Dr. Eric Decker on the Role of Processed Foods in a Healthy Diet
If you attended the Southern California IFT Industry Conference, you may have heard Dr. Eric Decker from University of Massachusetts, Amherst speak about the role of processed foods in a healthy and sustainable diet. In 1887 half of US household labor was spent preparing food. In 2015 food preparation accounted for less than 25 minutes per day of a household’s time. Processed foods have allowed us to have fresh fruits, vegetables and grains year-round. Processed foods have eliminated diseases such as rickets (vitamin D in milk) and goiter (iodine in salt). In 1999 there was a 28% reduction in neural tube defects because folate became a mandatory nutrient in breakfast cereals.
Processed foods are also the evil villain in modern media. We are considered THE CAUSE of the obesity epidemic. With increased portion sizes, better portability, and all-day all-night availability, Americans are unable to not over-consume! (Hannum et al. 2004 Weight Loss in Women Consuming Portion Controlled Entrees 2 Times/Day)
What does this mean for the food industry? Our challenge is to provide healthful, good tasting, portion-controlled foods. Processed foods save money and use less resources than home preparation. Processed foods can be delivered to lower income and less resourced homes effectively. We must continue to invest in science and technology for the development of healthy, good tasting foods and become part of health care strategies.
Contact SPI Group today to learn about our ingredients for making healthy and economical products that all types of consumers will enjoy. We can guide you from start to finish!