The United States is one of the world’s top agricultural producers thanks to a highly mechanized agricultural sector. Agriculture only accounts for one percent of the GDP, yet the U.S. is the largest producer of maize, the third-largest producer of wheat, the fifth-largest producer of potatoes, the tenth-largest producer of sugarcane, and the twelfth-largest producer of rice globally.
There are several steps in the food production chain in which food goes from farm to table.
What is food production?
Food production is the process of converting raw materials into ready-made food products for home use, or in the food processing industries. There are many sectors in food production such as cleaning, packing, separating, sorting, preparing, adding correctly portioned ingredients, and presenting.
How is food produced?
Humans consume large numbers of plant and animal products as part of a healthy diet. People depend on these to consume the vitamins and nutrients essential to healthy well-being. Grains, pulses, spices, honey, nuts, cereals, milk, fruits and veggies, eggs, meat, and poultry are just some of the most commonly consumed plant and animal products.
Types of Food Production
Food production refers to the growing of plants for harvest or the raising of animals for food. Most animal products come from domesticated animals raised on farms or ranches. Some animal products are caught in the wild such as fish and game. Most plant products are also domesticated and grown on farms.
There are several different classifications or methods of food production including cultivation, selection, crop management, harvesting, preserving, baking, pasteurizing, carving, butchering, fermenting, etc.
Birds are notorious threats to freshly planted corn seeds. Growers lose over a million acres of field and sweet corn annually to blackbirds, crows, grackles, pheasants, sandhill cranes, starlings, and geese. Using an effective bird repellent for corn seed is the best way to protect corn seeds from destruction.
Growers can increase crop yield with nonlethal, nontoxic Avipel seed treatment made from an organic materials. The bird repellent for corn seed comes as a dry formulation and liquid seed treatment, both of which minimize groundwater contamination. The repellent product covers corn seedlings in a protective coating that causes stomach upset in birds who eat them. Keep your crop safe from hungry birds with a natural, nonlethal bird repellent so that your seedlings survive until harvest.
Changing plants or animals into food for purchase is known as processing. The steps of processing vary for different kinds of foods. Processing produce can be as simple as washing and sorting, trimming, slicing, or shredding. Milk is usually pasteurized and sometimes turned into cheese. Nuts are sometimes roasted, chopped, or ground. Meat and poultry are slaughtered, cut or ground, smoked, cooked, or frozen, or combined with other ingredients for ready-made foods or sausage.
Food processors are concerned about safety, loss of productivity, inefficient energy usage, and deteriorating systems. Instead of facing constant worries, manufacturers should rely on comprehensive boiler and mechanical services that improve operations. Granite Mechanical Inc (GMI) is a boiler and mechanical services provider who takes the safety and health of manufacturing facilities seriously.
Their expert technicians can handle all boiler-related issues from repairs and installations to inspections and maintenance. They can also install new pumps, repair valves, upgrade water softening systems, and improve the layout and flow of mechanical rooms. All of GMI solutions’ contractors are certified from the National Board of Inspection Code (NBIC) and perform work in compliance with industry regulations and building codes. Having peace of mind that manufacturing facilities are operating safely and efficiently allows manufacturers to focus their time on other business operations.
Distribution is the process of getting food from the farm or processing operation centers, to the consumer or a food service facility. Distribution can be as simple as transporting food once, for example, trucking produce from a farm directly to a market. Distribution can also be a multi-step process, for example, frozen meat patties are trucked from a processing center to a supplier where they are stored, until being trucked to a distribution facility and then delivered to a restaurant.
Food preparation is the process of getting food ready to eat. Preparation happens in restaurant kitchens, at home, or an institution. Opening a package and eating, cooking a complex recipe, and heating and serving food are all examples of food preparation.
How food is produced is just as important as how it is prepared. Contaminants can come into contact with food in all types of production, which is why it’s important to take care when preparing food. Most consumers have a preference for the type of water they drink such as spring water, tap water, and mineral water. One example is Canadian Springs, which is a Canadian water company providing beverage and refreshment needs that are delivered to your home or office.
All of their bottled water products meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and come in a variety of sizes like cooler-sized bottles. The water provider also offers water filtration solutions that purify tap water, as well as additional products and beverage refreshments from popular brand names and private label products.
A note about food labels.
Food labels on food products contain product-specific information including serving size, calories, nutrient information, and a note explaining the Percent Daily Value.
The first thing to notice when reading a Nutrition Facts label is the number of servings in the package and the serving size. The serving size is the average amount that people normally consume, not a recommendation of how much you should actually consume.
Calories measure the amount of energy derived from eating a serving size of food. Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight happens when you balance the number of calories you consume with the number of calories you burn. The general guide for healthy adults is to consume 2,000 calories daily, though nutritional needs vary based on an individual’s age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level. The number of servings you consume dictates the number of calories you consume. Eating more calories than you burn is linked to weight gain and obesity.
Nutrients play a major role in your health. Too much or too little of a nutrient can negatively affect your health and lead to health issues. Reading the nutritional labels on food products is a great way to support your dietary needs. The label helps you find foods that contain the nutrients you do want and limit the nutrients you don’t want. Typically, the nutrients to get less of are saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, and the nutrients to get more of are dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.
The Percent Daily Value
The Percent Daily Value (%DV) is the percentage of each nutrient in a serving of food. These reference amounts show how much of a specific nutrient in a serving size contributes to a total daily diet. The %DV helps you decide if a serving is high or low in a particular nutrient, and how it fits in with your dietary needs. Generally speaking, 5%DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low while 20%DV or more is considered high. Your nutritional health should choose foods that are higher in %DV for fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium and lower in %DV for saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
Several steps in the food production process get animal and plant products from farm to table. Some steps are simpler than others, but all of them are necessary to complete the food production chain.