I'm preparing for the TOEFL iBT test, here is my essay.
Technology has made it possible for people to produce more food, abundant enough to feed the majority. However, the improvement in quantity is not equal to the improvement in quality. What comes along with the advanced technology is the deteriorating environment which made our food more contaminated than before and the chemical substances which made our food less natural than before.
First of all, the pollutant discharged from factories, including sewage disposal and exhaust emission, gradually damages our environment, making the farm land less suitable for breeding and planting than in the past. Thereby, food grown in such environment can cause damage to people's health. For instance, industrial effluent often contains heavy metal, most of which is toxic to human beings. While factories are working to improve their water treatment facility, many of them do not remove all dissolved metals and chemicals, lots of which go into the river, thus contaminating water and soil which is essential in food production, resulting in that the food produced in such place possibly contains the poisonous heavy metal, among which the lead can cause brain and kidney damage, according to the CCHE. It is obvious that the fast development of the manufacture industry has made the potential risk of people eating polluted food higher than in the past.
Next, the chemical substances, such as additives and pesticide, also add to the potential risk to the health of people who eat them. China once witnessed a string of food safety scares including steroid-tainted pork and sauce with the carcinogenic dye Sudan Red. Even without these problems, the additives contained in the processed food is no good to people's health. For example, people who eat processed food in a long term will find themselves lacking the vitamins and fiber essential for basic body-function, which can only be found in natural food that people mainly eat in the past. What's more, some researchers have charged that food additives, considered safe by most people, such as artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, are likely triggers for hyperactive behavior. So we can see that food today has raised more health problems than before.
To summarize, in my opinion, advanced technology does not improve our food quality. On the contrary, it increases the rate of food pollution and risk of health problems. Therefore I believe in the past people ate food that was better for their health than people today.