A recent Lancet study (www.thelancet.com) has shown that globally, more people are overweight or obese than hungry, leading one Australian fresh produce marketer to question, can fresh produce potentially help to turn this trend around?
According to Director of Fresh Partners Marketing, Mike Evans, many of us have lost connection to good food; he says we have almost forgotten how to eat to be healthy.
“Consumers are trapped in an ’eat-what-is-available’ reality, not the kind of reality we see in celebrity chef food shows,” said Mr Evans.
“We want our food to taste better and to be healthy, but our diets often comprise packaged food, or convenient meals that lack flavour, variety and aren’t nutrient dense.”
Mike Evans doesn’t point the finger at individuals as such, but rather states that dietary trends reflect cultural habits that are driven by unconscious patterns developed over time.
“Poor quality eating is an issue that has become part of our economy and our society,” said Mr Evans.
“I know that like many people, I’ve slipped into unconscious eating and often forget what truly tastes good and is better for me. At times, I am victim to the misconception that it’s hard to eat well, and healthier food is not going to taste great.
“As a fresh-food marketer, premium fruit and vegetables are high on my radar. So, this trend towards ‘losing touch’ bothers me. Not only are many of us missing out on some really quite simple and healthy eating excitement, the full potential of fresh produce industries across the globe is often unrealised.”
Mr Evans says this loss of connection to ‘good’ eating could be described as a dependence.
“In recent decades, we have come to rely on faster, cheaper foods to satisfy our hunger. And, our economies have gravitated towards supplying this type of food.
“This way of eating has left many people malnourished, so much so that we try to eat more of the wrong foods to somehow attain more energy.”
However, he believes that we can turn this trend around. At the shopping level, fresh food producers, retailers and the supply chain can help consumers change their habits and entice them with more innovative produce offerings. At the heart of this is getting people to want to eat more fresh produce.
“The true farmers’ market is a good benchmark for taste and service, offering a variety of beautiful tastes and a direct link to the people who grow the produce.
“We need a variety of flavoursome, healthy food to be made available, and to support these foods with enticing messages and relevant education. Ultimately we need to translate the passion of quality, fresh produce from the farm to the shelf.”
An extended version of this article is available at Mike Evans page on LinkedIn
or by contacting Julie Lloyd on: 0415 799 890.
Tuesday 10 May, 2016