Bauman College Community Forum

Open Forum => Nutrition News & Research => Topic started by: CSauvignon on March 09, 2007, 07:39:41 PM

Title: The Age of Nutritionism- How scientists have ruined the way we eat.
Post by: CSauvignon on March 09, 2007, 07:39:41 PM
This article by Michael Pollan is fascinating (New York Times Magazine-January 28,2007). Pollan is the Knight professor of journalism at the university of California, Berkeley. " It's a lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, while a few aisles over, the cocoa Puffs are screaming about their newfound whole-grain goodness" he states and soon he makes us realize how we went from whole food to isolating nutrients. It is an article with plenty of data on the flaws clinical trials and a hard look at how scientists have shifted us away from eating real food. His conclusion is lengthy but worth reading. (Check the New York Times Magazine website).
Title: Re: The Age of Nutritionism- How scientists have ruined the way we eat.
Post by: blujay on March 14, 2007, 09:29:29 PM
Thanks for the article, I'll read it soon.

I think that the real source of the problem is ourselves, or the common social opinion. The scientists have only compounded the problem though.

Here is what I mean. Businesses have hired scientists and Psychologists to study the common consumer to find out what they 'Feel' they 'really want' then that info has been passed on to companies to market and produce products that satisfy our deep seated wants, not what we really need. Because they understand that things we really need (like whole food, clothing, housing) is only a limited market, once the need is fullfilled. But if they could continually market to our insatiable desires (wants), they could tap into a limitless market. Consider the latest model of cars or clothes, unless we are 'up' with the current trends then we won't really 'fit in'.

The food industry is even more subtle. Again the business sponsored scientists have determined the parameters for our dietary requirements. Certain amounts of fats, carbs, proteins, vitamins have been set for a 'healthy' diet. But they haven't considered the necessity for the quality and form of these nutrients that are truly healthy with the consumers health in mind, only our endless appetites and commercial profitability.

I hate to have such a fatalistic view, but we can no longer afford to be lead by our own self-destructive nature and the vultures in business. Check out this 4hr BBC special for the origins and effects of this trend, its EXTREMELY enlightening.

So how do you propose we get off this feedlot trend and develop some healthy habits of life?
Title: Re: The Age of Nutritionism- How scientists have ruined the way we eat.
Post by: Marlina E on March 16, 2007, 11:30:25 AM
The situation is out of control.  Marketing efforts to produce profit are controlling the foods that the typical consumer eats.

I firmly believe that all packaged, canned and preprepared foods should have the front display on the packaging be the Ingredient List and Nutrition Facts label.  Period.   Because THAT is what the consumer is buying.  Instead, we are marketed to with a tactical, subtle, well-planned out marketing campaign to sell us an image of the food.

The intersting thing is that, in many cases, exactly what the food is may be a mystery without the product name telling us what the "food" is.

Check out the ingredient list for Kellogg's Smart Start® Heart Healthy cereal:
Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Oat Clusters (Sugar, Toasted Oats [Rolled Oats, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Molasses, Honey], Wheat Flakes, Crisp Rice [Rice, Sugar, Malt, Salt], Corn Syrup, Polydextrose, Honey, Cinnamon, BHT [Preservative], Artificial Vanilla Flavor), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Honey, Malt Flavoring, Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Reduced Iron, Sodium Ascorbate and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Calcium Pantothenate, Yellow No. 5, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), BHT (Preservative), Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Beta Carotene (a Source of Vitamin A), Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

Does High Fructose Corn Syrup (appearing in 2 separate ingredients!), Sugar (appearing in 4 separate ingredients!), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Yellow No.5 (one of the worst colorings of all!!! A trigger for ADHD, asthma, inflammatory conditions...hello heart disease!), artificial flavors and preservatives....sound healthy or "heart smart"??  I think not. 

Perhaps a campaign as I describe above would finally "wake up" the consumers.  They would then migrate out of the center aisles and into the periphery of the grocery store, where the whole food choices generally reside.

For now, we can just educate, educate, educate.  The first thing for any person to do is read the ingredient list.  Understand what they are truly eating....not be distracted by the fancy marketing label and image delusion.
Title: Re: The Age of Nutritionism- How scientists have ruined the way we eat.
Post by: blujay on March 16, 2007, 11:00:19 PM
Here Here! I second that motion. People need to REALLY understand what they are eating, by understanding the ingredients. But eventhough companies are required to list ingredients, they can just change the name of something and think people won't care enough to refuse to eat it. For example 'Autolyzed Yeast extract', sounds almost like a health food but if you called it what it really is, a form of MSG, then people are likely more familiar with the negative health effects. This one just gets me, 'Shortening' (soybean). This also sounds like a health food, but whats hiding behind this mask, GMO Hydrogenated Soybean oil, is not so healthy after all.

My biggest concern about this and other health problems is distrust. How can we, as natural health advocates, be the guiding light to consumers when they are discourged by so much conflicting and confusing information coming from all sides. So they quickly give up any healthy programs and just do what they want.  Just like my previous post, businesses got big from understanding that consumers are driven by their insatiable desires, not facts and evidence. Especially in this selfish society, the consumer is KING, and their desires will be the guiding force.

So my challenge is this. How do we change consumers desires? How do we win the hearts of consumers to choose the unpopular, 'expensive', 'time consuming' ways of healthy living?

 I don't think education is enough. Unfortunately, the only way that I think people really make lasting change is when they have exhausted their bodies ability to cope with their hedonistic lifestyle and they suffer some major health problems that can't be solved by Allopathic means. Only then will they make a commitment to find another way to live. And I think we are getting close to this point of health crisis on a national level. When we see more teenagers with arthritis and heart disease,then people will begin to be open to change. And Big business will be right there to fulfill those desires.....

Just another Health nut