READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
The Harmony of Food and Drink
Food is not only a necessity for life, but also our greatest sources of pleasure. The taste of things such as champagne, chocolate and chips offers our brain a big “pleasure hit” that keeps US coming back for more. And the preparation of food is as important as the ingredients. Recently, food, science and technology have become more closely linked than ever. Scientifically-minded chefs like Harold McGee, Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria sometimes utilise science to enhance startling new dishes.
Before the Agricultural Age, humans were hunter-gatherers. Sheep were probably the first animals to be farmed, followed by cattle and pigs. We are still unsure what our earliest ancestors actually ate and how much of their diet was meat. We know that otzi the iceman had consumed ibex, deer, vegetables and possibly grains.
Controversially, it has been suggested that the invention of cooking was a main factor in human evolution (as well as our alveolar bone) – a question that partly depends on when humans discovered fire. Like US, apes also prefer cooked food to raw – possibly because cooked food offers more energy than raw food does. Recently, almost all our food comes from farming for the huge increase in human population over the last 200 years. Farming has become much more intensive and dependent on technology and the so-called Green Revolution in the 20th century was a vital boost. At the same time, technologies for conserving food have come along in leaps and bounds.
But, the grains have not been without cost. Soil quality has been damaged, and crops like bananas have become less genetically diverse, rare breeds of animals have been pushed close to extinction, and habitats have been destroyed. Also, the increasing demand for meat puts pressure on agriculture. One possible solution to food shortages is genetic modification of crop plants to enhance yield and to make them resistant to disorder. But GM has proved unpopular with the public, in spite of efforts to grow environmentally friendly solutions. Concern for environmental damage from farming led to the development of “sustainable” techniques, like organic farming which rejects the use of artificial fertilisers, pesticides and other agricultural technologies. Organic farming produces lower yields, but there is evidence that it produces suitable amounts of food with less environmental damage.
The overfishing of the world’s oceans has also led to serious damage, causing population crashes in many species. Recently, fish farming has become more widespread. It decreases the burden on wild fish, but has other problems such as escaping fish, excessive food consumption, infectious viruses and louse infestation. Unless the population recessions are stopped, we will have to turn to less appetizing species for our seafood like jellyfish.
Nowadays, many people suffer from food allergies and must avoid common foods like peanuts and wheat. A condition called food intolerance looks the same on the surface, but its effects are slower to appear and longer-lasting. Charles Darwin may have been a sufferer of this condition. The allergy epidemic has been related to modern clean living.
Today, one of the biggest health problems is obesity. Through a diet rich in fats and sugars, many people in developed countries are overweight, increasing the risk of cancer, diabetes and an early death. Unfortunately, mild obesity takes two to four years off the average lifespan. The risks are particularly concerning for children and being overweight as a child makes you more obese as an adult. The causes of obesity have been a source of debate. Surprisingly, a lack of exercise may not be a critical factor. It is possible that it could be a genetic condition and may also be caused by eating lots of fructose. Some cases have been linked to a virus that causes fat cells to increase. Also, obesity is socially contagious. A huge range of possible treatments for obesity have been developed.
Reading Passage 3 has seven paragraphs, A-G.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 29-34 on your answer sheet.
29 cooked food relative to human evolution and structure of teeth
30 a change of food taste and importance of preparation
31 problems of population crash caused by overfishing
32 the earlier hunting of humans
33 overweight influenced by genes and overeating
34 indifference to genetic modification of crop plants
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.
35 Food is one of human sustainable materials of _______.
36 _______ might be the first creature to be tamed for farming.
37 The population has increased over the last 200 years, accelerating with technology triggered _______.
38 _______ is yielded with less environmental damage and non-fertilisers.
39 From overeating fats and sugars, modern people are suffering from _______.
40 Health problems have been linked to _______ which makes fat cells increase.