The food and drink industry is, unsurprisingly, one of the biggest industries on the planet, and it's growing in size every year. Correspondingly, our waistlines are growing - at an alarming rate. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980. In 2011, over 40 million children under the age of 5 were classed as overweight. The massive rise of obesity has been attributed to an overall decrease in physical activity and the popularity of fast food and junk food. Yet many people who actively try to make healthy choices often find themselves gaining weight; according to nutritionists, consumers have to be extremely cautious. In recent years, many have become conscious of certain tricks the food industry uses to conceal unhealthy ingredients.
The growing size of the food industry has resulted in an ever-increasing demand for animal products, which has led concerns about how livestock is treated, and how meat products are sourced and distributed. Such concerns have led to growing numbers of people adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. According to Harris Interactive, the number of young vegetarians in the United States has risen by 70% in the last decade.
Controversy surrounding the food industry is vast and complicated and often comes under scrutiny. Food is an essential part of our existence, so it is important to take great care of your diet, to make sure that it is both healthy and ethical. Take a look at our list below to find out the 5 Biggest Lies the Food Industry is Feeding You; have you fallen victim to any of them?
5 Free Range
Organisations such as PETA have been campaigning for years to turn people away from what they refer to as "The Free-Range Lie". Many people are concerned about the treatment of animals within the food industry, a point which is often illustrated by horrific images of the cramped, factory-like conditions in which chickens are habitually housed.
4 Serving Sizes
In an effort to make food more attractive to customers who are watching their waistlines, many food suppliers have started to give out misleading information about the calorie and fat content of their products. According to the American Heart Association, US adults consume an average of 300 more calories a day than they did in 1985. This is largely due to portion distortion, and the fact that more people are eating out than ever before. Often, restaurants and fast food joints do not offer nutritional information, and if they do, it is often manipulated down to smaller numbers.
3 "Real" ingredients
In today's increasingly health-concerned society, foods that display buzzwords such as "real" and "natural" ingredients are often popular with consumers... as well as being three times the price. However, often these labels are completely misleading, and the products are not necessarily healthy in the slightest.
2 Mystery Meat
In 2013, a massive scandal broke out across Europe which has become widely known as the Meat Adulteration Scandal. It began when several supermarket-brand meat products, such as frozen burger patties, were found to contain horse meat instead of beef. While horse meat is okay to eat and is popular in many countries, in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the horse is treated as a food source and the eating of horse meat itself is viewed as taboo. The scandal caused many to worry about the meat industry and how heavily processed the meat on supermarket shelves is, along with growing concerns of animal cruelty within the industry.
5-a-day is one of the most recognisable phrases in the world. 5-a-day has long been the mantra of people who like to eat healthily- but what many people don't know is that 5-a-day is just a slogan, nothing more. 5-a-day derives from the “National five-a-day for better health” plan, created in California in 1991 by the National Cancer Institute and the Produce for Better Health Foundation. The plan was started to encourage people to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day in order to prevent cancer. However, after 30 years of research, no protective effects could be proven.
The 5-a-day slogan caught on, however, and many people now follow it as a diet plan. The fact remains that 5-a-day is not based on any scientific fact- it is not the defined number of fruits and vegetables you should eat to stay healthy. While fruits and vegetables are very good for you, it is wrong to believe that 5-a-day is nutritional advice; its a marketing slogan. In fact, most food experts agree that 5-a-day is simply not enough, and that human beings should try their best to eat as many fruits as vegetables as possible, and that the "daily cap" of 5 portions is misleading. But in a world where obesity is become a global epidemic, getting even one portion a day is becoming a challenge.
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