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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the pros and cons of importing foods from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Imported Foods

Some countries import a large amount of food from other parts of the world.

To what extent is this a postive or negative trend?

Nations are increasingly importing food products and relying less on domestic supplies. In my opinion, though this has narrow economic drawbacks, it is a net positive.

The negative aspects of increased imports relate to domestic agriculture. In the United States, for example, there are trade agreements with a variety of countries enabling customers to purchase foreign products that cannot be locally grown, are only available seasonally or are prohibitively expensive. Any local farmers who rely on higher prices for specialised crops or expect a surge in sales when the seasons change, must now account for the global nature of agriculture. If they are not in a position to begin exporting to other countries themselves, there is a strong likelihood they will suffer a serious decline in their living standards and may have to consider the possibility of new employment.

However, the cases above are often mitigated with government subsidies and the benefits of imports for the average shopper are substantial. In the past, customers resigned themselves to a limited range of local produce, restricted by both geography and the seasons. Nowadays, imports make it possible to eat exotic fruits and vegetables that cannot be grown in one’s own country. Aside from the luxuries now available, there are also more utilitarian benefits. Countries with large populations and limited arable land, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, can make deals that leverage their more abundant natural resources. The tangible result is that previously malnourished residents now have greater access to nutritious foods, which in turn raises both life expectancy and quality of life.

In conclusion, the limited economic collateral of a thriving import and export agricultural market do not outweigh the advantages gained for both affluent and underprivileged segments of a population.

Analysis

1. Nations are increasingly importing food products and relying less on domestic supplies. 2. In my opinion, though this has narrow economic drawbacks, it is a net positive.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The negative aspects of increased imports relate to domestic agriculture. 2. In the United States, for example, there are trade agreements with a variety of countries enabling customers to purchase foreign products that cannot be locally grown, are only available seasonally or are prohibitively expensive. 3. Any local farmers who rely on higher prices for specialised crops or expect a surge in sales when the seasons change, must now account for the global nature of agriculture. 4. If they are not in a position to begin exporting to other countries themselves, there is a strong likelihood they will suffer a serious decline in their living standards and may have to consider the possibility of new employment.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Continue to develop it fully.

1. However, the cases above are often mitigated with government subsidies and the benefits of imports for the average shopper are substantial. 2. In the past, customers resigned themselves to a limited range of local produce, restricted by both geography and the seasons. 3. Nowadays, imports make it possible to eat exotic fruits and vegetables that cannot be grown in one’s own country. 4. Aside from the luxuries now available, there are also more utilitarian benefits. 5. Countries with large populations and limited arable land, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, can make deals that leverage their more abundant natural resources. 6. The tangible result is that previously malnourished residents now have greater access to nutritious foods, which in turn raises both life expectancy and quality of life.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. The more specific, the better.
  5. Keep adding more specific and examples.
  6. And develop them fully.

1. In conclusion, the limited economic collateral of a thriving import and export agricultural market do not outweigh the advantages gained for both affluent and underprivileged segments of a population.

  1. Summarise your main ideas. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Nations are increasingly importing food products and relying less on domestic supplies. In my opinion, though this has narrow economic drawbacks, it is a net positive.

The negative aspects of increased imports relate to domestic agriculture. In the United States, for example, there are trade agreements with a variety of countries enabling customers to purchase foreign products that cannot be locally grown, are only available seasonally or are prohibitively expensive. Any local farmers who rely on higher prices for specialised crops or expect a surge in sales when the seasons change, must now account for the global nature of agriculture. If they are not in a position to begin exporting to other countries themselves, there is a strong likelihood they will suffer a serious decline in their living standards and may have to consider the possibility of new employment.

However, the cases above are often mitigated with government subsidies and the benefits of imports for the average shopper are substantial. In the past, customers resigned themselves to a limited range of local produce, restricted by both geography and the seasons. Nowadays, imports make it possible to eat exotic fruits and vegetables that cannot be grown in one’s own country. Aside from the luxuries now available, there are also more utilitarian benefits. Countries with large populations and limited arable land, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, can make deals that leverage their more abundant natural resources. The tangible result is that previously malnourished residents now have greater access to nutritious foods, which in turn raises both life expectancy and quality of life.

In conclusion, the limited economic collateral of a thriving import and export agricultural market do not outweigh the advantages gained for both affluent and underprivileged segments of a population.

Answers

increasingly importing bring in more products from other countries

relying less not need as much

domestic supplies what is made in your country

narrow economic drawbacks small disadvantages for the economy

net positive overall good

negative aspects disadvantages

relate to concern

domestic agriculture farms in your country

trade agreements deal between countries

a variety of countries many nations

enabling allowing for

purchase buy

locally grown grown in your country

only available seasonally can only be bought sometimes

prohibitively expensive too much

rely on need

specialised crops rare, specific foods

surge increase a lot

now account for consider now

global nature all countries involved

not in a position can’t

strong likelihood good chance

suffer a serious decline decrease a lot

living standards how you are living

consider the possibility think about the chance

mitigated weakened

government subsidies government support/money

average shopper normal consumer

substantial a lot

resigned themselves given up and now happy with

limited range not many types

local produce grown in nearby farms

restricted by limited by

geography land, terrain

eat exotic fruits eat rare fruits

aside from besides

luxuries not necessary

utilitarian benefits real impact

limited arable land not much farming land

Sub-Saharan Africa countries in and below the Sahara desert

make deals sign constracts

leverage exploit

abundant natural resources lots of resources

tangible result real effect

previously malnourished residents starving before

greater access more ability to get

nutritious healthy

in turn then

life expectancy longevity

quality of life standards of living

limited economic collateral just hurts a bit

thriving doing well

outweigh stronger than

affluent rich

underprivileged segments of a population poorer residents

Pronunciation

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ɪmˈpɔːtɪŋ 
rɪˈlaɪɪŋ lɛs 
dəʊˈmɛstɪk səˈplaɪz
ˈnærəʊ ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈdrɔːbæks
nɛt ˈpɒzətɪv
ˈnɛgətɪv ˈæspɛkts 
rɪˈleɪt tuː 
dəʊˈmɛstɪk ˈægrɪkʌlʧə
treɪd əˈgriːmənts 
ə vəˈraɪəti ɒv ˈkʌntriz 
ɪˈneɪblɪŋ 
ˈpɜːʧəs 
ˈləʊkəli grəʊn
ˈəʊnli əˈveɪləbl ˈsiːzənli 
prəˈhɪbɪtɪvli ɪksˈpɛnsɪv
rɪˈlaɪ ɒn 
ˈspɛʃ(ə)laɪzd krɒps 
sɜːʤ 
naʊ əˈkaʊnt fɔː 
ˈgləʊbəl ˈneɪʧə 
nɒt ɪn ə pəˈzɪʃən 
strɒŋ ˈlaɪklɪhʊd 
ˈsʌfər ə ˈsɪərɪəs dɪˈklaɪn 
ˈlɪvɪŋ ˈstændədz 
kənˈsɪdə ðə ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪti 
ˈmɪtɪgeɪtɪd 
ˈgʌvnmənt ˈsʌbsɪdiz 
ˈævərɪʤ ˈʃɒpə 
səbˈstænʃəl
rɪˈzaɪnd ðəmˈsɛlvz 
ˈlɪmɪtɪd reɪnʤ 
ˈləʊkəl ˈprɒdjuːs
rɪsˈtrɪktɪd baɪ 
ʤɪˈɒgrəfi 
iːt ɪgˈzɒtɪk fruːts 
əˈsaɪd frɒm 
ˈlʌkʃəriz 
ˌjuːtɪlɪˈteərɪən ˈbɛnɪfɪts
ˈlɪmɪtɪd ˈærəbl lænd
sʌb-səˈhɑːrən ˈæfrɪkə 
meɪk diːlz 
ˈliːvərɪʤ 
əˈbʌndənt ˈnæʧrəl rɪˈsɔːsɪz
ˈtænʤəbl rɪˈzʌlt 
ˈpriːviəsli məˈnʌrɪʃt ˈrɛzɪdənts 
ˈgreɪtər ˈæksɛs 
nju(ː)ˈtrɪʃəs 
ɪn tɜːn 
laɪf ɪksˈpɛktənsi 
ˈkwɒlɪti ɒv laɪf
ˈlɪmɪtɪd ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk kɒˈlætərəl 
ˈθraɪvɪŋ 
aʊtˈweɪ 
ˈæflʊənt 
ˌʌndəˈprɪvɪlɪʤd ˈsɛgmənts ɒv ə ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Nations are i______________________g food products and r______________s on d_____________________s. In my opinion, though this has n____________________________s, it is a n______________e.

The n____________________s of increased imports r_______________o d______________________e. In the United States, for example, there are t___________________s with a__________________________s e_____________g customers to p_______________e foreign products that cannot be l__________________n, are o______________________________y or are p________________________e. Any local farmers who r_______n higher prices for s__________________________s or expect a s____e in sales when the seasons change, must n___________________r the g____________e of agriculture. If they are n__________________________n to begin exporting to other countries themselves, there is a s___________________d they will s______________________e in their l_______________________s and may have to c_________________________________y of new employment.

However, the cases above are often m______________d with g_______________________s and the benefits of imports for the a____________________r are s____________l. In the past, customers r______________________s to a l_______________e of l___________________e, r__________________y both g______________y and the seasons. Nowadays, imports make it possible to e____________________s and vegetables that cannot be grown in one’s own country. A_________m the l________s now available, there are also more u____________________________s. Countries with large populations and l_________________d, such as in S_______________________a and the Middle East, can m_________s that l__________e their more a_____________________________s. The t_______________t is that p________________________________________s now have g_________________s to n___________s foods, which i_______n raises both l______________________y and q__________________e.

In conclusion, the l________________________________l of a t________g import and export agricultural market do not o________h the advantages gained for both a_________t and u__________________________________________n.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/china-pips-us-emerge-india-biggest-trade-partner-2020-despite-border-conflicts/story/432057.html

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Food

  1. What kinds of foods do you like to eat?
  2. How different is food in your country today from when you were younger?
  3. Which foods do you dislike?
  4. What foods do people in your country buy at the market?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Some feel that countries should produce most of the food that is eaten in their country and import as little as possible.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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