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Tiki's food guide
Tiki's food guide

Where does food come from? How is it made?

Easy. You know the answer already, don’t you? Food comes from farms — right?


weird ingredientsIt’s true that most food comes from farms in the first place, but most of the stuff people eat today has been processed so much in factories that the only way you can know what’s in it is by looking at the list of ingredients. And if you do that, you may get a shock because you won’t know what half the things are.

What are ingredients?
That means what the food is made of. Many foods have a dozen or more ingredients in them, often things you'd never guess were there.

What do you make of these, for example?

What is this stuff?

  • butylated hydroxytoluene (in some chips, salted peanuts, breakfast cereals and many other things)
  • calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetra acetate (in salad dressings and some drinks)
  • sodium L-ascorbate (a form of vitamin C)

Scary sounding names, and some of these additives may be harmful.

Tiki having a bathThe raw materials for food come from farming. Some of these get eaten raw like lettuces or apples. Most gets processed and packaged up. Farming has a long history but has now got so huge that it has become a serious problem for other life on the planet.

The other big source of food raw materials is from fishing including shellfish. People eat some seafood raw, same as me (YUM!). Everything else is processed. But sadly, fishing — like farming — has got to be such a huge industry that it is natural balances upsetting in the world's rivers, lakes, seas and oceans.

What are shellfish?
These are animals which live in the sea but which don't have backbones (unlike fish, you and me. Instead, most of them have a hard armour-like shell. The one's you will probably know are things like crabs and lobsters, scallops and mussels. And then there are other creatures which are neither fish nor shellfish: things like squid and octopus. Penguins love squid and so do many people.
What it all comes down to is that people are taking vast amounts of fish. It's called overfishing and the main reason for it is that modern fishing boats are enormous and so powerful that they can use giant nets. They also use clever technologies like sonar which allows them to 'see' exactly where big fish shoals are so they can grab much more than they should. The total catch made by humans every year is close to 100 million tons of fish!

Let’s have a look at Farming, Fishing and Processing over the next three pages...

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