Food Production and Nutrition

Food is defined as any form of substance primarily consumed to supply the body with nutrition’s that it requires for growth, reproduction, maintenance, and fighting diseases. Food is one of the most crucial components of the core needs of life A healthy and well-balanced nutrition is significant towards leaving a healthy lifestyle. The choices of food that a particular person makes differ from one person to another. Geographical context is believed to play a significant role in determining what type of food a person prefers. For instance, people from Asia came up with the Asian diet which as a result of their geographical context of what is readily available to them. Advantages of healthy eating include but not limited to, aids in maintaining acceptable body weight, aging, and development, reduces chances of contracting particular diseases. Globally, people rely on different modes of production to provide them with food and other essential products in life. These methods of production differ based on culture, geographical context, and the organization system through which the communities live in. These modes of production differ in terms of environmental sustainability, promoting social cohesion and inequality in the society. The paper is going to look at different ways of production which are foraging, horticulture, pastoralism, and agriculture and determine which mode is the most effective in terms of curbing food crisis. In terms of sustainability and social cohesion, Foraging is the best mode of production. However, considering efficiency and land productivity agriculture is the best mode of production.

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Food Production

A long time ago, hunting and gathering were the two primary way of people to earn their living. All the resources available in nature were available for everyone. However, the world is a dynamic place, for one to make a living they have to work for it. Get enough money to be able to acquire whatever they want. An anthropologist has taken it upon themselves to research and try to comprehend how people from different context globally earn their living. One area of interest is globalization, how it affects economy systems locally and the social life of individuals. Economic anthropology focuses on financial systems, which include the three process of economy namely production, consumptions, and exchange. Production refers to the primary mode through which people from a particular culture earn a living. There are four methods of production which are affected and dictated by geographical context and include:


It is defined as making a living via gathering whatever nature avails. It’s considered as one of the oldest modes of making a living. Foragers who are contemporary occupiers of marginal areas, like deserts, the tropical forest which is dense and circumpolar region. Foraging includes gathering stuff such as roots, nuts, insects, honey, eggs, trapping birds or hunting them and berries. For a person to be a forager, they must possess deeper knowledge about their environment. Tools employed during foraging activities include bows and arrows, sticks, knives, nets, and spears. For carrying what have been gathered by the foragers, they used baskets, and on the other hand, the fire was used for cooking. Foragers are mobile and cover vast areas of land; the environment is one of the factors that affect foraging. Foragers divide labor amongst themselves; these tasks are divided based on gender. Women are supposed to carry out simple tasks like gathering while men are tasked with harder tasks such as hunting. The elderly and children are rarely involved in foraging activities. The sense of having the right to own properties does not exist in the foraging setting; everything belongs to everyone. Foraging promotes sustainable development because foragers are always moving from one place to another giving the environment time to replenish itself. Nonetheless, this is only possible if there are no external influences. In foraging, there is rarely any surplus because people only collect what they need. Foraging is, therefore, one of the most efficient methods of production that a community can coexist with their environment sustainably, the fact that foraging involves collecting and gathering different types of food eliminates cases of malnutrition among foraging communities. Foraging requires division of labor and restricts the fact that a particular person can own more than another, this setting promotes social cohesion.


The next mode of production is horticulture; it is a system that is primarily based on the cultivation of plants that are domesticated. Some of these crops include corn, grains, tubers, and beans. Regions which are prominent in horticulture include South and Southeast Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa, Central and South America. The technology used in horticulture includes hoes, digging sticks, and baskets that were typically used for transporting the produce. Unlike foraging, climate plays a significant role in horticulture; some plants can only be grown under certain climatic conditions, to maintain the productivity of land practices such as garden rotation, furrowing and control of soil erosion are necessary. The amount of labor invested in horticulture is high compared to foraging, and so are the returns. Foragers benefit from what nature avails to them, but horticulturalists use land available to earn what they need. Horticulture is more labor intensive compared to foraging. Similar to the foraging division of labor is also present in horticulture. The hard jobs are left to men while simple jobs are for women. Some horticultural practice hunting as a way of supplementing what they cultivate. These are some of the tasks left to men. They are also tasked with clearing the bush in preparation for the cultivation. Similar with foraging, private ownership of property is not present, the communities work communally to cultivate lands. It is, therefore, realistic to conclude that everything belongs to everyone. However, on the other hand, the surplus production gives rise to inequality in societies that practice horticulture. Regarding sustainable development, farrowing and crop rotation plays a significant role in ensuring that land is given enough time to replenish itself. However, because the world population is on the rise, land under cultivation is not getting adequate time to rejuvenate which does not promote sustainable development. Therefore, foraging promotes sustainable development, social cohesion as compared to horticulture.


Another mode of production is pastoralism; it is primarily based on the use of products of animals that have been domesticated over the years. Some of the most reared animals include sheep’s, horses, donkeys, camels, goats, and cattle. However, some animals require special conditions which restrict them to particular locale in the world. Some animals kept by pastoralist are mainly for protection, for instance, dogs. Families act as the primary unit of production; gender is used as the basis way for division of labor. Men partake tasks which are considered hard and risky like herding while women embark on tasks such as processing products from the domesticated animals such as milk. Pastoralists have a private ownership of property, in some communities, the sons and fathers own the property while in others daughters and mothers own the property. Pastoralists have established sustainable economies in environments that are considered to have inadequate resources. However, depletion of the resources in the environment under pastoralists is associated with outside sources. Compared to horticulture and foraging, pastoralists is better at exploiting resources from the environment which are considered marginal. However, on the other hand promoting private ownership of land harms social cohesion due to inequalities in the societies practicing pastoralism.


The last form of production is agriculture; it involves concentrating resources on one piece of land. Which means movement of people from one place to another is restricted. Domesticated animals are employed to ease labor and increase production. They also help in providing manure which acts as the fertilizer, and for the transportation of the produce after harvesting. Irrigation, labor, and chemical or natural fertilizers are some of the resources that allow continuous exploitation of land without exhausting it. Private ownership of land, houses which are permanent and most of all increase in produce promotes the size of the family which provides cheap labor from the family members. For agriculture to be successful, the farmers must understand their environment, pest management practices, varieties of plants available, the types of soils available and precipitation patterns. One of the most important factors that affect agriculture includes climate followed by quality of land. Work is divided based on gender with men embarking on tasks that are considered hard, for example, land plowing, while women participate in food processing and child care. Ownership of properties is private and measured based on the efforts that one puts on their pieces of land. Rights to own property give people ability to own pieces of land privately, which creates differential classes between those that own large pieces of land, and those that own small or no pieces of land. Industrial agriculture, on the other hand, employs capital intensive methods of production. Agriculture can promote sustainable development for a given time due to the fact secondary inputs allow for the exploitation of a piece of land for a prolonged period. However, excessive use of these inputs can harm land in the long run, on the other hand, private ownership of land destroys social cohesion and introduces inequality.

Food Crisis

Back in 2008, the world was hit by one of the most unfortunate incidences in history. The world global food crisis, food insecurity is a measure of poor social, physical, and economic access to food. During the world food crisis, the prices of food in the world rose. As such, this made food inaccessible to most people in the world. As a result, malnutrition in most countries became evident. Malnutrition manifested itself through stunted growth, underweight, and weight loss. Nonetheless, when hunger is experienced, and there is a high intake of calories diseases such as obesity became evident. Calories are present in most foods like pasta, rice, and cereal grains. When there is little food available, it triggers them to migrate to the urban centers in search of job opportunities to be able to provide for their families. In turn, this leads to decreased food production due to lack labor in rural areas. Thus, food prices soar further making it hard for people to access food. The adverse climatic change triggered partly by the increasing rate of industrialization, is attributed to the increased lack and decreased rain in most regions in the world.


It is evident from the above essay that food production is dictated by several factors such as climate, geographical context, and society organization. It is, however, crucial for us to note that each and every mode of production affects the environment differently. It is, therefore, crucial for us to exercise the right practices to promote sustainable development. With the world facing food crisis which threatens the existence of human beings, it is the time that we adhere to practices that do not harm the same environment that we benefit from. It is therefore prudent that enough research should be conducted to make sure the right mode of production is chosen for the right region, as this will aid in preventing food crisis both globally and regionally.

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