Valentine's Day is coming soon, in about 3 days. Perhaps, it is the most important day after the actual days of being together, at least for the girls. Girls are sentimental, we like to remember things worth remembering. This Valentine, the pressure of getting the-other-half are stronger from my coworkers and friends. It is just another stage of my life.
The title of this blog is a little specials. It is called the sugar date because sugar is sweet but could potentially exerts some properties that bring disadvantages to us. Repetition of how sugar affects our bodies are not needed; we have been talking about it for so long.
Sugar date is exciting date for couples. Hotels, restaurants and cafes are fully booked for dinners. It is another day to celebrate for being together. It is also a time to expect a romantic contribution from each other's partner. Food became a little sweeter with the celebration.
Some food ideas for Valentine's Day
Love has no price and so does the sincerity that is place with it. Remember, sugary date doesn't need to come with sugar; a sugar-free one can also melt your heart just like chocolate does.
Food get digested but good memory stays.
Hereby, wishing every couple Happy Valentine's Day.
Look, there is a food there!
Can you interpret what your brain tells you?
A bruised apple- probably not getting that!
Too ripe banana - would be nice for my smoothie but emm... wouldn't last long for me?
A ripe strawberries - Look at the antioxidant but hey, it is not going to last.
A shrunk vegetable- probably been sitting on the shelf too long.
A sprouted potato - probably missed that irradiation process or been stored too long.
A big pumpkin- it is cheap $0.19/lb.... Too huge, but it would be good for pumpkin carving.
A bright plate of fruit and vegetable salad- indicates healthy food
A pack of freshly cut fruits and vegetables- save my time to combine them but the cost $$$
Canned fruits - too much sugars and what grade were they?
Canned corn- my favorite for pancake and soups.
The word 'organic' - this is organically grown, no chemicals food but it is probably twice as expensive as the non-organic one
These are a few that came to my thought as I am looking through the shelves. What other fruits and vegetable thought you have?
With technological advances, perfectly planned logistics and high purchasing power, there shouldn’t be a huge issue to get what we want on our dining table.
Indeed, as a person, we are influenced by intrinsic influence such as desire, perception and nostalgic feelings combined together with extrinsic factors such as the ambience, friends, direct and indirect marketing. Logistics management is always hidden behind the scene, delivering food to our fingertips without being noticed.
Consumer rights have gone beyond, surpassing what we have in place. As consumers, we have rights to choose restaurants or café. If we can’t get what we want, then of course, we can get it elsewhere. There is no issue of not having what we want. Perhaps, that also meant there was no need for a good review to investigate how our food reaches our table.
Writing this series of blog articles also brings me to question whether or not having a higher purchasing power worsen our food distribution systems? When a consumer has the power to choose between café and restaurant without a sense of loyalty, are we missing out in terms of having a proper food management that affects food availability globally? We speak of inappropriate food distribution especially among the developing countries such as Africa. African children suffer from hunger and we suffer from over-caloric foods and food wastage.
We are spoilt-consumers –spoilt with food choices. If we don’t like what we see, we turn to another place. It might make sense in the short run but eventually as the time passed by, we will have a lot of food wastage. Café and restaurant depends on the average food consumption to ensure food availability. Some food needs to be eaten fresh and some may be stored. Food products are made for consumers to purchase. If it doesn’t get purchased, it would sit in the store until it gets to the consumers.
The point is these food products need to get to the consumer. “How?” would be a question of how these food products are manufactured marketed and delivered to the consumer. While many thought of food marketing as the main core to get to the consumer, logistic management and consumer knowledge shouldn’t be ignored. Have fun getting your dinner tonight.
It is not a miracle that we got the word “nutrients” implanted into our mind when we choose our food. Our food guide provides guidelines as in how to get sufficient nutrients for the day. The very basic, eat your green and colouredvegetables because they provide to us vitamins and minerals that we need. Take meat for protein and fat. Lean meat is better to reduce the amount of fat in our diet. Take carbohydrates based grains as a source ofcarbohydrates. Cut down on sugar, salt and oil consumption.
Processing damages nutrients in our food. The leaching out of vitamins and minerals from our vegetable as we washed and stir-fry them. Heat denatures fats and proteins in a meat, for example. Artificial preservatives are damaging to our health- food coloring, flavors, thickening agents, stabilizers. In short, people are concerned about the name of ingredients that they have no knowledge of. Heating of milk, meant to reduce food safety risk are thought to reduce vitamin A and vitamin D. Preference to have fresh milk that are not pasteurized with high food safety risk to preserve the nutrients. I leave it to you to decide how food processing affects nutrients and the pros and cons of having these techniques.
How many of us trust nutritionist or dietician in terms of providing suggestion of nutrients? I put 100% trust on dieticians because I knew they are the professionals when it comes to food nutrients. However, I just wouldn’t depend 100% on nutritionist. Some of us earned the title nutritionist because we have some degree of knowledge for nutrients. I worked in a nutraceutical company before and I could see how much trust have been given to me just because my nutritionist title. How miracle? I became a nutritionist in a split second.
Really, people are influenced by what they are told to. Food guide, knowledge of nutrients and processing techniques and words of mouth are great examples of how we are influenced. I am going to introduce to you a term called “functional foods”. Functional foods are foods that are believed to provide functional or health benefits upon consumption over a long period of time. My favorite functional foods are yogurt and tea.
Yogurt is a dairy product, resulted from fermentation of lactose in the milk into lactic acid. Yogurt support good microorganism growth or termed as probiotics growth. Probiotics displaced bad bacteria in our guts and restore our gut’s microflora. It works on me, at least I believe on it.
The next is tea. Tea is a unique one. Depending on the type tea, we could get different health benefits. Green tea provides antioxidants, against free radicals that damage our body cells. Black tea calms our mind.
Wait, it is linked. What we knew of is our reference point to make a food decision. You know, I always had a hard time between green tea and black tea. Are you someone who will use a reference point for food choices? What would that be?
Perhaps one of the best feature of marketing is to deliver without having the user realizing the process. Every consumer has their own purchasing power. We are influencing each other's eating habits and choices. Food businesses have their own methods to attract and influence our food choices.
Our purchase decision depends on our desire, mood and the interaction with the surrounding. Advertising, for example, bring the product up over and over again to create and increase our desire. Even, indirect advertising of having the products in the store or fresh market triggers an emotional appeal for us to purchase. At least, that is how I see the food on my dining table, prepared by my mom. Don't think there isn't any marketing activities going on at your own dining table. It is just we never would imagine how it is channelled to us.
A nostalgic memories of the past such as the melody of the ice cream vendor always trigger my interest to get a cone of ice cream or two. After all, it is something I used to get when I was a child. Recently, I have been eating snacks. It is not so healthy but it is the snack that I used to have while I was young. How could we resist the nostalgic feeling?
Restaurant and cafe know how to retain customers and bringing new customer. I don't have to describe how we get people lining up for a sushi restaurant, for example. The customer just does even if the cafe doesn't pay for advertising. Probably, it is the food, the price, the promotion or even the location. Food blog, perhaps are the driving force towards free advertising and word of mouth strategy that fit the expectation of consumers.
New food product launches always come with product demonstration- something that attracts the consumer to try and purchase. It is a marketing activity to introduce the product to the consumer for a new product or to strengthen the product branding for an existing brand. What new product have you tried and will you continue getting it?
I like to end this by asking you to reflect on how any food products get into your dining table , where and why you purchase it. It is all linked- getting food to the consumer's dining table.
I am going to enjoy my coffee for now.