University of Economics in Bratislava
Since the dawn of the mankind, since the very first moments as the Earth was peopled, the most pressing problem for its habitants was the struggle for subsistence. This combat has always been connected with searching adequate and sufficient sustenance resources. Throughout centuries the human race had faced lack of food and was exposed to greater or smaller famine epidemics. Poverty and dearth of food had accompanied most of the Planet´s population and want became the typical condition of human beings. The need to overcome it belongs to one of the most deeply ingrained human instincts. Thus, for almost all of the human history, the major question about food was – whether there had been enough of it and almost all of people´s time had been spent in search for food. Only when the subsistence level had been surpassed, the question about how the food tasted was raised.
Now it has been for the first time in the history that problems are shifting from those of scarcity to those of surplus. More and more people have the luxury of raising additional questions about food – that food not only provides them with energy and nourishes their bodies but it can also kill them. The worries range from obesity to cholesterol levels, from toxicity to carcinogenic potential, or addiction. Never ever in their history human beings had to face a question whether the quality or quantity of food they consume would damage their health conditions. Nowadays we consume a lot of junk food and at present, people spend more time worrying about impacts of food on their health than they do gathering it. Rich countries invest more and more from their economic budgets to eliminate negative eating habits and educate their population to consume healthy food or consume less in general.
Even though for a great part of the world the issue is still getting enough to eat and it equals to the everyday struggle to survive, for the developed world, worry about the potential negative impacts of food are likely to increase. What is quite alarming, however, is the fact that the number of obese people have been increasing – not only in rich countries but even in the third world. The biggest problem lies in changing eating habits and less physical activities. The world faces a new paradox – obesity has been spreading faster than famine, thus bringing higher risks of diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases that might cause premature death.
The new millennium offers a host of activities and long-term visions for the future food growing and processing resources that are related to genetic engineering which will allow the ability to control crop loss, increase nutritional yield, bypass expensive and polluting fertilization and hydration systems or produce foods never before seen or tasted. This might have been a mere “utopia“ for our ancestors who perpetually strived for having enough food and preventing their families from famine epidemics, but could never have imagined they would reach.
KEY WORDS: poverty, famine, resources, economic success.