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Food tech, social issues

Free essay example:

Social, Moral, Cultural and Environmental issues

Social

My product is not a bad product to have on the market because it is low fat, high in vitamin C, low sugar and fairly healthy.  I will use a small amount of packaging, which will consist of recyclable material so the waste is minimal. My product is a family dessert so is designed for people who sit down together as a family, which encourages social skills. It can also encourage people to do that because it is a dessert made for sharing. Relating to quality of life it is better to have a low fat, healthy, high vitamin C dessert than a high fat, high calorie unhealthy dessert so my product could give people a better quality of life if they normally ate a very fatty dessert.  As for lifestyle, it is aimed at people who try to live a healthy life but not necessarily those who have a lot of money, which is the normal assumption of people.  It is a product, which encourages people to sit down and share, and to eat healthily but enjoy their food so overall is a positive product.

The product is a ready made dessert so all the consumer has to do is reheat it before consumption, however in relation to traditional wisdom and cooking skills I think my product is a new, improved recipe of older desserts that have been made for many years. However I do agree that having lots of ready meals on the market means people don’t cook as much at home anymore which used to encourage learning and social skills but in the end it is our society that has changed. Long working days mean that parents do not want to go home and have to start cooking and if they can buy a healthy ready-made product, which they can enjoy with their family it allows them to relax, unwind and enjoy their time.

My product does promote cultural diversity, as it is not just aimed at one age generation or culture. As it is a dessert it is easier to make it open to all cultures. Having said this what must be taken into account is that my products target audience is aimed at families, which does rule out some people and possibly therefore diminishing some cultures.  I think because it is a dessert made with quality ingredients and is a healthy option cultures whom wouldn’t normally buy ready meals may consider it as an option now, which is encouraging the diversity. Overall the pros out way the cons on the side of culture.

As I have already said my product promotes sociability as it is made for 4 to 5 people and is made to be shared. It promotes a quality family time when everyone has to sit together and chat which in turn produces children with better social skills and a better understanding of other people and how to make conversation and understand peoples feelings.

The product itself does not decrease opportunities for future generations or limit opportunities for them. My product will use a minimal amount of packaging, which will be recyclable so there is as little environmental impact as possible. There is no meat in it so there are no problems about meat species in the future. It meets the needs of today’s user well but will not cause a big impact on the next generation’s society.

My product will use fair trade ingredients as far as possible, which means it helps people in other countries to get fair pay and enhance their basic rights and freedoms. It will also use high quality ingredients rich in nutrients and also high in fruit and vitamin C to improve health.

My product is culturally appropriate. In Britain we have many cultures and religions and my product is suitable for many of them. This is because it is a healthy, vegetarian, low fat family oriented dessert. The packaging will be simple so not to offend anyone and will be suitable to be sold in multi cultural communities and areas.

The product I make will be promoting a healthier more social lifestyle. This is because it is low in sugar, fat and calories and so therefore does not increase the risk of any illnesses but in fact can help make people healthier by giving them a portion of fruit which they may otherwise not eat and also a high amount of vitamin C.  It encourages people to look at what they are eating more closely and realise that healthy products do in fact taste just as nice as unhealthy, fatty ones.

Cultural

As today Britain is a multi cultural society it is important we understand bout different religious groups to determine if my product is suitable.

Jews follow the food laws of kashrut, which means anything they eat must be kosher. All plants are kosher, but not all animals.  This means often Jews don’t get a lot of protein in their diets so have to find other ways such a vegetarian alternatives to get the needed nutrients. However because my product is going to be vegetarians the fact restrictions on meat, and fish should not affect me too much. Although eggs are an issue. If an egg has a spot of blood in Jews will not use that egg to cook with or eat. If I wanted to make my product suitable for Jews I would be affected by this because the eggs would have to be checked after they were cracked for blood traces and then discarded if they had blood in. Jews also sometimes have a rabbi oversee the food production so he can decide if the end product is kosher or not. I would have to think about this because if I wanted to make my product suitable for Jews I would have to get a ‘hechsher’ label printed on the packaging. This would add extra cost to the production and packaging and it would depend on how much the product itself would cost to make and if the product was even something Jews would think about buying as must Jews tend to cook their own meals from scratch.

Muslims follow similar dietary laws to Jews. The food that Muslims eat is classed as ‘halal.’  They do not eat any meats but again this is not a major problem as my product will be vegetarian, however is it was going to be made in a factory I would have to make sure it didn’t come into contact with any meaty products or machinery and hygiene would have to be impeccable. Not eating meats does mean their diet lacks protein and they too sometimes use vegetarian alternatives to make sure they get the needed nutrients. Muslims also fast at certain times of the year, which means they are not buying foods. This is something to take into account because if I was going to aim it at Muslim areas I would have to be prepared and have costed in that my product would not be selling well at certain times of the year.

Hindus eat very simple, mainly vegetarian foods. Strict Hindus, otherwise known as Orthodox Hindus also avoid spicy foods, onions, garlic, mushrooms and some bulbs. If my product was a main course or a savoury dish this would provide a lot of issues as to flavouring and contents but as I am doing a dessert it is much less of a problem. Again there is the issue of contamination in a factory and again hygiene would have to be impeccable. Hindus also observe fasting on some special occasions so if I aimed my product purely at people fm this religion I would again have to be prepared for it to not sell at some points through the year.

Vegetarians avoid meat and fish products. This means that they often use vegetarian alternatives such as Soya or tofu. Vegetarians do not just have to look closely at main meals but at desserts to because some contain gelatine or colouring and preservatives, which comes form animals. In factories vegetarian produce must be kept away from meat produce so no contamination occurs and hygiene is paramount.  Vegetarians generally eat a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables and pulses. As my product is going to be vegetarian it is important for me to make sure no ingredients I use have meat traces on them, otherwise they won’t be strictly vegetarian.

It is not just religion that influences the food manufactured in today’s society but also the way we live.  For example there are many people who live in single person households but as yet there doesn’t seem to be a big market for one-person products. This is often because it is expensive to package for just one serving and ends up quite expensive. Manufacturers generally sell things in twos or larger. This then often means single person households end up paying more and food gets wasted. However slowly the market is evolving and catering more for this audience but progress is slow.

People who chose to eat organic food generally pay a lot more for their meals but this is a growing market after all the stories about genetically modified products over the past few years. Manufacturers are starting to fill the gap and make more fair trade, organic meals, which they can charge high prices for because there are not many other products of their kind. Manufacturers have been wise and realised what consumer’s want and begun to bridge the gap and make a healthy profit. It is things like the news and stories that come out which often change peoples eating habits and therefore change what consumers what and what manufacturers must make to stay in business.

It is the same with low fat diets. In recent years there has been a lot of talk about obesity and the effects it can have on people’s health. It is because of this that some people want to switch to having a low fat diet, therefore they stop buying some of the fatty food which they did before and go for healthier options so a smart manufacturer would quickly recognise this and either modify their own products so they can be classed as low fat or make new ones. This is how the market grows and evolves.

Labelling is very important nowadays. With so many similar products it is often the labels and packaging that catch the consumers eye and make them try something new.  I think my product is suitable for different cultures as discussed earlier however I do believe I could make it available to a wider number of religious groups by monitoring and altering a few simple things.  For the labelling to go with it I will make 3 prototypes to see which design people prefer and do a questionnaire about if they found any of them offensive and what they liked and disliked about them so when I went into the production stage I would know I had a successful, eye catching packaging scheme.

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