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Module 3-2 Journal: Food Processing
Taylor Heger
Southern New Hampshire University
ATH-101 Introduction to Anthropology
Mickie Murin
01/22/2023
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Food Processing
How have historical developments for food production impacted modern-day life? How
has food production impacted the things you do today?
 Incorporate course concepts into your assignment.
 Address the consequences of anthropological events on modern society.
 Relate anthropological events to your own situation.
The transition from foraging to farming occurred between 10,000 to 11,000 years ago in
the Fertile Crescent of Southwest Asia. It brought about “a series of profound health, lifestyle,
social, and economic changes affecting human populations throughout most of the world”
(Larsen et al., 2019). This progression was one of the most significant and impressive
movements in human evolution. Archaeologists credit sedentism as the reasoning for the most
compelling changes in food production. Sedentism is defined as the “year-round settlement in a
particular place” (Welsch et al., 2019, p. 294). As people started to settle down to cultivate
vegetation, populations rose, demanding a greater inflation of food production. At times, bigger
colonies would experience food shortages due to a need for more labor contributions for food
production. However, these shortages culminated what may have been true agriculture,
involving, “for example, fertilizing with dung or mulches, and the development of new
technologies altogether, such as plows and the use of draft animals to pull them across a field”
(Welsch et al., 2019, p. 294). These developments and shift in living situations built the
foundation for subsequent social and biocultural advancements, such as materialization of
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intricate hierarchal societies, escalation in community size, and dependence on certain food
sources.
Welsch et al. (2019) state that “the shift from hunting and gathering to food production
had significant consequences for the development of more sophisticated technologies, larger
populations, and more complex forms of social organization- including the formation of cities,
state governments, and social hierarchies.” Additionally, the shift to sedentism brought with it
dietary consequences and epidemic diseases. The foraging-to-farming transformation constructed
diseases that we know today including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dental/oral infections.
Because of sedentism and the increase in population, there were greater numbers of people living
amongst each other, which allowed bacteria, viruses, and parasites to move from one host to the
next more quickly. In the process of shifting from foraging to agriculture, there was a change
from depending on a broad variation of plants and animals common of hunting and gathering
civilizations to being reliant on a small number of plant varieties.
First and foremost, the process of food production has impacted the way that I obtain my
food. I can easily find it by simply going to the grocery and purchasing it. On the other hand, it is
slightly more difficult to find foods that are not high in sugars, or not processed. In addition to
healthier foods being difficult to find, they are also pricier. Finally, the move from foraging to
agriculture has had a significant impact on my diet and other health related issues. I am
personally a fan of food products that are high in sugar, which I can attribute to elements such as
my weight and future health related conditions I may experience because of my diet.
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References
Larsen, C. S., Knüsel, C. J., Haddow, S. D., Pilloud, M. A., Milella, M., Sadvari, J. W., Pearson,
J., Ruff, C. B., Garofalo, E. M., Bocaege, E., Betz, B. J., Dori, I., & Glencross, B. (2019).
Bioarchaeology of Neolithic Çatalhöyük reveals fundamental transitions in health,
mobility, and lifestyle in early farmers.CProceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences,C116(26), 12615–12623. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1904345116
Welsch, R. L., Vivanco, L. A., & Fuentes, A. (2019). Anthropology, 2nd Edition. Oxford
University Press. https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/978019057381
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