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05 June 2007 @ 01:28 am
Natural Progression  
There have been a lot of changes to the way some major companies produce or buy components of their products as of late.  All of these suggest that the consumer market prefers things containing/produced in a more "natural" way, which in turn implies a greater awareness and activism concerning nutrition and food politics.  The New York Times has published numerous articles on these subjects in the past six months or so, and readership has been high.  The front page of the NYT site lists the most frequently read articles, and those relating to food have stayed disproportionately longer than other subjects.  Michael Pollan's work has had an especially good response.  Personally, he has provided my framework for understanding the farm bill and it's relation to U.S. food production and health.  I truly believe that the American public is exhibiting a change in thinking about the way they eat.  With obesity and related health concerns on the rise, we can't afford not to. 

The overall sales of sugar-laden soft drinks are beginning to decrease, and the sales of "healthy" beverage alternatives are on the rise.  The noticeable promotion of the diet counterparts of major sodas have become...well, more noticeable in response.  7up has taken the preservatives and artificial sweeteners out of it's canned sodas and Jones Soda is in the process of taking out high fructose corn syrup out of their products and replaced it with pure cane sugar.  The creation of a line of organic tea line further demonstrates consumer demand.  On an unrelated note, they also outbid Coca Cola on the right to supply Qwest field with beverages.  Imagine that, organically produced goods could be available in a football stadium.  Run with the not-so-little guy! 

I'd like to see what major soda companies do in response to the recent information about sodium benzoate as a carcinogen. 

Burger King has taken a small but significant step in improving the origins of it's meat and eggs, in terms of animal cruelty.  Hopefully this will pave the way for other massive companies to change.  Overall improvements in packaging boast a more a slightly more optimistic future about resources.  These are all huge companies, with a great deal of influence on the American health.  Farmer's Markets and organic produce sales success aside, these advances say much about consumer demand.