ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Food for Thought

IT is hardly a revelation that food consumption patterns undergo change in developing societies. Until very recently these changes were seen in terms of the impact of changes in incomes or in food prices. However with rapid structural transformation underway in so many Asian countries, there is a good deal of attention being paid today to the changes in patterns of food consumption consequent upon structural change. For instance, a recent FAO discussion paper shows the extent to which structural changes in food demand (as distinguished from income and price effects) are occurring in many Asian countries, consequent upon their rapid socioeconomic transformation. Rapid urbanisation, changes in employment structure and in patterns of agriculture are among the many factors affecting this change. These, particularly migration to urban areas may result in a wider choice of foods being available, and may also expose populations to non-traditional patterns and so result in new food tastes developing. Moreover occupational patterns, with longer hours away from home may make for a greater demand for convenience foods, and also a change in dietary patterns, and soon. The study documented among other things the movement away from staple foods in Taiwan, between 1959-61 and 1989-91 per capita rice consumption declined by one-half, while that of meat quadrupled, of fish doubled and of fruits by five times. This substitution of calories traditionally obtained from staple foods with non-staple foods is typical of what is happening in many countries in Asia. However the cost of this change needs to be stressed: that for the same amount of caloric consumption, a higher price has to be paid by consumers in opting for 'value added' or non- staple foods.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top