Eat Your Way To Health

Here is a good idea: instead of relying on doctors and their fancy prescription pads, why not put your faith in food technologists and chemicals? The recent gathering of the Institute of Food Technologists featured vendors who hope you might someday do just that. From the International Herald Tribune:

On display were aisle upon aisle of foods made to do more than provide basic nutrition. There was one kind of yogurt to lower cholesterol and another to curb appetite. Cheese cubes supposedly increased energy and strengthened the immune system.

“The whole paradigm in our society has been based on prescription pharmaceuticals,” [Paul Flowerman, president of food ingredient company P.L. Thomas] said. Now, he said, “food can also be available for enhancing health and wellness.”

The convention of food scientists includes technical talks on topics like “determination of cucumber pickle firmness using contact-ultrasound technology” and “getting closer to gelatin,” and a vast food expo that provides a glimpse of what may be available on grocery shelves in the near future.

We like simple things like farmer’s markets and community supported agriculture. Industrialized food may be everywhere, including our shelves, but it still scares us.

No doctor, thanks – just pass me the a


[International Herald Tribune]
(Photo: oskay)


Edit Your Comment

  1. I’m sorry, but does no one see the glaring inconsistency in their own examples. Yogurt to lower cholesterol and cheese to increase energy. Cheese raises cholesterol. So their method is, as with every diet book, to only list the good attributes of each item.

    Diet guys, getting older increases experience, but leads to death.

  2. frowelishnu says:

    I’m pretty sure those are aimed at two different markets.
    Although if you really need energy:
    1. eat the cheese
    2. feel guilty about cholesterol
    3. guilt makes you hungry
    4. eat cholesterol lowering yogurt
    5. profit? (at least the foodmakers)

  3. shoegazer says:

    I think the expression on the kid’s facec says it all. Scary, indeed!

  4. programzeta says:

    This is simply using what we know about the human metabolism and how it functions to create alternative ingredients. Instead of making something with a certain protein chain that your body will immediately absorb, simply changing the recipe to use a different ingredient that won’t be sucked into your gut is easy.

    Some of these foods aren’t necessarily industrially processed – there are selectively grown products out there. For example: Instead of using your standard all-purpose flour, I use a specially grown barley flour which makes the end result healthier. There are some changes in recipes needed to support the difference in ingredients, but it’s no big deal considering I can have a perfectly normal tasting chocolate pudding and lose weight.

    There are just as many additives and preservatives in almost everything in your supermarket, why not pick out the healthier ones instead of the fattening ones?

    (disclaimer: I work at home to create recipes that use alternatives to normal foods in order to lower fats, sodium, and other bad things in your standard supermarket baked-goods-mix isle.)

  5. says:

    “food can also be available for enhancing health and wellness.”

    um yeah…it’s food. it’s fuel.

  6. frowelishnu says:

    @programzeta: Any sites you could point me to in terms of ingredient replacement would be much appreciated. I love to bake bread and I’d like it to be healthier without being as fibrous as whole wheat bread.

  7. programzeta says:

    @frowelishnu: I don’t do any research aside from taste-testing to make sure that everything tastes alright and doesn’t have any unfortunate side-effects, but at the risk of sounding like an advertisment, let me point you to our company’s site: here.

    Look for the glycemic-control stuff, about midway through the page. We use that while cooking to help lower all the things that make baked goods so bad for you.

    I’m in the process of making cookie, cake, and brownie mixes that use these ingredients and a few more flavor ones to have completely healthy (and sugar-free!) snack-desserts.

    Also, a healthy smattering of whey protein never hurts. It’s nice to have pie that has just as much protein as a steak!

  8. Clobberella says:

    Give me a break. The only reason they’re doing this is because people want to feel better about scarfing down the same unhealthy processed garbage that made them fat and sick in the first place. “Food can also be available for enhancing health and wellness”? Um, yes. It can. That’s sort of the point of food, I thought…

    Out next year: Cheez Wiz! Now with Vitamin C and Soy Protein!

  9. ChaosMotor says:

    The best way to eat healthy? Avoid anything that has been processed or passed through a machine. Buy fresh, whole fruits and vegetables. Buy meats from local producers. Avoid anything in a package, box, or bag.

    Yeah, it’s simple advice, but it’s not PROFITABLE FOR ADVERTISERS, so you never get it from them.

    With any for-profit industry, you only hear about profit-making ventures, not good practices and healthy behaviors. The healthier you are, the less profitable you are.

  10. Rusted says:

    Interesting that only diary products are mentioned as examples. Food Technologists…..scary. As someone who owns an early English translation of Larousse Gastronomique, it’s art, not a dull science.

  11. FreakyStyley says:

    @infinitemonkeys: Genetics are more influential on your cholesterol level than your diet is.

  12. But it has electrolytes [!].