This morning, online I read a press release about the growth of our sustainable food system, an article about GMO foods, more news on the government’s proposed sodium reduction legislation, etc. Let’s throw into the mix numerous articles about our snacking behavior. What is with the way we eat?
Let me begin with a direct quote from the president of NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) whose organization sponsored a sustainable food event in Los Angeles at the end of May:
“Americans are realizing that if we change the way we eat, we can change the way the food system works.”
Valid point! As a result, more consumers have joined the debate about GMO foods and labeling. More companies and restaurant operators are working hard to reduce the amount of sodium in their products. The USDA reported there were 8,144 farmers markets in the U.S. in 2013 compared to 1,755 in 1994 when they first began publishing the National Directory of Farmers Markets. The top three trends according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Culinary Forecast were locally source meats/seafood, locally grown produce and environmental sustainability, respectively.
American Eating Behavior Facts:
· 50% of all our eating occasions at home and away-from-home are considered snacks (source: Hartman Group).
· 50 million consumers who snack between meals indicated salty snacks are their favorite snacks and 90 percent of the households reported eating salty snacks in the last thirty days (source: Lab42 survey).
· New findings from Pulse at the Pump: Road Trip (source: Outcast) revealed that 61% of this summer’s road trippers indicated they will temporarily set aside healthy eating for QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants).
Due to some of my travel experiences and observations, I have witnessed that most cultures are defined to a large degree by the food they eat. Some busy Americans are beginning to slow down, thus are trying to define the way they eat. However, it appears based on our current lifestyles that we are evolving into a “grab & go” culture.
Have you defined the way you eat?