Health Food Products: Who Is It Really Being Created For?

Submitted by Miss Danielle on Wed, 05/18/2005 - 9:39am.

I can come to terms with the fact that "healthier foods" cost more than mainstream eating. I am willing to pay more for a product I know I can digest and will enjoy. I think it's unfair, but what isn't in life.

What I can't stomach (ha ha) is when I stroll down the Health Food section of grocery stores and find most of the products still contain many allergens for people who actually need to eat these types of foods: food colouring agents, chemical stabilizers, yeast or glutens, sugar cane...SOMETHING that I and many others can't have.

Or the best ones are the products that start out healthy, and then have 6 more added ingredients that really aren't good for anyone. The only difference between this product and one that is a few aisles over is the hike in price, because "healthy means expensive". So many marketing agents have jumped on the health-wagon that sometimes I find it even harder to find foods I can tolerate in the so-called healthy section than I would in the normal aisles of grocery stores.

Why do they do it? They are cashing in on health food as a fad. They've forgotten or dismissed the fact that people actually need products. They add bad ingredients x, y and z because it will make it taste better so more people will want to buy it (missing the initial point entirely).

And it makes me angry, because 'regular' people have the rest of the grocery store to shop in. I have the produce section, the meat section, and the health food section.

Even some health food stores fall into this trap. Luckily, my local health food store has started carrying more and more foods for people with severe intolerances like me. Over the years I have seen more truly digestive-friendly products being added. I just wish there were more things available for people who need them.

What about products made with amaranth, one the of the most digestible flours out there? Or nut flours? Spelt is not everyone's friend. Or ones without sugar cane?

For many of us, health food is not a fad. It's not something we simply choose to eat. It's something we have to eat. I suppose manufacturers can't see this truth because the dollar signs are impairing their vision.

Dan The Avenger


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