The meal as we know it is disappearing. A recent report from Packaged Facts – Snack Foods in the US (4th Edition) – shows an ever-growing consumer shift to snacking as a result of “frenzied lifestyles”.To further delve into the misleading packaged food information, this article on Fooducate.com covers a study on how more dieters than non-dieters can be misled when choosing a product. Here are two of the findings from this study that will be in the latest edition of The Journal of Consumer Research:
The packaged snack market grew from $56 Billion in 2006 to $64 Billion in 2010 and is expected to rise to $77 Billion by 2015.
That’s about 12% of our total food spend at the supermarket!
The saddest part:
“The children of today, comfortable with replacing entire meals with snacks, will pass these lifestyle traits on to their children, ensuring that snacking will remain a big part of American life.”
And of course, marketers and brands are all over this. According to research director David Sprinkle:
“As consumers seek ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle, snack foods that are marketed as better for you will remain popular. Companies are realizing that they must highlight attributes such as vitamins, minerals, fiber content and lower sodium to both educate consumers and take advantage of demand for such products.
What this means for us: more confusing health claims, promises of simple solutions, and less real food. Maybe we should blame our frenzied lifestyles and not the food companies. But at the end of the day, even if we do want to eat healthful real meals, our modern way of living does not make it easy.
Obviously, buying organic is the surefire way to avoid pesticides. But 99.9% of us won’t pay the high price for an all organic diet.Don’t stop buying fresh produce just because of the fear of pesticides. Make sure you wash fruits and vegetables as best you can, buy in season to lower costs, and where you can splurge on organic.
“Though buying organic is always the best choice, we know that sometimes people do not have access to that produce or cannot afford it,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Our guide helps consumers concerned about pesticides to make better choices among conventional produce, and lets them know which fruits and vegetables they may want to buy organic.”
If you’re going conventional, try to stick with the “clean fifteen” listed on the picture below; purchase organic for the “dirty dozen” as much as possible to steer clear of any pesticides. If you buy conventional apples thinking you can just wash them really well, remember that the pesticides are found inside the fruit too.