Our GnuSanté tag line is “what’s becoming you?”. It’s the question we ask because we know that what we put into us becomes us—or in basic terms, you are what you eat. If you are reading this, it is likely that feeding your body good nutrition is important to you too.
As consumers, we purchase nearly all the food we eat – so it follows that our consumption options are limited to what is being sold. We are in fact held ransom to what is offered but why are the foods and beverages we buy the way they are? Why are they in the packages we see them in? Why are they sold where they are sold? Why do they have the ingredients they do? Why are they different in different countries and not just countries far away but even neighboring nations like Canada and the United States? How are the foods we buy determined?
While this topic is almost infinite in scope let’s take a look at one of our own beverages for a simple example:
As you may know, gnubees is a nutritional beverage for kids that we make right here at GnuSanté. Each single serving gnubees pouch contains 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 15% of all daily recommended vitamins and minerals, and each gnubees has 150 calories. Strangely enough, there’s a reason for that particular calorie level so let’s talk about WHY. Well the short answer is that Canadian Food Regulations demand a minimum of 150 calories per serving in any beverage that can be considered a “nutritional supplement”. Since gnubees has added vitamins and minerals, it falls into this category, and hence MUST contain 150 calories.
This might seem like an arbitrary number, especially when you consider other factors that aren’t mandated (for example the same regulations that demand a minimum of calories per serving make no such requirement for fiber, which is extremely important and sorely lacking in our society), but arbitrary or not, this is one part of how food products come to be.
Now to take that a step further, this puts GnuSanté in the strange position of having to choose between a) having fewer calories but without added vitamins and minerals, or b) create a 150 calorie beverage with ALL the vitamins and minerals. Since you can read our label here on the site, you can obviously guess that we chose option b, believing it’s what’s best for our little consumers.
Obviously the above is merely a small illustration in the bigger picture of WHY the foods we buy are the way they are.
Our knowledge of nutrition grows every day, as do advances in ingredient technology. It is a fine balance and a challenge for all stakeholders in the food industry to safeguard the food supply and not stifle better nutrition and therefore better health. Every new technological advance is not necessarily good for our health but some make better health more achievable. As an industry we have a wonderful and evolving opportunity to show respect for the health of consumers… they deserve it.