For 99% of human history, people took their food from the world around them. They ate
all that they could find, and then moved on. Then about 10,000 years ago, or for 1% of human
history, people learned to farm the land and control their environment.
The kind of food we eat depends on which part of the world we live in. For example, in the
south of China they eat rice, but in the north they eat noodles. In Scandinavia, they eat a lot of
herrings, and the Portuguese love sardines. But in central Europe, away from the sea, people
don’t eat so much fish; they eat more meat and sausages. In Germany and Poland there are
hundreds of different kinds of sausages.
In North America, Australia, and Europe there are two or more courses to every meal and
people eat with knives and forks. In China there is only one course, all the food is together on the
table, and they eat with chopsticks. In parts of India and the Middle East people use their fingers
and bread to pick up the food.
Nowadays it is possible to transport food easily from one part of the world to the other.
We can eat what we like, at any time of the year. Our bananas come from the Caribbean or
Africa; our rice comes from India or the USA; our strawberries come from Chile or Spain. Food
is very big business. But people in poor countries are still hungry, and people in rich countries
eat too much.