Since we arrived in California, I have discovered the American way of marketing food. And I am amazed by what I see: nutrition is everywhere. From Mushroom being “superfood” thanks to their amount of vitamin D, to Kale which is the new smart food even if I find it bitter and coarse. But the greatest thing I found is that:
In Europe we had our share of misleading marketing, which conducted in the early 2000′ to a huge change in advertising regulation on Food, in particular towards nutrition labelling.
The European laws on labelling are made to prevent consumer from being mislead on the food he (or I’d rather say she) buys. For example, to claim a nutritional advantage or a health claim, you have first to assess that the considered food has a “balanced” global nutritional composition. A candy, made with 100% of sugar, will never be allowed to claim that it is “fat free”. Not because it is false, but because it implies for consumers that it is “good” for your health.
If we come back to mushroom’s vitamin D, it is a bit trickier but it is the same. And believe me, I think mushroom are delicious and healthy food, if anything like that exists. But vitamin D is mostly made by our skin when we are outside in the sun… And this should be the way to have it!
In France, a significant part of the population is vitamin D deficient. This is a public health issue, as it is related to bone fractures and early death for elderly people. But the healthiest way to high up population vitamin D level is to promote walking in the sun, we could do that even on mushroom packagings… And it would improve other health factors too.
Enriched food are of course interesting for certain nutrients in certain country. When there is no or very little sun for months, it is impossible for our body to make enough vitamin D and we should consider enriched products or pills. But in California? Come on…