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Quit it with the Superfoods, already . . .

I don't have a problem with people eating healthier -- I think we all benefit when people do. But lately there's this media trend of naming "superfoods" and suddenly everyone's on the bandwagon . . . and then the prices for those foods go up.

I remember when frozen blueberries cost about the same as frozen raspberries. Then it was named a "superfood" and now it costs more. I'm not sure if increased demand leads to shortages which explain the cost difference, or if food dealers saw an opportunity to cash in on the latest food trend, either way I lose. 

Yes, it's a bit selfish. I've been studying nutrition for years (although I don't always practice what I learn). Most of the things that have been named "superfoods" over the past few years had been a part of my and my family's diet (to greater or lesser degrees) for some time before getting the superfood designation.

Now they've picked a staple at our house as the latest "superfood' - Quinoa. We eat quinoa a minimum of twice per month, usually as a stir fry or in soups. I have in recent months had a hard time finding quinoa in stock in the bulk section of Wild Oats where I had been buying it. Now I'm worried about the price becoming prohibitive as well.

Another concern with trendy superfoods is over-consumption. Salmon is included on many "superfood" lists, but we've heard reports that the oceans are being so over-fished  that the possible consequence is having dead oceans in as little as 50 years. Do we really want to encourage the trend of eating so much of something that it will cease to exist?

The media's recent obsession with superfoods, and the public's eagerness to get the latest, reminds me of the diet industry, especially in the early years. There will always be people looking for the latest magic bullet, not willing to put in the time and effort to make the kind of changes they'd need to make to really reap the rewards they are looking for in those superfoods. 

My rule of thumb (that seems to be verified with almost everything I read about nutrition) is that the closer we eat something to it's natural state, the better. And plant foods are a better bet than animal foods. I think it's a much more productive and balancing to follow that kind of nutritional advice than to try to jump on each and every superfood bandwagon that comes along.


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