Back to the Basics: Redefining Scrumptious Staples
As a society, we are becoming increasingly aware of the role that nutrition plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are numerous things that can stand in the way of making smart food choices.
Some of the most ubiquitous products pack a powerful punch of unhealthy ingredients. Furthermore, many foods contain allergens or are made using environmentally unfriendly practices. All of these issues can combine to make your trip to the grocery store something of a headache if you are trying to be health-conscious and environmentally aware.
Changing the Grocery Game
Some food manufacturers have gotten fed up with the status quo. They are changing their recipes to make their foods healthier. Instead of using man-made fillers in their products, they have found new ways to use the natural properties of plants to serve the same functions.
As a result, their foods have become more nutrient-rich, with fewer saturated fats and preservatives. Using plant-based ingredients is also a more eco-friendly practice than processing artificial ingredients.
Allergens in food are another rising issue. Scientists estimate that up to 15 million people in the United States have food allergies, and that number is rapidly increasing. Food manufacturers cannot ignore this growing portion of their clientele.
A few companies have gone to great effort to tweak standard ingredients to make them more allergy-friendly. Hampton Creek is a leader among these companies, offering an egg-free alternative to mayonnaise, among other innovative products.
Making your own recipes from scratch is one of the simplest ways you can reduce your intake of processed foods and improve your daily nutrition. However, learning to cook can be an intimidating prospect for busy people who are inexperienced in the kitchen.
Fortunately, there are numerous resources on the Internet that can provide guidance. For example, Hampton Creek is on Facebook, where its updates include recipes for healthy dishes that incorporate their products. There are also videos, blogs and other websites throughout the Internet that offer users instructions and ideas for clean eating.
Affordability and Accessibility
You may have been reading this article with skepticism so far for one very good reason: In your experience, food that is classified as “health food” is usually exorbitantly expensive. There is truth to this perception, and it is a major barrier for people who are considering revamping their eating habits.
But the market has heard this concern and has listened. Several food companies have taken steps to make their products more cost-effective, so that “healthy food” can simply be normal food—the kind of food you can afford.
An additional barrier to healthy eating is having limited access to stores that carry a suitable proportion of healthy foods. Areas where this problem is widespread, sometimes known as food deserts , have higher-than-average obesity rates.
Combatting these food deserts is an important step to building a healthier country. Major retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, and even Dollar Tree have responded to this issue by carrying healthy options at their inexpensive prices. Certain companies, including Hampton Creek, have taken things a step further by expanding their shipping options so people can have healthy foods delivered to their homes for affordable prices.
Taking the Junk out of Junk Food
It is an old story: The tastiest foods tend to be full of unhealthy or allergenic ingredients. There is new hope on this front as well. Ingredients like oat bran and sorghum flour can improve the nutritional value of your favorite desserts.
Oat bran contributes to your daily doses of protein, iron, and fiber. Sorghum flour is naturally sweet, so recipes that contain it do not require as much added sugar. These flours can serve as delicious backdrops to cookies, brownies, cakes, and more. You can make your own at home, or you can look for desserts made with these ingredients in stores.
And what about that notorious, delicious dressing, mayonnaise? It is a staple in casseroles, salads, and sandwiches, but it is high in calories, low in nutritional value, and its main ingredient is egg, a common food allergen.
Hampton Creek’s egg-free mayonnaise alternative is also low in cholesterol and sustainably produced, but it is still just as delicious as the original. News is good for other popular condiments too. With a wave of new products hitting the market, there are more ways than ever to enjoy your salads and sandwiches with healthier adornments.
A Delicious Revolution
We are now at a crossroads for healthful food practices. Millions of Americans have been torn between the desire to feed their bodies well and the desire to actually enjoy their meals. Because of this dilemma, the entire food industry may be on the brink of a positive revolution.
Every day, food manufacturers are finding ways to make their ingredients more sustainable, nutritious, and affordable, without sacrificing delicious flavor. As more companies join the movement, the dream of transforming healthy eating from a chore into a norm is becoming increasingly attainable.