Food Production: Where ‘TV Dinners’ Come From

The video of the production line at a Goodfella’s frozen pizza factory (originally via Richard Holden) has been widely shared and I’m sure you’ve already seen it (and been fascinated by the machine that puts the tomato base on).

Some may also have seen a few of the slightly less appetising videos such as this one on hot dog production (via Kottke) and this, on bacon production.

But, if you’re interested in food production—and specifically how technology is employed to increase its efficiency—I highly recommend watching Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Our Daily Bread; a captivating documentary.



2 responses to “Food Production: Where ‘TV Dinners’ Come From”

  1. That was fascinating from an engineering perspective. The automation and the moving parts was oddly therapeutic to watch.

    But at the same time it was pretty disgusting. I’m going to make even more effort to avoid processed food now. All the salt and flavour enhancers! And the way the animals are conceived, raised and slaughtered is going to be in a similar automated fashion.

  2. Definitely: imagining what happens to our food is one thing, but seeing it so vividly—as in these videos—is another thing entirely. It’s made me think twice even about the minor amounts of processed food I consume.

    For example, I thought the video on bacon production was all relatively tame until I saw the injector head pumping the curing solution into the pork bellies. As for hot dogs… the entire process is almost surreal.

    Like you said, from an engineering perspective the process is fascinating. I once again recommend Our Daily Bread: take a look at some of the reviews at Metacritic. (You may be able to find it under its original title, Unser Täglich Brot, but don’t worry about finding subtitles; there’s no narration. Alternatively, I’ve got a copy that I can pass on at NYE.)