Monday, July 19, 2010

Good Food, Bad Food

Many people I meet put food into one of two categories: good or bad. Like a small child who has to go to timeout, they wag their finger and get this look of disgust on their face while watching you pick up yet another piece of soft, fresh cinnamon swirl bread. Their eyes stare with intense focus and, without even a word uttered, you can sense just how disturbed they are. ''

As I walked through the large exhibit hall at the Institute of Food Technologists annual conference in Chicago this past weekend, it dawned on me just how much food scientists, companies, researchers and processors are doing to provide us with a diverse, tasty food supply that meets our nutrition and health needs. The exhibit hall was packed with companies that produce plant sterols (to lower cholesterol), unique types of fiber, amino acids, vegetarian sources of protein, omega 3s, gluten free flours, sugar substitutes and a variety of other functional ingredients to enhance health. These people can make a delicious high fiber pizza that packs a nutrition punch, caffeinated chewing gum for our country's military to "stay alive if you stay alert", and great tasting electrolyte replacement beverages. Indeed, we are very lucky consumers to have so many options to meet a variety of health needs and personal tastes.

And, while the "good food, bad food" mentality will persevere, I'll leave you with this: you can choose just about any food you want in American and for the most part, find it quickly and easily. Sure, we may be a fast food nation and one with a ton of convenience foods but, this should make choosing wise choices that much easier.

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