How Marketing Created Superfoods
What’s so special about superfoods, anyway? Even as the term fades slightly from marketing copy, we all still pay attention to specific foods that we’ve heard are better for us than the rest. Red wine. Goji berries. Kale.
In truth, what sets these foods apart has more to do with marketing dollars than their effects on our health. As Marion Nestle explains today at the Atlantic, food industry marketing is responsible for the whole concept of one healthy food being better, in some magical intrinsic way, than others.
She traces the idea back to scientific research, promoted by the companies or growers’ associations that benefit from sales of a given food. “Wild” Maine blueberries have a higher antioxidant content than the highbush varieties that are more common in supermarkets, so the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission seized on that fact and promoted it with, Nestle reports, fully half of their marketing dollars from 1997 to 2000. In truth, antioxidants aren’t so special, and they’re found in plenty of fruits.
And I suspect that years ago the same industry got on board with low fat and marketed it until we all thought it was a healthy thing. "Marketing" is a pretty important influencer on how we choose what we eat, right down to shelf position and font size.
|How Marketing Created Superfoods