Unless the food is irradiated right before they serve it to you (plate included) it doesn’t really stop supply chain contamination or cross contamination at processing/prep.
The best system would be to package products in totally sealed packages and then irradiate with a monitor mark on each package to ensure proper dose is delivered. But I highly doubt food irradiation does this as it would cost too much for all the extra packaging, radiation sensitive dosing labels, and QA/QC required.
Pascalization is an interesting sterilization(ish) technique which literally crushes everything under pressures so high not much survives the process.
People may wax rhapsodic about the virtues of the small-scale farm, but that is not the direction farming is heading in: Farms are getting fewer in number and larger in size across the board, and that’s only going to continue—and there’s one reason why.
it’s all about economies of scale and the spread and dilution of risk.
This is pretty basic economics that even I, as a total non-economist, understand. The agricultural sector, even with all the immigrant farm labor, employs a tiny number of people. Automation technology is only going to winnow those few remaining people away.
From what I know of farming in my local area – you don’t have a farm to make money. The majority rely heavily on subsidy. It’s a buyer’s market if you want to sell the farm, either to someone who will continue to farm or to a real estate developer. Having grown up on a hobby farm, it was not cheaper to have chickens than it would have been to buy eggs at the store.
Some of us are old enough remember the horrible Marshmallow Freeze of 1979. Marshmallows crops from North Carolina to Florida froze and were deemed worthless. I remember the guys standing at the freeway ramps selling bags of marshmallow’s for $10 a bag. $10 dollars! I ended up having to make my s’mores that year, using cotton candy as the cotton candy pickers strike had just ended and I wanted to support the union. The FDA fructose committee archive will be declassified in 2029 – maybe then we’ll get some answers. It cost Carter the election, and under Reagan – candy corn subsidies doubled overnight.
This video is really misleading. They’re actually a root vegetable, and they do just fine during colder seasons. Sure they take longer to grow, but so long as the winter isn’t particularly brutal the marshmallow farmers will be just fine. In fact, with global warming coming to bear I’m sure the marshmallow farmers will come out on top – unlike those poor maple syrup farmers who have to contend with wolpertingers devouring their maplefruit due to the scarcity of the other flora and fauna that naturally make up their diet.
In other news, guacamole dip comes from guacamoles.
Roughly 9,000 years ago, humans had mastered farming to the point where food was plentiful. Populations boomed, and people began moving into large settlements full of thousands of people. And then, abruptly, these proto-cities were abandoned for millennia. It’s one of the greatest mysteries of early human civilization.