Just like everything else that we did, eating also requires brain function to distinguish what we eat?
Our brain is a complex system that combines perception, emotional feelings and knowledge. As many others, I believe in the power of knowledge. What do you know about your food?
I am a food scientist and I do not know all about our food. You might thought you knew it all but no one does. I have been following few food advocates and their amazing effort to reveal what is in our food. It is a real issue where food are indeed chemical-ized and the real challenge is to distinguish and define real food.
Many of us would define modern real food as the fresh foods such as vegetable, meat and fruits from our market. These food are previously obtained directly from farmers. In the past, way before Green Revolution, foods are made for the local market. There were no issues of mass production. There were nothing called genetic modified foods. There were just natural selections to grow food that everyone perceived as real foods. The argument of natural foods now include genetically modified crops on top of synthetic chemicals.
If I did not study food technology, I am not even aware of the processing of our modern real food. Fruits are being ripen through exposure of ethylene gas and made shine through the addition of wax. Meat are being raised with growth hormones (sometimes with antibiotic too) and nitrates remaining to keep the slaughtered meat safe. Vegetables that comes with pesticides and chemicals agents. These foods found its way to our food system.
The call for organic foods is perfectly normal. We needed something that we can be more confident to consume. Our food systems have gone to a stage where the definition of foods are continuously being challenged.
How real is your food? How about processed organic foods? Is it a real foods?- An argument that I like to leave you with.
Today, I witnessed what called product loyalty, which every product manager likes to see. (Unfortunately, it wasn't my product :(
Back to the concept of brand loyalty.
Loyalty = Grabbing a product from the shelves without second doubts.
It is amazing how it happens. Most people came with a shopping list and they make sure NOTHING except the items on their shopping list DISTRACT them. Shorter words, no distraction. Gosh, two surprise- first, shopping list and second, no distraction.
People are so educated that shopping list became a useful tools. I am those who never follow my shopping list. I am always distracted by new food product around me. Just the impact of being a food technologist.
I see how people walked by the salad section- just a particular brand and grab them. No second look at the price or other products. It worked only for a particular brand and not its competitor. This brand must have been a successful one. Why? Colorful labels, says it is organic and it have been on the shelves for a long time. And that business is like automatically generating revenue by having loyal consumers.
Loyal customer- the dream of every brand manager. Seen any of this situation or are you the one?
Some people say, it is always better to make your own food. So, I am sharing how toffee is made. Enjoy~
As more and more consumers are aware of the possible adverse effect of food processing such as loss of nutrients and the addition of additives, natural food is gaining popularity.
It got all of us thinking- What is the most accurate definition for natural food?
The term natural on its own as define by Meriam Webster is being in accordance with or determined by nature.
I would then assume natural food should undergo no processing or minimal processing that does not change the nature of our food such as washing and sorting. But, is that what we have in our market place?
From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.
Source: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm214868.htmNatural fruit juice, for example, is natural because the juice is squeeze out, pasteurized and packaged without additional additives. The pasteurization enable the juice to be refrigerated without food safety concern. The question is can we accept this definition of natural? Food processing still takes place - the pasteurization that degrade some of the vitamins in the fruit juice and the need of continuous refrigeration to ensure food safety.
Another example, natural fish sources from the ocean. I am sure everyone have heard of heavy metal contamination such as mercury in the fishes. Natural fish with natural contamination from the environment- is it a natural product that we like to have in our diet?
To me, the term natural does not warrants that the food is completely free of food processing and for those who opt for non-processed food, think of a balance of the "natural food" and the level of processing needed to ensure our food is safe to be consume.
Taken from Facebook shared image
As food technologist, we do not only process our food just like a chef. We are a conscientious scientist, in that we process our foods carefully based on food science principles. We focused on the raw ingredients from the seeds itself, farming and harvesting practices. The method used to preserve the food so that it is maintained at a desired level of nutrients, prevention from biological, chemical and enzymatic degradation.
Foods are carefully formulated for the benefit of consumers in addition to quality control processes to ensure the highest quality of food and its safety for human consumption. And then, producing it and delivering it to the consumers.