Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fancy Packaging Equals Unhealthy Food

There is a reason why food manufacturers spend millions of dollars on fancy packaging, and it's not only to get you to choose their brand over a competitors.

There is no question that the competition is fierce in the world of processed foods, and with a target market consisting of mainly on-the-go with no time to spare shoppers looking for the best deal possible (money wise), a manufacturer has no choice but to grab your attention quickly and keep it. But with more and more attention being paid to nutrition labeling despite consumers lacking the proper education and knowledge regarding healthy foods and diets, manufacturers have started using the fancy packaging to their advantage once again.

The majority of shoppers know only the bare minimum when it comes to nutrition, and this lack of knowledge is being used against them. They know only what they've heard on the news, in the media, etc.; avoid foods high in sugar calories fat sodium etc., and look for foods that contain whole grains vitamins minerals omega-3...

Food manufacturers have become wise to this and in response started covering their packaging with "key phrases" for no other purpose than to draw the consumer's attention away from the facts seeing only what they want you to see. They use words like "reduced" sugar / fat / calories or "compared to other leading brands" as if the other leading brands were any better, or they say "fortified with" or "contains your daily requirement of" vitamins and minerals and even antioxidants, or they use the words "natural" or "whole grains", or "healthy heart", and most recently they've stooped to an all time low with "helps support a healthy immune system during flu season"... seriously now?

You're telling me that a product like fruit loops or lucky charms is going to keep my immune system strong? I'm not nearly that stupid and I hope neither are you, but this is what they do. They use a few of these key phrases like "contains 3 grams of fiber", and then give you a few sentences of why fiber is so important to a healthy diet (which it is) and that's all it takes... hook line and sinker.

The truth is nutrient rich foods are the best thing for you, but you will never get this with processed foods. You must make fresh organic whole foods the foundation of your healthy diet. The ONLY reason processed foods contain any nutrients is because the manufacturers put them back in at the end of processing (hence "fortified with"), and the only reason they do that is because the more a food is processed the more nutrients are lost. Processing strips most all color flavor and nutrients from any natural ingredient, so manufacturers are forced to add sweeteners dyes fillers and additives (all in the form of harmful chemicals) as well as fortify them with synthetic nutrients to bring this processed mess up to the FDA's minimum standard.

So don't be fooled by fancy packaging... if Mother Nature is concerned then why should you be?

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