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“Food paranoia is gripping the nation with more than four in ten people saying they eat a specialised diet”, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The article uses data from retail analysts Nielsen and shows that people are imposing strict rules for reasons of health and wellbeing, although concerns about allergies and ethics also feature.

Whilst the headline suggests this could be a bad thing, the article reveals that the trend is towards ‘real’ food with people preferring to eat food that can be traced from farm to fork rather than processed foods formulated in a science lab.

Nielsen said: “Forty-two percent report eating a diet that excludes or limits consumption of some foods or ingredients. Antibiotics/hormones are the most common ingredients avoided (49%), followed by artificial additives, such as flavours, preservatives and sweeteners (45%) and then sugar (42%). Genetically-modified foods (41%) follow next, narrowly ahead of products provided in packaging made with the chemical BPA (40%), which some campaign groups claim is linked to cancer.”

“simple ingredients and fewer processed foods”

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “People are adopting a more back-to-basics mind-set, focusing on simple ingredients and fewer processed foods. They’re also taking a more active role in their own health care, which includes better nutrition, itself a reflection of the rising trend in chronic-disease rates.”

He added that “consumers are increasingly educated due to the internet providing access to more health information than could ever have been dreamed of in the past.”

It is great to see more and more people reducing their intake of processed foods and taking responsibility for their own health and the health of their families.

As I’ve written many times before, only when we eat as nature intended, will we be as nature intended.

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