The following essay is written by Ms Quynh – IELTS tutor.
In some countries, it is now possible for people to buy a wide variety of foods transported from all over the world. To what extent do the benefits of this development outweigh the drawbacks?
The rapid development of new technology and global trade has made it increasingly easy to buy imported foods no matter where we are. Imported food consumption is, in fact, growing in popularity and it is claimed to be a positive trend. In this essay, however, I will argue that it causes more threats than benefits to the global market.
There may indeed be good arguments for encouraging importing foods from other countries as consumers would have a wide variety of food choice. It could also be argued that improving global food trade will boost the economies of developing countries. Some African countries’ economies, for example, rely heavily on exporting food to the European market.
However, local cuisine is an important aspect of local culture. Hence, protecting the competitive advantage of local foods is preserving traditional culture. It has been observed that Western food is becoming popular in Asian countries and young consumers are using more and more ingredients imported from the West in their recipes. It might come to a point where people use more imported foods and the local cuisine gradually disappear.
Moreover, as foods imported from Western countries have been engineered with new technologies, it may taste better than the local ones, therefore, become more favored on the market. If local foods from the developing countries lose the battle in their home market, local manufacturers and farmers are unlikely to have enough resources to continue their innovation efforts and export to other countries. This is probably why Asian countries, such as Vietnam, encourage local consumers to use domestic foods.
So in the end, if the goal is to ensure sustainable development all over the world, we must first focus on providing high quality foods to local markets and ensuring its advantages there. Only then would global food trade bring benefits to all parties.