What is good and bad for your health food-wise is a never ending topic of discussion in the media.
Even today, Mars will be putting a ‘health warning’ on some of its pasta products to keep consumption limited due to the high sugar and salt content.
While Mars is taking a responsible step it’s a sad day that we are so reliant on ready-made food in our fast paced lives, that many people probably wouldn’t know how to make a basic tomato sauce from scratch.
Consumers are targeted with suggestions of what to eat and what not to eat, and bombarded with contradicting health warnings surrounding fat (the good and bad type), salt, sugar and most recently the notorious ‘phthalates’.
With a boom in cook books and programmes such as Masterchef and Great British Bake Off, food itself has rocketed in recent years.
A dish is but a click away from worldwide recognition with the help of social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter and we are constantly exposed to shared images of food – the bigger, the better.
Overloaded cakes, crowded in sugar and topped with whole chocolate bars, salt-laden triple decker burgers complete with onion rings, bacon, BBQ sticky sauce and melting cheese are served at the fraction of a price of a superfood salad at many chain restaurants and gain no-end of likes when posted on social media.
But despite the fact that we as consumers celebrate, share and lust over these ‘food-porn’ creations, we are also actively engaged in seeking the best options to maintain health and wellbeing.
There is a war on everything from fat, salt and sugar to artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and most recently a chemical we can hardly pronounce found in processed, fast-food called ‘phthalates’.
Coffee shops have recently been exposed over hidden sugar in popular drinks such as fruit coolers and chai lattes, with some drinks containing up to 99g.
For every debate for eating an ingredient, there seems to be a debate against eating it. The real issue is what message is this continuous stream of contradicting and conflicting information giving to consumers and most importantly to children? Are we really being helped to make better choices with regards to our health and wellbeing? Or are we just being confused by everything and making matters worse?
As Guns N Roses (kind of) said:
Welcome to the food jungle
It gets worse here everyday
If you got hunger for what you see
You’ll take it eventually
The infamous single was taken quite appropriately from their album ‘Appetite for destruction’.