We’ve all figured out long ago that we are what we eat.
However, now more than ever, it seems like the challenge is to confirm exactly what it is we’re eating.
In theory, we’re supposed to have a bit of help with that task. In the USA, for example, we’d turn to the Food & Drug Administration. They do what they can, but compared to the marketing mavens at Big Food, their message is quite often dizzied by all the spin.
Incidentally, one of the ingredients that got top billing on a label in this report is absolutely the worst stuff you can put into your body: high fructose corn syrup.
The FDA’s authority over food labeling terms generally limits itself to nouns. It’s referring to categories.
All marketers know the saying to sell the sizzle, not the steak. In other words, it’s the adjectives that appeal to a consumer’s emotions and biases.
They’re splashed on the packaging outside the nutrition labels. Make certain you know what they’re really saying:
Many do an effective job of couching what they’re not in terms of what a customer is actually seeking.
Thus, you’ve got to be aware of what you’re reading as opposed to what you think you’re reading.
Allow Dr Mike to elaborate:
One of the most misunderstood term sets is non-GMO vis-a-vis GMO.
First of all, what is a genetically modified organism, really?
Take a carrot, for example.
They actually come in a multitude of colors. However, orange became the default option when the Dutch cultivated them to celebrate their fearless leader, William of Orange, back in the late 1600s, and its popularity stuck. They did it by selective breeding, aka genetic modification.
Yes, GMO’s been around that long and longer. Much longer.
If you’re dug in against the concept, though, and want to stay non-GMO, then stick to heirloom vegetables and heritage meat. Many of those will taste better, although you often pay more for the privilege.
Then there’s organic.
Basically, this is a term reserved for foods that are minimally if ever exposed to pesticides and is free of antibiotics or hormones.
The key here is there are standards for organic food. As Dr Mike explained, terms such as natural and healthy are nice to know, but they don’t have an objective meaning.
We truly are what we eat.
That makes it even more important for us to know what we’re eating.