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?
The increasing availability of convenience foods has been a significant feature of modern life in many developed countries. Some people have predicted that with advances in food technology, traditional foods and traditional methods of food preparation will disappear. In this essay, I will argue that this is unlikely to happen.
It is true nowadays, many people do not have enough time to cook and that convenience foods present an attractive option. These foods have improved significantly in terms of quality and availability and the range for sale in the average supermarket is quite impressive. It is possible to find even very sophisticated ready-prepared microwavable meals.
However, the growing popularity of television cookery programmes, ‘celebrity chefs’, and cook books suggest that people continue to value traditional ways of preparing foods. Farmers markets selling fresh, local-produced food continue to be the norm in many parts of the world. In fact, they are growing in popularity in countries such as UK, where they had virtually disappeared from many cities. This may be partly because cooking with basic, natural ingredients is cheaper than buying processed foods.
Moreover, traditional foods are an important aspect of culture and social life. In many countries, traditional meals continue to be shared in regular family gatherings. Important celebrations such as weddings, Christmas and Chinese New Year are marked by traditional prepared feasts.
In spite of the utility of convenience foods, people are unlikely to abandon practices that are economically sound and give them great pleasure. It is hard to imagine a world in which people do not continue to enjoy traditional, home-cooked meals at least some of the time.