– FOOD –
One of the saddest features of the modern world is that millions of people do not have enough to eat and many more do not have the right kinds of food required for good health. Would they starve?
In order to be healthy, man needs a balanced diet, i.e. a diet that contains the right amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals. The carbohydrate in bread, rice, potatoes and sugary foods provides energy for the body.
Too much carbohydrate, however, can make people obese and obesity can endanger health. These people usually have serious health problems since they are extremely fat. The oils and fats in milk, cream, butter, cheese and meat provide the body’s main stored food and contain much more energy than carbohydrates.
The protein in cheese, eggs, meat, fish and milk quickens growth and repair damage to the body’s tissues. The body also needs small amounts of vitamins and minerals. When a person’s diet consists of a variety of foods, the required amounts of vitamins and minerals are taken in.
Historically, the diets of different societies depend on such factors as climate, soil and the ease or difficulty of transporting foods from one place to another. The simple diet of the Bedouin Arabs consists of dates, grains and sometimes meat and vegetables. This is because the land is very dry and, as a result, very few foods can be grown there.
On the other hand, a country such as France, with a good climate and rich soil, has always had plentiful and a great variety of foods.
When people move to another country and culture, they usually take their eating habits with them. They feel psychologically comfortable when they eat the foods they have known all their lives.
When discussing food and diet, it is possible to divide the world’s population into two sections: those who have lots of food and those who suffer shortages of even the most basic foods. Developed countries have the financial means and the technology to provide all kinds of foods for their people. Refrigeration, food preservation and modern transport systems allow these people to enjoy foods from all
parts of the world.
For instance, the British are not able to grow sufficient food for their needs, but they import a wide variety of foods, from potatoes to exotic tropical fruits. Food processing has meant that the seasons are no longer important: vegetables such as peas and beans are canned or frozen and are available the whole year round; soft fruits such as strawberries, which are only produced locally for a short season, can be imported from other parts of the world.
Although some developed nations have been experiencing financial difficulties recently, the result has not been damaging. The effects of economic problems on developing countries, however, have been very serious. One disastrous result is famine. Millions of people in Africa, particularly babies and small children, have lost their lives because there is no food. Droughts, or long periods of dry weather, are a major cause of this famine.
There is also the economic pressure to produce industrial crops, such as cotton, for export. Thus, these countries are unable to produce sufficient amounts of food crops for their own people. Many developing countries do not have the money to buy the food they need from abroad. Fortunately, the developed countries have reacted to the famine crisis and are providing food from their high food surpluses.
Meanwhile, over large parts of the world, hungry people are worried about not what to eat, but if they will eat.
Mark the best choice.
1. Line 8, ‘obese’ people are people who .
a) have a balanced diet
b) do not get sufficient carbohydrate
c) are very fat
d) live dangerously
2. Line 43, famine’ is .
a) a cause of financial difficulty
b) very serious lack of food
c) dry weather that lasts a long time
d) the economic problems of the African people
3. A diet that has a variety of foods .
a) contains mainly bread, rice, potatoes and sugary foods, all of which
b) sometimes results in health problems, such as heart disease
c) is rich in protein, fat and carbohydrates but lacks vitamins and minerals
d) provides the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals
4. The Bedouin Arabs have a simple diet .
a) because of historical, religious and cultural factors
b) that is similar to the diet of the French, who always have a lot to eat
c) which is the result of a good climate and rich soil
d) since their land is not suitable for growing a variety of foods
5. People who move to another country .
a) suffer from psychological problems
b) easily accept the eating habits of that country
c) would rather eat the food they usually eat in their own countries
d) have eating habits which are common in most countries
6. By means of food processing, .
a) vegetables and fruits are consumed in great quantities in the countries
where they are grown
b) peas and beans are grown locally during certain seasons only
c) soft fruits, including strawberries, have a short growing season
d) all kinds of vegetables and fruits can be consumed any time of the year
7. One reason why developing countries cannot grow enough food for their
people is that .
a) they don’t have the money to import food from other countries
b) they try to solve the famine crisis by providing food for the people who
c) they grow more industrial crops than food crops for economic reasons
d) hungry people in the world do not know whether they will have anything
8. Which of the following is true?
a) The British enjoy a wide variety of foods, which are grown in their country.
b) The fats and oils in certain foods provide stored food and energy for the
c) People in developed countries are not very fortunate since they have
difficulty getting the right kind of food.
d) Famine in Africa is mainly caused by the lack of modern refrigeration and
modern transport systems.