Monday, June 11, 2012

Healthy foods need a Sexy Marketing Campaign

This Pulled Pork

This Organic Strawberries

I have been pondering the Obesity epidemic and my own weight struggles for some time now and I have come to the conclusion that maybe we need to look at the whole Diet industry as a failure because you basically learn to give up foods you like and restrict calories and intake.   Diet is DIE with a T.  in other words you feel like you are gonna die if you keep on this perpetual felling of deprivation.

Do you ever wonder why all the commercials on tv are for Fast Foods and Junk Foods?  Don't they make you salivate when you see the commercials?  One of the reasons they work is because they look enticing and sexy to you and make you feel like you will feel great when you have them.  It becomes subliminal messaging and you can't get the thought of a triple bypass burger out of your head.   When I watched Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock I was both repulsed at what was being done with the food and at the same time I could almost
taste the Big Mac while watching the film.

What if we just flipped the switch and stopped all marketing of unhealthy foods which are marketed to get you addicted to the food and a lot of the companies that provide a lot of the food that goes into all that junk is also subsidized.    So here's a thought.   What if the Junk ads were taken off the air or aired with the same warnings as cigarette ads or pharmaceutical ads where they list all the side effects and diseases that you may be at risk for.   And what if ORGANIC FARMS were given subsidies and governments were giving money away to market Real Organic Foods.   What if the commercials for Spinach and Broccoli were sexy?   What if you saw a commercial for Organic freshly picked strawberries and they were prepared with fresh Organic Cream.   Would you want to run out and get that?   Why don't we have drive thru's for that?   I'd like to roll into a Fast Food drive through and order a bowl of fresh strawberries to go!   What if French Fries were made with other root vegetables and were baked and served to look like fries.  Would you order a bag of French baked Parsnips?  How about some Roasted Beet salad?  HMMM... with all the crap that is out in the world I wonder why nobody is doing this already?   What if you picked up a bunch of carrot sticks instead of fries with a veggie burger that tasted better than a real hamburger?   I went to New York years ago and a friend ordered a Veggie Burger from an upscale restaurant that we went to.  He said it tasted just like beef.  I didn't believe him so he made me try some and he was totally right.  I was really surprised.   What if we spent more time/money/energy on figuring out how to prepare Real fruits and vegetables so that they still had integrity and maximum taste and nutrition.   Why NOT?  With all the chefs that are being pumped out of cooking schools and all the cooking competition shows on TV right now how come nobody has done this yet?

Fifty years ago people would mostly eat real food prepared in their homes and to to out to a restaurant was usually for a special occasion or if you couldn't cook at home for whatever reason.

I don't see things going back to that in the future with both parents working full time jobs and having so many extra curricular activities to keep up with and Social media and other time wasting things to spend any free time on.

I think the answer is to rethink the whole food system.   Have a drive thru/ pick up healthy food restaurant on every corner that parents could pick up a cooked Organic Chicken,  and a couple of organic side vegetables and salads and even beans or legumes and some fruit desserts.     Not Swiss Chalet which still has high fat, high sodium, low nutrient foods with their dinners.... and what's in that Swiss Chalet sauce anyway?

Give people options to make it easy to do the right thing.   If you love Mac and Cheese and who doesn't?   What if it was made with cauliflower and low fat cheese and the fat content reduced and the sodium content reduced but somehow the flavour was increased using spices and vegetables like celery root or cauliflower.   if it tasted great and you had a choice between that and some greasy, soggy french fries what would you choose?

We need to start a SEXY REAL Food Campaign.    Make people salivate over a plate of brussel sprouts and fiddleheads and see what happens.

If I had a choice between Pulled Pork and a plain iceberg lettuce salad with some tastless tomatoes in it... No contest which one I would choose.    But if the salad had the sweetest organic tomatoes and it had organic chicken slices and a really flavourful salad dressing and lots of tasty nuts or other things in it then maybe I would have a hard time choosing.

Teach people how to crave healthy food.   Teach people how to prepare foods to make them taste better than any junk food you can get.  Make healthy foods as fast, cheap and available as Junk Foods.

Maybe then we will see a change.

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