We tend to think of technology in terms of the newest laptop or slimmest, Internet-capable phone.

What is the connection between technology and food?

Technology so inundates our society that we overlook what technology has done in the food system. We shop for the least-cost fuel, consuming it mindlessly.

Just what do the words “food technology” mean? What is the technology, who does this technology pertain to, where are the consumer benefits and can anyone buy it or use it?

The results of technology line every shelf of any grocery store you walk into. Every can, bag or box of processed food has technology stamped onto it. At the cashier, we pay for the technology as they scan our purchases to track our buying habits. They then use this information to sell us more of what we think we need.

Technology has duped us into thinking we cannot live without it.

So what happens when we have to make a choice between filling the SUV and buying food? We fill the SUV, so we can go to work in order to try to pay off our debts, put more gas in the SUV and stock the cupboards with what is left over.

For dinner, why not pick up a can of chunky soup? The label says it could be a part of a complete meal. Does that mean this can of technology isn’t sufficient by itself? Reading on, you discover 36 different ingredients in the soup, a third of which are not readily pronounceable. Still, you buy it, because time is short and we are in a hurry for some reason.

It is all technology provided for our personal benefit, to make our lives easier. It is a necessity. Food has become so processed that a federal regulatory agency needs to test it for safety. We have a section of government that concerns itself solely with labelling, sufficient ingredient data, nutritional fact panels, allergy warning and advertising.

Far more attention gets paid to merchandise appearance than increased health benefits.

This corporate food technology machine has been trying to sell us on its version of what our health needs are for years, and yet previous technologies are far better.

Earlier technology included canning our own veggies. How many remember preserving eggs in water-glass? Lately, a renewed wave of interest in using root cellars, smoking meat and drying fruit has made all this apparently dated technology appear timeless.

If you cannot read the ingredients on the can, make your own chunky soup. If you do not know what technologically advanced preservative they sprayed on your grocery store fruit, buy something local or at least organic.

Food went from preserved to being processed. The rules and regulations around food went overboard. We went from being a balanced, agrarian society to one of excessive, needless consumption.

Has new technology provided us with a vision of sustainable excess? Not even close. Phone your local farmer, order your meat and veggies and use technology that will help preserve not only the food but the community and lifestyle as well.

Make an educated choice and be (a)ware of what you eat.

Talk to me about real food.