Convenience foods will become increasingly prevalent and eventually replace traditional foods and traditional methods of food preparation. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
One of the most significant advances in civilization is the development of modern methods of food production and preparation. Convenience foods have now become the norm in many societies. Although some people idealise traditional cooking practices and believe they will prevail indefinitely, demographic trends suggest that this is unlikely to be the case. In fact, there a number of reasons for believing that convenience foods are likely to grow in popularity. The first reason is the decline in family size and the increase in single-adult households. In more traditional societies, where families tended to be large, it made economic sense for one person to devote him or herself to time-consuming domestic tasks such as growing and preparing food. Nowadays, people tend to live in ever smaller family units. If each family were to spend large amounts of time growing and processing food, this would be a poor use of society’s human resources. Another reason convenience foods are likely to become more popular is the increase in the number of adults, especially women with children, who work in full-time employment. In the UK, for example, working mothers significantly outnumber stay-at-home mothers. There is evidence that consumption of convenience foods rises with the amount of hours worked. As modern life increasingly demands that people are economically active, this trend is likely to continue. Although many people still value traditional foods and methods of cooking, the trend towards smaller, dual-income households suggests that convenience foods are likely to continue to grow in popularity and may very well eventually replace traditional methods of food production and preparation.