Civilization has greatly depended on the our ability to store food for long periods of time. Without various food preservation techniques, our daily lives would be much different. Perhaps we've strayed a bit too far away from fresh foods, but the benefits of refrigeration, preservatives and food packaging probably outweigh the costs. Here are just a few articles on the topic of food preservation to ponder while you enjoy your next processed meal.
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post