The trend throughout much of the West right now is a positive one. Consumers (you and me) seem like they are starting to think about what they purchase and whether products are actually healthy or beneficial to their lives. Does it always mean that it’s really healthy just because it has organic written on the wrapper?
Superstores try to offer to a whole range of the market and generally only look at selling what is most profitable but also attracting a diverse group of people, they aim to cater to the mass market and the mass market seems like its heading towards more towards organic. Although the supermarkets have some catching up to do, their products line seems to be increasing. Which means that the average consumers priorities seem to be gradually moving towards this trend, which is good.
I think its safe to say that we are far better off avoiding petrochemicals and the residue they leave on our produce but this is only half the problem. We have an epidemic of obesity and by 2030 it’s estimated that half the population just in the UK will be obese. The NHS currently is struggling financially as we all know and with the added cost of completely diet related health issues, its time we changed the way we shop.
While diabetes 1 is a birth related illness, the amount spent on diabetes 1 is around £1.8 billion each year. If we look at diabetes 2, £11.7 billion is spent each year. We can’t ignore that this illness that’s just about avoidable takes 10% of the NHS spending. When I say nearly, I’ saying Diabetes 2 is completely avoidable; it’s a life style choice. This consists of poor eating choices, managing the correct time of eating, exercising and a general respect for ones body. So essentially what we could say once again is that the cause for most diet related illnesses is down to uncontrolled habits that are counter productive to ones life and a lack of understanding of food ingredients. There are of course exceptions; where a few have so little respect and integrity for their health.
More and more young children are now facing diabetes 2. For an adult to have diabetes 2 is one thing but to allow children to face such issues, this is a huge concern. This can only mean one thing; we have seriously forgotten how to feed our young.
While I think supermarkets are making a better effort with fruit and vegetables, they are also promoting by selling these so called organic processed junk foods. Don’t forget that the only reason these supermarkets are making this effort in offering organic is because of you the consumer. The supermarkets want to make money and they see that there is a big enough market there to put these on their shelves to generate profit.
Processed sugar has been hit recently with huge criticism and the WHO (World Health Organisation) has come forward with the amounts we should be consuming. Although you cannot argue with these facts, supermarkets are not exactly doing their part. They not only have a growing range of organic fruits and vegetables which is good but they also have a growing range of “organic” processed junk foods with lots of sugar that seems to be multiplying by the month. It seems that we are making progress but going back steps due to our own misunderstanding of what healthy is, we get mixed up with the word organic and healthy. Because it’s listed as organic, we somehow think that these items mean healthy but this couldn’t be further from the truth in these cases. Healthy is whole foods, the more processed the less healthy it gets. If it’s made in a lab then need I have to comment.
Let the supermarkets know what the trends are and what isn’t by the power of your purchasing, you are the one who promotes healthy or junk foods. Every time an item is scanned and you hear the beeper, this gives the supermarket the understanding of the items performance. It’s our job as the consumer to be the educated ones, to vote with our money, this is where we have the most power.