TechRadars main content editor Roberta King says the food industry is a “business with no conscience” and “needs to come clean about how it is going to operate” if it is to remain competitive in the future.
In an interview with The Huffington Post UK, King, a nutritionist and a blogger for health magazine The Health Book, spoke about the role of food in people’s daily lives and said the world needs to get to grips with the nutritional content of food.
“When we’re eating out, we’re not eating food for the health benefits,” she said.
“We’re eating food to make ourselves feel good and to have fun.”
“It’s really about the taste.
It’s about how you feel about it.”
The Food Network star said that in the past, the way people have considered food has been influenced by a few things.
The majority of people tend to eat their meals in the supermarket and, as a result, it’s not surprising people have become more conscious of the nutritional value of food, but there is a lot more work to do.
Food is “an incredibly complex food” and it’s “extremely subjective”, King said.
People can eat more or less food, and this is partly due to the way that food is produced.
For example, some people have a preference for a certain type of fruit or veg.
Another example is how much we like the texture of certain food.
“When I’m eating out I’m not trying to make a statement,” King said, adding that “there’s nothing wrong with eating a meal out, but people are just making a choice and eating what they like.”
When it comes to the food we eat, we tend to think of it in terms of the ingredients we use.
But “food is more than that”, she said, and the way we think about food “really matters”.
“What we eat is about what we feel about that food.”
While we eat a lot of foods, we don’t really consider all the ingredients that go into it, she added.
We think about them as something that’s healthy and that’s important, she said – “but food is really more than this.”
In the case of foods like cheese, the “food” isn’t the raw product, but the flavour, and what’s “healthy” for us is what we associate with it.
However, we might also think of foods as “good” or “bad” based on what they are, King said – for example, “the healthiest thing you could eat is something that has no health risk, but is still good”.
This could include things like fresh fruit, vegetables and fish, or the way they are processed.
It also means that the “healthiest” food could also be unhealthy for us because we can’t really see the benefits of eating it, but may find it more palatable if we eat it.
“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that is not very clear,” she explained.
According to King, the food sector needs to do a better job in terms, “of making sure that what we’re actually eating is actually good for us”.
However she warned that if they don’t, people will become “disillusioned”.
“I think that the industry needs to change and it needs to recognise that it’s just a job, and it doesn’t have any moral fibre,” she told The Huffington PM.
“[But] it needs a lot less of the political correctness we see on television.
We need to get rid of the food labels.”