as food, shelter, clothes etc. (9) Examples of countries consisting of high levels of absolute poverty include Ethiopia, Eritrea and other central African third world countries. 6) How have government policies affected the food availability in Australia?

Government policies have had a significant influence on the marketplace and economy. In a market economy, supply and demand determine what is produced, who produces it, and how much it will cost. Current Australian government policy aims for deregulation of the market, as well as the encouragement of free trade and competition. There are several government guidelines that affect the availability of foods in Australia, such as: *Taxation – heavy taxation has the effect of reducing food availability due to people having less money to spend. Tariffs – a tax on imported goods; they help protect local businesses and industry by making imported products more expensive, which also restricts the availability of overseas foods due to price increases. They usually are placed on more popular brands. *Embargoes – bans on the import or export of certain products. These restrict the availability of foods, because, if the government has enforced an embargo on a certain product, it is therefore unavailable for the residents of our nation to buy. *Subsidies – payments to encourage or change production in a business.

These affect the availability of foods to us because the government have certain power over what is and what isn’t put on the market. (10) 7) How has our lifestyle changed over the past 50 years (shopping and food available)? The main changes in our lifestyle over the past 50 years have been caused by technological advancement and innovations. 50 years ago, shopping was done much more locally, such as at general stores, because it was much easier and the shop owners tended to know the regular customers’ orders and could deal with them appropriately.

Now, shopping is done in much larger central stores such as supermarkets rather than general stores, using more advanced styles such as electronic barcode scanning machines, involving more convenient machinery and payment methods (eg EFTPOS), which makes shopping a quicker, easier task. Another technological advancement that has affected our food availability is the increased use of phones and the Internet. Foods can now be ordered and arranged for pick up or delivery over the phone or Internet, thereby making ordering food much more efficient and convenient.

As new technologies and means of production are being incorporated, countless new brands are emerging providing a wider range of product selection and competition in the market place, which keeps the prices lower. Also, certain sections in supermarkets and even entire specialty stores are devoted to a specific food type or foods from a specific country, for example a Chinese supermarket. Also, new innovations have allowed for certain foods that were once only seasonal to be preserved and distributed all year round, also providing a wider range of competing foods in the marketplace.

All of these forms of technological and social advancement have contributed to the changes we have experienced in our lifestyles over the last 50 years in terms of shopping and food availability. 8) How have psychological factors affected our food selection? There are numerous psychological factors that affect our food selection and choices, including: *Values – things that are important to us, such as family preferences. For example, if one is brought up in a family of vegetarians it is likely that they will become a vegetarian themselves. *Beliefs – things that are accepted as truth without being scientifically proven.

For example, certain religions don’t allow their followers to eat specific meats. *Attitudes – the way people view certain foods varies from culture to culture. Status is a term that shows positioning of a food. For example, lobsters and rib-eye steak are classified as having a higher status than hot chips and fried chicken. *Habits – something we do regularly without thinking. For example, it may become a habit of a family to have take-away fast food for dinner every Friday night. *Emotions – foods can often be eaten to relieve emotional stress. Foods called ‘comfort foods’ exist.

Many foods also bring back memories to some people. An example of how emotions can affect food selection is that, perhaps, if someone is stressed or emotional, they may buy unhealthy fast foods to relieve themselves. *Self Concept – how we feel about ourselves can affect what we choose to eat or drink. For example, people may choose to drink alcohol because it makes them look ‘cool’, and helps to relieve their insecurities. *Experiences – bad experiences may turn people off certain foods. For example, someone may have experienced food poisoning from a food before, and will therefore be less inclined to consume that food again. 11) 9) How have economic factors affected our food selection? There are several ways that economic factors can affect the way we choose foods. These include: *The Cost Of Food – – Buying in bulk is cheaper – Processed foods are more expensive – Buying foods in season is cheaper – Buying foods close to their use-by dates is cheaper – Buying foods on special is cheaper – Buying foods at their source is cheaper *The Marketplace – – Supermarkets use a number of strategies to influence the selection of foods in their stores – There is a wide range of generic goods at lower prices Foods on special are advertised in newspapers and on in-store loudspeakers – Displays around the stores promote new products – Store setout makes you have to walk through the whole store to get basic necessities such as bread and milk *Available Resources – things we use to achieve goals, for example, access to cars for transportation and money to buy products affects food selection. *Occupations and Finance – the income a family lives on can affect the amount and type of foods they buy because of price restrictions. *The State of the Economy – how rich or poor an economy is can have effects on what foods are produced and sold there. 12) 10) i) Choose one other country – Italy ii) Discuss their plant and animal staple foods – Italy offers a wide range of dishes that come from various areas within it. Its staple foods include pasta (because it is cheap and easily accessible, with many Italian residents make their own pasta), fish, fresh vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes and many green vegetables, as well as many types of fruit such as figs, grapes, pears etc. They also use a lot of olive oil and crusty bread, along with plenty of herbs and spices like parsley, basil and cloves.

A traditional Italian meal quite often contains a course of pasta with some kind of Bolognese or Napolitana sauce. ii) Choose 4 recipes from the country. Analyse the ingredients in terms of: -Is it a staple? -Geographical location -Lifestyle -Religion -Traditional beliefs RECIPE 1 – Tomato Sauce Napolitana (Sugo al Pomodoro Napolitana) Serves 4 to 6 1 k. ripe plum tomatoes (or see Quicker method below) 1 t. fresh oregano, minced or 1/4 t. dried 2 T. fresh sweet basil, minced or 1 t. dry 1 med. onion, finely chopped 2 large garlic cloves, minced 2 T. olive oil + – 1/2 t. salt everal twists of black pepper pasta Prepare the tomatoes and process as in Basic Tomato Puree. If using tinned whole tomatoes, remove the seeds and drain the juice before processing. Use a deep enough pot as all thick sauces need sputter and splash room. Saute the onion in the hot olive oil until glassy. Add the minced garlic and stir frequently for another minute or so. Add the tomato puree, the herbs and the seasoning. Stir well and allow to gently simmer half covered for 45 minutes to an hour (remove lid after 20 minutes). This will depend on the ripeness and character of the tomato used.

Stir occasionally. The sauce should be nice and thick. Stir in a teaspoon more of olive oil (optional). Serve over pasta. (13) Analysis – This food is considered a basic staple of all Italy, though it originated in the once poor region of Napoli (Naples), central Italy. It is widely used throughout Italy because of its inexpensiveness, ease to prepare, myriad of uses and great taste. This food became so popular throughout Napoli because of its low cost to produce and this was good for the then-poor communities. (14) This food does not coincide with any Italian beliefs/religions.

RECIPE 2 – Spaghetti Bolognese Ingredients * 300-400 grams (10. 5-14 ounces) mince meat * 1 medium onion * 1 tin tomatoes * 1 pepper * 1 tablespoon tomato puree * 1 beef stock cube * 300 grams (10. 5 ounces) spaghetti Preparation Prepare vegetables. Cut meat into chunks, put in a large pan and cook on high power until brown. Add the cut onion and let it brown. Next add the cut pepper and put a lid on the pan. Leave for 5 minutes. Stir then take lid off and, if it’s ready, add the tin of tomatoes, stock cube and tomato puree. Put lid on again and turn to low power.

Boil a pan of water. Add spaghetti and turn down the heat a little. Leave until the spaghetti is soft and cooked. If bolognese sauce is ready, drain the boiling water from the spaghetti and put the spaghetti on a plate. Add sauce on top and you will have the perfect Italian spaghetti bolognese. Serves 3-4. (15) Analysis – This food is also considered a staple among Italian communities, because it uses widely accepted staple ingredients such as pasta, tomatoes, onion and peppers. This food is widely eaten across Italy, but it originated in Bologna in Northern Italy (16).

The lifestyle of the people in Bologna is a musical and sport based one, with these two aspects dominating the culture there. Again, their Catholic religion plays no part in their choices of this particular food. (16) RECIPE 3 – Pizza Margherita Ingredients: 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped 1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes (Progresso), drained and seeded 1/2 tsp. salt 1 13″ uncooked dough crust 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese 1 tsp. dried basil extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese Description: • Cut tomatoes into chunks and lightly saute in oil with garlic and salt. Drain and set aside. 2• Brush dough crust with oil. Top with cheese, tomatoes, and basil. Drizzle with oil. 3• Bake in preheated 500 degrees F oven on pizza stone for 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. 4• Remove from oven and top with parmesan cheese. 5• Cool on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving. (17) Analysis – This food also incorporates a number of Italian staple foods, such as olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, basil, cheese and flat bread.

The pizza originated in the Italian city of Naples, and was served to the Queen Margherita on one of her trips to Naples in 1889, hence the Pizza Margherita. Its fame then spread and meats were incorporated into the toppings, as was the Napolitana sauce, and several other ingredients. This particular dish was very popular in nineteenth century Italy because it was cheap to make and its ingredients were readily available. Religion played no part in the creation of this food. (18) RECIPE 4 – Classic Italian Lasagna Ingredients * 5 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons for the lasagna * ? up Plain Flour * 4 cups whole Milk at room temperature * freshly grated Nutmeg * 1? cups tomato sauce * Salt * White pepper * ? cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil * 1 lb ground chuck Beef * Salt & Pepper * 1? lb Ricotta * 3 large Eggs * 1 lb Lasagne sheets, cooked al dente * 3 cups shredded Mozzarella * ? cup freshly grated Parmesan Method * In a 2-quart pot, melt 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When butter has completely melted, add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.

Continue to simmer and whisk over medium heat until the sauce is thick, smooth and creamy, about 10 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon. Remove from heat and add the nutmeg and tomato sauce. Stir until well combined and check for seasoning. Set aside and allow to cool completely. * In a saute pan, heat extra-virgin olive oil. When almost smoking, add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Brown meat, breaking any large lumps, until it is no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain any excess fat. Set aside and allow to cool completely. In a medium sized bowl, thoroughly mix the ricotta and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. * Into the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, spread 1/3 of the bechamel sauce. Arrange the pasta sheets side by side, covering the bottom of the baking dish. Evenly spread a layer of all the ricotta mixture and then a layer of all the spinach. Arrange another layer of pasta sheets and spread all the ground beef on top. Sprinkle 1/2 the mozzarella cheese on top of the beef. Spread another 1/3 of the bechamel sauce. Arrange the final layer of pasta sheets and top with remaining bechamel, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into 1/4-inch cubes and top lasagna. * Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place lasagna dish on top, cover and put on the middle rack of the oven and bake until top is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake for about 15 minutes. (19) Analysis – This dish also contains a number of staple Italian ingredients, such as tomatoes, olive oil, pasta, cheese, herbs and spices. This dish incorporates a number of different flavours and is very popular because it is a hearty, inexpensive meal.

This dish is not affected by religious beliefs in any way. Early variations of this dish originated in Greece, though the Italians personalised it to suit their personal preferences and needs, and made it famous as lasagna. (20) BIBLIOGRAPHY – (1)15/2/09 http://www. betterhealth. vic. gov. au/bhcv2/bhcarticles. nsf/pages/Aboriginal_diet_and_nutrition? open (2)Food Technology Stage 6 Syllabus: ‘Aborigines And Their Food’ (3)15/2/09 http://www. cultureandrecreation. gov. au/articles/foodanddrink/ (4)Food Technology Stage 6 Syllabus: ‘Migration to Australia (significant cultural groups)’ (5)http://www. 23exp-business. com/t/04254354733/ (6)http://www. importanceofphilosophy. com/Bloody_MixedEconomy. html (7)http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/American_Agricultural_Economy_in_the_1920s-1940 (8)http://www. infomutt. com/r/re/relative_poverty. html (9)http://tutor2u. net/economics/content/topics/poverty/measuring_poverty. htm (10)Food Technology Stage 6 Syllabus: ‘Economic and Political Factors’: ‘Government Policies’ (11)Food Technology Stage 6 Syllabus: ‘Psychological Factors Affecting Food Selection’ (12)Food Technology Stage 6 Syllabus: Economic Factors Affecting Food Selection’ (13)http://www. epicureantable. com/recipes/S/sopasnapol. htm (14)http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Naples,_Italy#Culture (15)http://www. italiansrus. com/recipes/bolognese. htm (16)http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Bologna (17)http://www. italylink. com/sefer/sefer. cgi? display:1128392287-5871. txt (18)http://www. inmamaskitchen. com/FOOD_IS_ART/pizzahistory. html (19)http://www. lifestylefood. com. au/recipes/2580/classic-italian-lasagna (20)http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Lasagne


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