Food prices may be on the rise, but the quality of the food many Americans eat today is lower than it was in the past. Unfortunately, consumer watchdog groups arenâ€™t necessarily persuading us otherwise.
Rip-offs at the grocery store
Itâ€™s bad enough that you have to wait in line behind six people counting coupons ahead of you, because the store canâ€™t design a better system for to save customers money on overpriced food items. To add insult to injury, many stores actually put packaged goods on their shelves for which the customer pays more for air than anything edible.
The quantity of the food you buy is its true value, and a bag of mostly air is not a fair quantity of food by any stretch of the imagination. Yet major grocery stores behave as if this is a great deal for the consumer. Why would they sell such products, if they did not believe that?
How fast-food restaurants play the game
Like some grocery stores, many fast food restaurants generate big profits by taking advantage of their customers. It used to be nice when consumers could super-size their order for a dollar extra and moderate their own eating habits as they saw fit.
And in fairness, some fast-food restaurants have shrunk their portion sizes in response to criticism from food experts who worried about the caloric intake of customers. But the result has often been that customers spend the same amount of money, or more, for smaller portions.
This is a little like paying for a bag that contains mostly air in the grocery store. But many consumers do not seem to have noticed that they got the short end of the stick again.
Where critics should have focused their attention was not on the portion sizes, or the quantity of food people get for their money, but the nutritional content of the food. When you sell people nutritionally deficient food products, the obesity that follows is due to the body starving for nutrients, and urging the person to eat more.
When your body gets the nutrients it so desperately needs, the body stops craving extra food, and the need to eat all the time becomes self-regulated.
When bad nutritional advice becomes the norm
Most food experts counsel us that trans fats, for example, are bad for our health. To fight against the prevalence of trans fats, many restaurants and food companies have resorted to using what they call healthy, poly-unsaturated vegetable oils in their products.
When soybean oil, corn oil, and other vegetable-based poly-unsaturated oils are used in foods and cooking, they are seemingly safe. So companies say the foods they are selling consumers are safe, because the oils they use are â€œall natural.â€
What these companies fail to mention is that the moment you heat these unstable vegetable-based poly-unsaturated oils, they convert into the very trans fats the health experts warn us against sticking in our bodies. You can read more about this at Authority Nutrition.
To make matters worse, the FDA and many other health organizations have become basically useless about protecting consumers from this and many other dangerous health practices. Though some fast-food chains have introduced salads and report nutritional content of their offerings, the trend of consumers spending more for smaller portions continues.
Some fast-food options are just as nutritionally deficient as theyâ€™ve always been. Unlike the great discounts people can find for tablets and other quality electronic devices, people are spending much of their paycheck on food thatâ€™s of questionable value.Itâ€™s up to us to demand more nutrient-dense food for our money, because we demand not just a bigger bang for our bucks, but the proper nutrition to maintain good health.