There are four transitions of food production that cultures have utilized. The first is foraging where people hunt wild animals and gather plants. The second is pastoralism where people herd domesticated animals. The third is horticulture where people farm in small scales. The last is intensive agriculture where people also farm but in a larger scale (O’Neil).
Each of these types uses at least one of the three main power sources of agricultural mechanization. The first is human power. The second is animal power, and the third is mechanical power. These mechanizations, especially the machineries from the third type, are supposed to make lives more convenient. However, it seemed that they resulted in the need for more work. Subsistence from growing efficient food production also increased the number of non-food producers (O’Neil; Rijk 1).
This growth is a double-edged sword. Non-food producers have taken paths that gave rise to other disciplines. Certainly, scientific knowledge is far more enriched that technological development is faster than ever. It may have made societies sophisticated, but they have also made societies more complex (O’Neil). The cultural costs of displacing human and animal power to technologies are behind self-sufficient cultures going into the market economy.
As growth continues, it demands that the power sources to upgrade as well. Unfortunately, the requirements for those upgrades can be beyond a society’s reach. For example, the worldwide automotive industry requires gasoline. However, the United States and the Middle East have most of the reserves. Thus, other countries depend on oil imports from them. The public, as the end consumer, eventually carries the financial burden. This is unlike the previous food production practice on pastoralism. During that time, fresh meat went to the community since pastoralists had inadequate meat preservation systems (E100 Ethanol Group; O’Neil). In this regard, advancements have cost cultures. Instead of freeing lives, these technological advancements have made people dependent on them and keeps them paying the price.
E100 Ethanol Group. “ Economic/ Cultural Costs.” Web. 31 Oct. 2014
O’Neil, Dennis. “ Patterns of Subsistence: Classification of Culture Based on the Sources and Techniques of Acquiring food and other necessities.” Behavioral Science Department Palomar College California, 2011. Web. 31 Oct. 2014
Rijk, Adrianus G. “ Agricultural Mechanization Strategy.” Center for Sustainable Agricultural mechanization: 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014