When we think of futuristic grocery shopping, we think about the ability to order online, pay and pick up for your groceries, or sometimes home delivery through amazing companies such as The Organic Box or Spud. For many of us, that future is already here. My imagination jumped a step further ahead the last couple of weeks with the news that the sugar industry as a whole has lied to the public for the last 5 decades. What will groceries even look like?
You can read about the lies here, here, and here if you'd like to know more about them. What makes me the most angry is how much misinformation was scattered about and regarded as factual. We are generations into rising obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and so on.
"In short, rather than do definitive research to learn the truth about its product, good or bad, the association stuck to a PR scheme designed to "establish with the broadest possible audience—virtually everyone is a consumer—the safety of sugar as a food." One of its first acts was to establish a Food & Nutrition Advisory Council consisting of a half-dozen physicians and two dentists willing to defend sugar's place in a healthy diet, and set aside roughly $60,000 per year (more than $220,000 today) to cover its cost." - (copied and pasted from: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign)
Surely our shopping and eating habits will change. I was in high school in the early 1990's when the shift moved to low or non-fat foods. How does food taste good when all the fat is removed? Add sugar. Our entire snack and cooking industry has evolved to include sugar in just about every form. It's not just cakes, cookies, icing, and boxed cereals to point the finger at either. Salad dressings, ketchup, canned tomato soup, canned fruit, even our favourite bread for toasting and sandwiches comes with added sugar.
Over the years I've morphed almost all my recipes to remove added sugar when possible- made the switch to tomato paste, for example, instead of tomato soup. Ingredients list: tomatoes. It's definitely a learning curve, and not an easy one for our taste buds. My friend Kareema wrote about sugar addiction here on her guest blog post. Everyone in our family noticed the change in flavour and it took some time to get used to. But how will things change with the way food is produced, stored, and sold in the future?
Is the grocery store of the future a place where everything is produced locally and made fresh that very day? Would a return to a "farm to table" mentality take over so we wouldn't have the same need for shelf life? Who can say? But one thing I do know is that we as a species cannot continue to knowingly fill our pantries and tummies with food that contains sugar, something we are just now starting to learn the extent of the damage it can do. It will take a public shift of perception to force companies to take a look at the items added to our food supply, but in the long run I think there will be no other option. As long as evidence continues to surface that the food we eat is killing us slowly, there will have to be a change in the mass production and marketing of food.
Will processed groceries ever be truly healthy? How will we know for sure? If a lie of this magnitude can be perpetuated for half a century, what untruths do we believe today?
And that's my 2 cents for today. I hope you're enjoying your weekend, friends.