As Marion Nestle, food educator, nutritionist and author, reminds us in her wonderful books, we live in an environment where businesses and marketers are focused on having us eat more of their high profit foods. Let’s not forget, all along the food chain, food business, like other businesses, is motivated by the desire for profits… not our health and well-being.
As if it weren’t obvious by our almost universal uncertainty about what’s right and what’s wrong to eat (should we give up bread? dairy? soy? etc.), the fact is that nutrition science is complicated. As Nestle has put it, this complication means that the nutrition and food data, evidence, studies and science is, like much in our lives, subject to interpretation.
Matters subject to interpretation are also subject to vested interests. The fact that it’s complicated also keeps us eating consumers confused, which is good for “the food, restaurant, fast-food, diet, health club, drug and health care industries among many others” but not so good for us individually.
As we often repeat, paying attention provides an alternative to the constant torrent of food messages being sent to us to get us to eat more and buy more. In a nutshell, we learn to look past the messages to what is important for our health and enjoyment — we learn not to look, and listen, at what the food industry presents as the basis for our eating decisions.
The more we learn about why the food we are being sold is being sold to us (and where it may have been, what it might do to us, and so on) the more we can decide whether or not to eat it. And, the more we become informed, speak up, and share with our family and friends, the better the chances we can effect change and create our future healthy happy food chain.