Influences on food availability
Historical changes to the availability of
Social, political and economic influences.
Historical changes to the
availability of food
This includesStaple foods
Native foods and modern usage and
• Foods commonly eaten
as part of the daily diet
are called STAPLE
• They are inexpensive,
plentiful and common to
the geographical region.
• Plant staples include
cereals, grains and
• In developing countries
plant staples are up to
75% of energy intake.
Wheat plants and bread
Wheat production world wide
The scale below provides an indication of how
recent the phenomenon of farming is:
• World was formed ca
4, 600 million years ago
• life forms: ca. 1,000 million
• First hominid life forms
4 million years ago (hunter gatherers)
• First human farmers
about 12,000 years ago.
• Global Agricultural Evolution
Lascaux Caves – France
1650 – 1850 AD
• Modern Agricultural Evolution http://www.culture.gouv.fr/c
1950 – present
• Why initiate farming
"Why farm? Why give up the 20-hour work week and the fun of hunting in
order to toil in the sun? Why work harder for food that is less
nutritious and a supply more capricious? Why invite famine, plague,
pestilence and crowded living conditions? Why abandon the Golden
Age and take up the burden?" (Harlan, 1992)
Not necessarily because it was a better diet
Not necessarily because it was easier
However, it did increase food production per unit area, making it easier to
feed a population from the same amount of land around a settlement. The
alternative scenario suggests that man had to reach a certain level of social
organization or tool-making development, with a settled mode of life, before
agriculture was possible, and this stage of human development was only
reached 9 - 10 000 years ago.
The move from shifting agriculture to domesticated agriculture was
preceded and made possible by the millennia of accumulated experience of
wild plants and animals, and trial-and-error experimentation. There was
probably a gradual shift from collecting to cultivation with continued reliance
on hunting and gathering. Finally there was almost complete reliance on
agriculture as the major source of nutrition.
Questions ref. p.5
Why did wheat become such a popular food
Because it is so versatile.
Name 3 different products made from wheat.
Burghul, semolina, flour.
What geographical features made Asia a
good place to grow rice?
Its warm climate and large quantities of
Name 3 different ways to eat rice.
Rice flour, pilaf and risottos, steamed and
What is the difference between a cereal,
legume and a root? Give examples.
Cereals are edible grains (wheat, rice and
maize), roots are crops are edible portions
of a plant that develop underground
(cassava, potato), and legumes are the
seed within pods of a plant (beans, peas).
Boiled rice (above)
Cassava root (above)
Kidney beans (below)
Meat and fish staples ref. p6
Japan, Pacific Islands, Alaska
Australia, North America,
Greece, Middle East
Foods Native to Australia
• Pre European settlement, traditional Aboriginal
diets were nutritious and varied.
• There were not staple foods as they were
• Traditional animal food include – reptiles (snake,
lizard, turtle), marine life (shellfish, eels, various
fish), birds (emus, swan, geese), insects
(witchetty grub, bogong moth, honey ants),
marsupials (kangaroo, possum, echidna).
• Animal meats were very lean ie low fat.
Honey ant (above)
Witchetty grub (far left)
Native plant Foods
Many different parts of the plants were eaten
• Roots (yams, bulbs, waterlilly roots)
• Fruits and vegetables ( wild figs,
quandongs, bush tomato, bush apples,
• Stems (pigweed and mulga grasses)
• Seeds and nuts (pandanus nuts, bunya
and cycad nuts.
Pandanus plant and nuts
Use of native foods today is often called
Many have become gourmet foods
Wattle seed biscuits
• As people have migrated they bring their
traditional foods with them.
• European settlement in Australia
commenced in 1788. Their diet was poor
as they initially survived on rations from
the First Fleet ships. E.g. salted beef and
pork, biscuits, dried peas and rum/gin.
Circular Quay c. 1880
Robert Havell (1769–1832)
The Entrance of Port Jackson and Part of the Town of Sydney,
New South Wales 1823
In the left side of this print convicts can be seen quarrying stone, in
the garden in the front they are cutting wood, as soldiers guard the
women. Reference http://www.nla.gov.au/
Questions ref. p.10
• Why was the early settles diet lacking in?
Fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy.
• How was this solved?
Market gardens were developed and land
grants given to convicts. 1805 a
commercial dairy was set up at Ultimo.
Australia's Dairy Heritage
In 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleeters came ashore at Sydney Cove
with seven cows and two bulls bred to survive a hostile environment. This small herd
soon moved to the greener pastures of Parramatta where they escaped into the bush
not to be seen for some seven years. Upon their recapture, the herd comprised 61
cattle. It was the cows of this group which became Australia's first dairy herd. By
1800, through breeding and importing, there were 332 bulls and 712 cows in the
colony. The settlers were adapting to their new Australian environment. They made
butter and cheese during spring and summer (when cows produce most milk), and
preserved these commodities with salt for autumn and winter.
Pioneers such as John Macarthur imported more dairy cattle to his Parramatta farm
while, in 1805, Dr John Harris built Sydney's first commercial dairy at what is now
inner-suburban Ultimo. However, Tasmania gave Australia its first cheese industry. In
the 1820s, the Van Dieman's Lan Company established Australia's first commercial
cheese factory. Farmers from the NSW district of Illawarra began to send their
cheese and butter to Sydney markets by sea, and as more ports opened, dairying
extended all the way down to Bega.
In 1832, with two cows and two calves, John Fawkner arrived in what was to become
Melbourne. With the ideal dairying conditions around Port Phillip Bay, the herd grew.
Within a year, there were 155 cattle in the district. By 1850, there were 347,000.
South Australian dairy farmers were becoming so successful that they were selling
cheese to Tasmanians. In 1891, there were almost 1 million dairy cows in Australia.
The gold rush brought thousands of people to Australia. With its collapse, many were
offered Government pastoral leases on the outskirts of inland towns. By 1900, there
was hardly a township, even in remote outback Australia, that did not have its own
fresh milk. The future of an extraordinary industry
Other significant cultural groups
Since 1830s large groups have migrated to Australia bringing their staple
food preferences and traditional preparation methods with them. After
several generations these foods have become part or the Australian
1830s– Germans migrated to South Australia establishing vineyards for
1850s- The Gold Rush attracted people looking for new opportunities.
Chinese grew their own market gardens to provide fresh ingredients.
Scandinavians developed the diary industry.
First American wave bought new farm implements
1880s- Italians started many fruit and vegetable farms, ricotta cheese
1920s – Second wave of Americans setup factories including Kellogg’s
(cereals products) and Heinz (soup) and Kraft (cheese).
1940s- American servicemen bought Coca-Cola, hamburgers, dried and
frozen foods to Australia. Further increases of Lebanese immigrants.
1960- American fast food chains were introduced including McDonald’, KFC
and Pizza Hut.
1970s- large numbers of Asian immigrants from Cambodia, Thailand,
Vietnam and South Korea fleeing persecution from their own government.
Wineries at Barossa
Barossa Valley, SA
Chinese Gold Pannier
• The typical Vietnamese family meal
• A typical meal for the average Vietnamese family would
• Individual bowls of rice
• Grilled, boiled, steamed, stir fried (with vegetable) or
stewed meat or fish or other seafood dish
• Stir-fried, raw or steamed vegetable dish
• Canh (a clear broth with vegetables and often meat or
seafood) or other Vietnamese-style soup
• Prepared fish sauce and/or soy sauce for dipping
• All dishes apart from the individual bowls of rice are
communal and to be shared.
Sticky rice dishes
Bánh chưng : sticky rice wrapped in
banana leaves and stuffed with mung
bean paste, lean pork and black
pepper, traditionally eaten during the
Lunar New Year (Tet). Bánh chưng is
popular in the North, while its cousin
version bánh tét is more popular in the
South. Bánh tét has the same content,
except cylindrical in shape and the
lean pork is substituted by fatty pork.
Salad rolls (Gỏi cuốn) also known as
Vietnamese fresh rolls, or summer rolls.
They are rice paper rolls that often
include shrimp, herbs, pork, rice
vermicelli and other ingredients
wrapped up and dipped in nước chấm
or peanut sauce. Spring rolls almost
constitute an entire category of
Vietnamese foods, as there are
numerous different kinds of spring rolls
with different ingredients in them.
Lebanese Cuisine in general is regarded as one of the world's healthiest
cuisines because of the use of minimally processed vegetarian recipes, in
addition to an abundance of fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, and nuts.
The Mezze, an elaborate variety of thirty hot and cold dishes, had made the
Lebanese cuisine renowned worldwide. A typical Mezze may consist, of salads
such as the Tabouleh and Fattoush, together with the caviars: Hummus and
Moutabal , and some patties such as the Sambusacs and finally the stuffed
The family cuisine offers also a range of dishes, such as the stews or , which
can be cooked in many forms depending on the ingredients used and are
usually served with meat and rice vermicelli.
The Lebanese flat pita bread is essential to every Lebanese meal, and can be
used to replace the usage of the fork.
The Arak, an anise-flavored liqueur, is the Lebanese national alcoholic drink and
is usually served with the traditional convivial Lebanese meals. Another
Lebanese drink is the Lebanese wine, which is now enjoying a worldwide
Known among the great variety of Lebanese sweets, are pastries such as the
Baklavas, and the Lebanese ice cream with its oriental flavors.
Australia’s Population, 2006
Source: ABS, Migration Australia
25% born overseas
75% born in Australia
Where do our immigrants originate from?
The biggest increase per group is the Sudanese up 22% in the past
50% of immigrants ere processed because their skills were need in
Australia, 25% for family reasons, 10% for humanitarian reasons, ad
How do you think the Australian food culture will appear in another
10 years time?
• Technology influences the amount and type of food available. It
• Production and manufacturing processes and equipment techniques
• e.g. Processes - sterilization of canned foods
• e.g. Machines – microwave ovens
• e.g. tools – whisk, sifter, peeler
• Storage and distribution techniques
• e.g. systems for ordering, shipping and distributing products to
• Marketplace practices
• e.g. 24 hour trading
• e.g. making yoghurt, frozen foods
• e.g. coal burned to produce electricity, water used to wash salads.
• 1700s colonial settles used simple technology –
processing pork and grinding wheat was done in
the same way as it had been for hundreds of
years. Machines were powered by manual
labour eg harvesting with scythes and milking by
hand. Transportation was limited by the new
roads built. Changes bought about by the
Industrial Revolution in the 1800s enabled coal
driven machines t oharvest and mill flour, brew
beer large amounts of beer and rum. Today
technology such as gene manipulation has
allowed many benefits in foods e.g.some plants
can be specially grown to have high Omega-3
content (normally only found in fish oils) which is
good for heart health.
• Case study 1.1 Wheat Production p.12-14
• Read, do questions and fill in table.
• What is the overall influence of technology on wheat
• Much faster and easier to clear land, sew and harvest
wheat, increased yields.
• Biological controls were initially thought to be an
improvement to insecticides and herbicides. Name a
situation that went wrong?
• Cane toads introduced to eat cane beetle in QLD has
now spread to become a pest to native animals.
• Many consumers have shown a preference to organic
foods – those produced without chemicals or fertilizers.
Often biodynamic farming principles are used.
Processing and Manufacturing
Why is food processed?
To make it more suitable for human consumption,
to preserve food for extended periods of time,
maintain a constant food supply, eat a variety of
foods out of season, eat foods from other parts
of the world, produce foods that do not look like
the raw materials.
Draw fig 1.12 text p.14. Many products can be
made from one food source.
Why changes occurred in the
way food is processed
• Electricity allowed for many new tool and machines to be
used in processing
e.g. mix master, electric oven, factory scale food
WW1 and WW2 needed food that was preserved for
transport and storage e.g. canned and freeze dried
• Plastics were developed which were used in machine
parts and packaging.
Manufacturing methods were streamlined increasing
production and made goods cheaper e.g. automated
machinery, computer technologies.
Food storage and distribution
• Food must be supplied to the consumer in good
quality, wherever and whenever they want it.
Facilities are built to protect food from
contamination and spoilage e.g. fruit storage
facilities that control the gases given off during
ripening, wheat silos that control the moisture
content to stop fermentation.
• Distribution network (air, sea, rail or road)
enable food to reach processing and point of
sale. Distribution networks often let down aid
workers as poorer countries often have little
road or rail systems.
Technology in the marketplace
• Traditionally goods were only purchased locally,
now many products are available internationally.
This provides consumers with products that may
be out of season locally, or with processed
products (e.g. canned vegetables).
• Processed products are known as value added
products – the value of the original raw
products has been increased by some form of
Social, political and economic
influences on food availability