Image Courtesy: Andy Ciordia
Packaged Facts’ Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2008 is predicting 4 major trends in consumer food purchases for 2008: a greater demand for healthy packaged products, more ethnic choices, more flavorful foods, and, last but not least, more local, ethically produced packaged food options.
While the first three might seem like obvious consumer demands, it’s the fourth that is truly making an impact on food product companies throughout the country. Many have already stepped up to environmental challenges by measuring their carbon footprints, or the impact that the production of their products has on earth, and are making changes (such as switching to green forms of energy to power their facilities and/or modes of transport). And while pro-environment faces like Al Gore have been pressuring large American food companies to become “greener” for some time now, the fact of the matter is that it’s still easier to find food products with green initiatives when the company producing it is smaller and “local”.
Why Go Local?
It’s one way that we, as consumers, can buy fresh, healthy foods and save the environment from the green house gases it would take to ship the product had it not been locally grown or produced. Think of all that’s involved in creating and shipping a food product – from refrigeration to gas to packaging – and it’s easy to see just how much you’re saving the earth from by simply buying locally. Plus, local food is generally healthier since it doesn’t contain unnecessary preservatives; meat, poultry, vegetables and fruits are also cared for much more intently on small-sized local farms. This is a great source for finding locations that sell locally grown foods in your area.
In the meantime, one thing’s for sure – consumers are demanding a change. At least one third of shoppers are concerned about the packaging processes involved in the foods they buy, say recent survey results from food industry magazine Restaurant and Institutions. In the last month, for instance, the Sara Lee Corporation, which produces an array of frozen and packaged products, failed miserably when ranked by the New Hampshire-based advocacy group “Climate Counts.” Sara Lee has since added a section to their website promoting their commitment to environmentally-friendly production practices.
This Family Goes Beyond Local: They Grow Their Own!
Thank You We Like It Raw, for introducing us to this inspiring video!
Jules Dervaes of The Urban Homstead®, who have produced this nice video above, has this to say about urban homesteading:
The current urban homesteading movement is a positive trend in American society. Within certain parameters, it has the potential to revitalize families and, thus, towns in our long tradition of self-sufficiency and independence. Homesteading in the city requires responsibility to one’s neighbors and fellow citizens. When it is undertaken with such a foundation, this way of life yields rich rewards of experiencing the rhythms of nature and the wonders of animal life.
Adrienne writes for special-interest magazines and has worked on the production of women’s lifestyle channels at AOL as well as at E! Entertainment Television. She graduated from CUNY Baruch, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper The Ticker.