You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Healthy Living: Consumers misled? Naturally!
By Gene Hall
In pouring over some public opinion and consumer research recently, I concluded that food-buying Americans really love “natural” things. Organic? Sure, but not overpowering. Conventional? You have to explain what that means.
The clear preference for natural is a bit unnerving. That’s because in the world of marketing and food labels, natural means -- not much. Several government bodies have tried to develop a standard for it and punted. All such efforts ended in failure. Now organic is different. There are standards and a certification program. Most people who want a so-called natural diet can accomplish that by buying organic, though they should be prepared to spend more.
High fructose corn syrup can be considered natural, and some folks run screaming from the room when they hear “HFCS” so much as whispered. The truth is, corn sugar, cane sugar, and beet sugar are all pretty much the same chemically, though all would fit most definitions of natural. It is the artificial sweeteners that are born in the lab.
Are you healthier by scarfing down a natural Chipotle burrito? In terms of calories, fat, and carbs, it’s quite similar to a McDonald’s quarter pounder. But Chipotle is only too pleased for you to believe otherwise on the basis of a clever Internet cartoon.
The truth is, you can be healthy eating an organic or a lower cost conventionally grown diet -- if you choose lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meat, limit sugar intake, take it easy on the carbs, and get plenty of exercise.
The rest is political and marketing hype. Naturally. What isn’t these days?
Gene Hall is the public relations director of the Texas Farm Bureau.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Judo fighters shine in Corpus tournament (July 29, 2015)
TAMU-Corpus Christi now has sand volleyball team (July 29, 2015)
Tiger football tickets (July 29, 2015)
UIL football championships move to Houston this fall (July 29, 2015)
Falls City 7-on-7 competes at state (July 22, 2015)
Falls City cheerleaders to host golf tourney (July 22, 2015)
Padalecki pole vaulting is tradition (July 22, 2015)
Tigers plan football camp (July 22, 2015)
Floresville team finishes second (July 8, 2015)
LV volleyball tryouts set (July 8, 2015)
Softball tourney to benefit cancer research July 18 (July 8, 2015)
Lady Bears receive all-district nod (July 1, 2015)
Little League Fall ball (July 1, 2015)