Clearly if you are looking for organic options, you are somewhat aware of your food choices. You understand the importance of knowing where your food comes from and how it is prepared. The average American citizen isn’t so involved in his or her food choices. Technology is being developed to protect both you, the informed eater, and the average eater, who may not even care.
You know you are at the end of a long chain of events before the food you choose gets on your fork. Knowing if that food is organic, gluten-free, kosher or even halal is important to you. Finding a reputable source is your best means of ensuring this. Online options are available; just make sure you are comfortable with their practices. Contact the supplier. Ask questions. Good companies will take the time to explain all they do and make sure your questions are answered.
After the food has been organically grown and processed according to your wishes, technology certainly helps with the next step. Packaging materials not only need to protect food all the way from the factory to your home, but lately consumers want recyclable, compostable packaging that is made with renewable energy. Now consumers are demanding even more; they want traceability.
Traceability just means that the food product’s route from farm to your table can be accurately seen and therefore “traced.” You can find out exactly where it came from and how it came to be on your plate. This is particularly beneficial when food safety issues are concerned. If a product has to be recalled, traceability makes it possible to see at what point in the supply chain the error may have occurred. It also makes recalling all the unsafe food possible.
What will the future bring in terms of traceability and protection for consumers? Continued improvement is a must. Scientists keep creating different ways to track food and keep you and your food safe.
One kind of tracking device sounds completely imaginary; it is, however, completely legitimate. Scientists have taken DNA from non-food items, right now things like seaweed are their source, suspended these snippets of DNA in a non-toxic spray with sugar and sprayed it on foods. This allows the food to be tracked straight from the farm it grew on to the table you might eat it on.
Having the “barcode” sprayed directly on fresh produce is a great advantage; usually the boxes that the produce come in, and that have the traceability information on them, have been discarded long before an issue is found. It makes it very hard to trace the problem food. Also, the sprays can be layered. The farms can have one; the supplier can add another.