Food manufacturers have the responsibility and opportunity to help people eat and drink better every day.
Today consumers are increasingly trying to take the fight of obesity & diseases into their own hands by getting healthier, by eliminating foods that contain unhealthy ingredients & by applying a back to basics mindset with a focus on simple ingredient foods. A report from Nielsen shows just this. However, according to the report, “consumers want to eat more healthy, but they need help to make it happen”.
So whose responsibility is it anyway?
When you walk into a supermarket, more often than not you will see a mammoth of high calorific, processed foods with preservatives. “Healthy” is often at the heart of our discussions about food. Still, how we think about “healthy” in the context of what to eat remains debated. When obesity and unhealthy food as a global health concern first came on the radar, the food industry sat up and took notice and responded by making money by buying into the diet industry.
With the whole panorama of first making fattening food and then making diet foods, food manufacturers have historically profited. The irony of it all: the very food companies charged with making consumers fat in the first place also made money from the obesity epidemic.
A majority of Food manufacturers also combine ingredients that do not occur in natural food, notably the sugar, processed fat and salt, in their most quickly digested, highly refined, nutrient-depleted forms. The ingredients normally accompanied by an official line – that the chemicals involved pose no risk to human health when ingested in small quantities. With food engineering innovation running at a fast pace, more complex creations with even more opaque modes of production are streaming on to the market every day. These unnatural ingredients could be doing more harm to us than anything else.
The manufacturers responsibility:
Why not make good healthy food to start with? An article by food manufacture reveals that in a survey of 9000 consumers 1/3 said that they would eat out more if healthier options were more readily available.
Helping consumers eat better is a clear gap in the market that could drive healthier bottom lines for manufacturers and retailers. A lot of food manufacturers seem to be driving a change to produce only healthy foods; however, seeing how the majority of the supermarket shelf still contain unhealthy processed foods, we still have a long way to go.
The customers responsibility:
As consumers we know very little about the food that sits on our supermarket shelves, in boxes, cartons. Majority of the prepared foods are made using state-of-the-art technology and we don’t know what this diet might be doing to us. Therefore, adopt the concept of simple is good.
Prioritize ingredients over brands. Avoid processed foods with too many ingredients. Avoid foods with preservatives, colors and anything artificial.