Thursday, May 27, 2010


Health food industry is a multi billion dollar globally established business that exploits the desire of human beings to look and feel healthy and happy by consuming their specially designed food products. It is a paradox that more a consumer becomes aware of health and nutrition larger will be business for the food industry that churns out so called health foods! Food industry does not realize that all foods manufactured by them should be healthy and special foods are needed only for those suffering from one or the other ailments in life. To what extent the industry will go to exploit the health sentiments for garnering an extra buck is illustrated by a recent illuminating report.

"Hardly a week goes by without an announcement telling consumers to eat a certain food to avoid cancer or heart disease, or live longer. Even statistics from the US, the home of fast-food, show a major decrease in soft drink and fast food sales. The food industry is a business like any other, and the more nutrients, vitamins and minerals forced into an everyday product, the better its chances of being on every office desk come the end of the week. Here we list some of the known, unknown and bizarre products to consider adding to food today to attract the more health-conscious buyer".

Some of the ingredients like Seaweed, Wheat grass, Spirulina, Hemp, Coconut water, Cocoa, Blueberries, Quinoa, etc are known to have some or the other health supporting properties, consumed for long by many localized populations in some parts of the world. But many of them have not been studied in depth for use as an ingredient in different food recipes and under different processing conditions. The so called GRAS list of additives evolved by FDA of the US for human consumption is frequently used by the industry while quoting isolated literature information to support health claims for the final compounded final product. It is ironical that chemical additives used in foods need to be safety tested before clearing for food use, but the substances covered under GRAS are freely used by the industry with no restriction whatsoever. Ultimately there is no substitute to consumer vigilance and opting for foods with balanced nutritive content and minimum processing aids.


No comments: