Food and Politics

A recent article on the aptly named Food Politics about whether we need better advice on what to eat cut right to the chase.

“Of course Americans need more information about eating well. Otherwise we wouldn’t have an obesity problem.”, stated Marion Nestle, professor at NYU.

She continued on to add that “People are bombarded with conflicting advice, much of it from sources with a vested interest in selling particular foods, supplements or diet plans. Nutrition studies tend to focus on single nutrients, making their results difficult to apply to real diets. No wonder people have a hard time knowing what or whom to believe, which is too bad, really. The basic principles of healthy eating could not be easier to understand: eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, balance calorie intake with expenditure, and don’t eat too much junk food.”

Sound familiar?  Kind of like what I say, although my version is to not is any junk food, or non food, either!

However, if the higher ups (as in, the government , the agricultural industry, the dairy board and the drug dealers, oops, I mean the pharmaceutical industry) tried to do a hard sell on the importance of eating fresh veg and fruit and wild proteins, we, as a society, would have far lower rates of illness but then as a result, they’d sell less product.

Think about that when you’re in the supermarket trying to judge whether a particular food item (or non food item for that matter) is a good choice for part of your efforts to eat a healthier diet.

Also consider product placement; that’s an often used, successful strategy at selling as well.  Didn’t pick up enough sugary products when you were in the cereal aisle, the bread area, or at the in-store bakery? Not to worry- you can still top off your cart at the last minute in the check out line, where you still have a chance to throw in a few last minute bits of candy.

On top of that, we also have to face an abundance of availability of many of these awful products even in places that are not meant to be primary places to procure food.   Gas stations, clothing stores and even a cosmetics department in a large chain also offer a variety of  ‘treats, sweets and bars’.

Change is needed in a desperate way.  I wish I had an answer for how to do something in an immediate way, on a grand scale.  I don’t.  All I can suggest is that each of us can play a role and the more of us there are, the more likely we can make a huge difference.

Just the act of not buying the junk would be  start…think, think, think!