FOOD CHOICES AND CONTROL
Who is contr
olling our food choices? This is a question that most people cannot honestly answer. They figure since they are doing all the shopping and eating the food that they must be in full control. But this could not be any further from the truth.
Food manufacturers are masters at control. They know exactly what our buying patterns are as well as what we buy. How do they know this? We give them this information willingly by signing up for store loyalty cards. With this information, the food manufacturers can shape what foods they sell and what foods don’t. They do elaborate testing to determine how they can sell more food. They base their demographics on our sex, age,
skin color. They use this to cater to and influence our buying decision.
WHAT INFLUENCES OUR FOOD CHOICES?
Healthy food choices does not come into play in how food manufacturers sell to us. Profits rule the day. We see this in how they market to our children. They take full advantage of this by introducing cartoon characters to kids, adding toys and games to the packaging and making the food as sweet as possible to entice the children to buy. Health means nothing to the food manufacturers unless it makes a profit. How else can you explain why there is so much sugar, salt, chemicals and preservatives in our food?
Supermarkets themselves, have their own plan to influence our buying decisions. The way they align their stores funnel shoppers through a maze that pushes the unhealthy food first. Loss leaders line the front of stores to lure customers in with the intent of losing a few dollars on the front end while making a killing on the back end through customers making instant gratification decisions based purely on sensory observations.
Stores layout their merchandise in a way that makes it difficult to get to the items consumers buy all the time such as dairy, meat, fish and poultry and fruits and vegetables. Stores count on you purchasing snacks, packaged goods and frozen prepared foods before you you hit the back of the store to find the healthier food.
WHO CONTROLS OUR FOOD AT HOME?
We may not think our food decisions at home are controlled but that is very naive. Food manufacturers have figured out how to control how and what we eat while we are at home. We are a nation of unhealthy eaters who are stuck on mindless eating habits. We eat because we are bored, because we are angry or sad or just because we need something to keep us busy. But, unbeknownst to most people, our food has been tainted. Food manufacturers have laced our food with chemicals that get us hooked so that we become addicted. Food addiction is a very real threat. It also doesn’t help that food is available to us 24/7 anywhere we want within a few miles. This feeds our food addictions and healthy food choices go out the door. We have been conditioned to eat unhealthy food through the clever use of advertisements on television, radio, the internet and print such as newspapers and magazines. It goes straight to our subconscious until the time comes when we get food cravings and then we remember these commercials and act accordingly.
HOW PACKAGING CHANGES OUR FOOD CHOICES
Food manufacturers use packaging to their advantage. They know consumers are looking to make good buying decisions regarding what they eat so they rely on packaging sleight-of-hand to trick consumers into buying foods the manufacturers want us to purchase. They do this by using vertical packaging instead of horizontal packaging. This means the taller a package the more people will buy because consumers equate taller with more content as opposed to wider being less content. How a package looks also influences how we eat. The picture on the front cover can influence children when their is a cartoon character or even the amount of the food itself on the cover. Studies have shown that the better looking and more enticing the cover, the more consumers will buy it.
Descriptive language also influences our food choices. Using fancy words to describe the food has made sales jump by almost 27 percent in stores. Researchers has also found that using words such as low-fat, low-carb, 100% all natural and organic help consumers buy more of that given food even if the terms are not proven to be healthy.
When consumers were given a variety of choices to make when eating, most consumers actually ate more. The science of selling can play mind tricks on our decision making process and we fail to make the healthy choice.
HOW TO TAKEBACK CONTROL OF OUR FOOD CHOICES
In order to take back control we need to alter our buying habits and make wise food choices. No more mindless eating or impulse buying. Small changes over time are what is needed to become a healthier person.
Here are some ways we can take back control of our food choices
- Tune out the commercials. Hyped products don’t improve your health or your wallet.
- Eat fresh foods and stay away from prepackaged or frozen food.
- Make local food markets your place to go for fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid farmed fish and most fish from third world countries.
- Stick with grass-fed beef and chicken as well as fresh fish.
Our nation has become a nation of unhealthy people suffering from cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes and at the present rate, our children will be the unhealthiest in history. Healthy food choices have been taken away from us by the food manufacturers and if we don’t take it back, we will continue to suffer.
To learn how to make better food choices click on the picture below to get all the answers.