Plates, cups and takeaway containers shape what (and how) we eat



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Abby Mellick Lopes, University of Technology Sydney and Karen Weiss, Western Sydney University

Home cooks have been trying out their skills during isolation. But the way food tastes depends on more than your ability to follow a recipe.

Our surroundings, the people we share food with and the design of our tableware – our cups, bowls and plates, cutlery and containers – affect the way we experience food.




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For example, eating from a heavier bowl can make you feel food is more filling and tastes better than eating from a lighter one.

Contrast this with fast food, which is most commonly served in lightweight disposable containers, which encourages fast eating, underestimating how much food you’re eating, and has even been linked to becoming impatient.

These are just some examples of the vital, but largely unconscious, relationship between the design of our tableware – including size, shape, weight and colour – and how we eat.

In design, this relationship is referred to as an object’s “affordances”. Affordances guide interactions between objects and people.

As Australian sociologist Jenny Davis writes, affordances:

…push, pull, enable, and constrain. Affordances are how objects shape behaviour for socially situated subjects.

Designed objects don’t make us do things.

The colour of your crockery

When you visit a restaurant, the chances are your dinner will be served on a plain white plate.

But French chef Sebastien Lepinoy has staff paint the plates to match the daily menu and “entice the appetite”.

Research seems to back him up. Coloured plates can enhance flavours to actually change the dining experience.

The colour of your mug can influence the taste of your coffee.
Shutterstock

In one study, salted popcorn eaten from a coloured bowl tasted sweeter than popcorn eaten from a white bowl. In another, a café latte served in a coloured mug tasted sweeter than one in a white mug.

This association between colour and taste seems to apply to people from Germany to China.

A review of multiple studies conducted in many countries over 30 years finds people consistently associated particular colours with specific tastes.

Red, orange or pink is most often associated with sweetness, black with bitterness, yellow or green with sourness, and white and blue with saltiness.




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The size of your plate

The influence of plate size on meal portions depends on the dining experience and whether you are serving yourself. In a buffet, for example, people armed with a small plate may eat more because they can go back for multiple helpings.

Nonetheless, average plate and portion sizes have increased over the years. Back in her day, grandma used to serve meals on plates 25cm in diameter. Now, the average dinner plate is 28cm, and many restaurant dinner plates have expanded to 30cm.

Our waistlines have also expanded. Research confirms we tend to eat more calories when our plates are larger, because a larger capacity plate affords a greater portion size.

Plastic is too often ignored

The pace of our busy lives has led many people to rely on those handy takeaways in disposable plastic food containers just ready to pop into the microwave. And it’s tempting to use plastic cutlery and cups at barbecues, picnics and kids’ birthday parties.

In contrast to heavy, fragile ceramic tableware, plastic tableware is designed to be ignored. It is so lightweight, ubiquitous and cheap we don’t notice it and pay little mind to its disposal.

Plastics change the way we eat and drink.
Shutterstock

Plastics have also changed how we eat and drink. An aversion to the strong smell of plastic containers that once might have caused people to wrap their sandwiches before placing them in Tupperware seems to have disappeared. We drink hot coffee though plastic lids.

Australian economic sociologist Gay Hawkins and her colleagues argue lightweight, plastic water bottles have created entirely new habits, such as “constant sipping” on the go. New products are then designed to fit and reinforce this habit.

Aesthetics matter

Healthy eating is not only characterised by what we eat but how we eat.

For instance, eating mindfully – more thoughtfully and slowly by focusing on the experience of eating – can help you feel full faster and make a difference to how we eat.

And the Japanese cuisine Kaiseki values this mindful, slower approach to eating. It consists of small portions of beautifully arranged food presented in a grouping of small, attractive, individual plates and bowls.

This encourages the diner to eat more slowly and mindfully while appreciating not only the food but the variety and setting of the tableware.

Japanese people’s slower eating practices even apply to “fast food”.

One study found Japanese people were more likely to eat in groups, to stay at fast food restaurants for longer and to share fast food, compared with their North American counterparts.

Affordance theory is only now starting to account for cultural diversity in the ways in which designed objects shape practices and experiences.

The studies we have reviewed show tableware influences how we eat. Size, shape, weight, colour and aesthetics all play a part in our experience of eating.

This has wide implications for how we design for healthier eating – whether that’s to encourage eating well when we are out and about, or so we can better appreciate a tastier, healthier and more convivial meal at home.The Conversation

Abby Mellick Lopes, Associate Professor, Design Studies, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology Sydney and Karen Weiss, PhD Candidate, Western Sydney University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

We’ve had a taste of disrupted food supplies – here are 5 ways we can avoid a repeat



The Bread Famine and the Pawnbroker, Brothers Lesueur (18th century)

Kimberley Reis, Griffith University; Cheryl Desha, Griffith University, and Paul Burton, Griffith University

When our reliance on supermarkets is seriously disrupted – for example, by spikes in demand due to panic buying or the flooding of distribution centres – we are left with few alternatives. Supermarkets are central to our everyday lives, but they have also become symbols of our vulnerability in times of disruption.

The COVID-19 crisis has caused us to rethink many things we took for granted. This includes the plentiful supply of a great variety of food at relatively stable prices in our supermarkets.




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Until recently, if we thought about food security at all, it was more likely to conjure images of malnutrition in countries of the global south rather than empty supermarket shelves.

However, food insecurity exists in Australia. It can be experienced as hunger and also as feelings of anxiety about future food shortages.

The rise of supermarkets and global supply chains

Supermarkets were a 1930s success story that began during the Great Depression. The world’s first supermarket, King Kullen, opened with the enduring principle of “Pile it high, sell it low!” King Kullen became the standard model of supermarket operations with globally interconnected supply chains.

While this model epitomised the trend of globalisation, during the second world war more local food production was encouraged in the form of “victory gardens”. These made a significant contribution to food security during the war years. It was a demonstration of what can be achieved in times of crisis.

An Australian government ‘Grow your own’ campaign billboard from 1943.
NAA C2829/2



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‘What if’ questions help us build resilience

Contingency planning is about being clear on your Plan B or Plan C if Plan A hits trouble. It’s about asking the “what if” questions. As a planning tool, this enables systems to build resilience to disruption by identifying other pathways to achieve desired outcomes.

The difference between now and the 1930s is that today we are vastly more connected at a global scale. Within our food-supply chains, we can use the knowledge that comes from this greater connectivity to ask different “what if” questions.

For example, what if a pandemic and a severe weather event overlapped, disrupting critical transport infrastructure? How could we adapt?

Or what if several Australian states experienced serious disruptions to food supply at the same time? How could we ensure timely resupply?

Recent experiences of empty supermarket shelves remind us of the importance of such questions.

Greater self-sufficiency is sensible and practical. Australia’s National Strategy for Disaster Resilience makes clear that we should understand the risks we live with – in this case, our deep-seated and often unquestioned dependency on long food-supply chains.




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The strategy also calls for authorities to help empower citizens to share responsibility where they can in building their own resilience to hardship. This taps into a primal urge, as we have seen in the recent spike in demand for seedlings and vegetable plants at nurseries as people take to home gardening, digging not so much for victory as for survival during a shutdown.

Strategies to prepare for the next crisis

These questions highlight the need to think about ways to complement and enhance existing arrangements for supplying food. Our research identifies several immediate opportunities to promote shorter food-supply chains and devise contingency food plans:

1. We can buy more locally produced food staples, support local producers at a farmers’ market, join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group, or take advantage of online platforms that make a range of locally grown food more readily available.

2. Local businesses can embed contingency arrangements to ensure access to locally produced food within their business continuity plans, building greater capacity to keep business and local economies operating in difficult times.

3. Supermarkets can advocate for and support shorter food-supply chains by sourcing food products locally where possible and championing “buy local” campaigns.

4. An active undertaking to identify and map the regional food bowls of each city and township will support contingency plans.

5. Local councils can help make it possible to grow much more of the food we need, even in relatively dense towns and cities. This can range from potted herbs on apartment balconies, through to broccoli in suburban backyards to intensive farming operations in big industrial estate sheds or rooftops. Municipal parks that feature little more than lawn can devote some space to community gardens, while more rigorous land-use planning regimes can protect market gardening near urban centres.




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Societies have faced significant food and health crises over the centuries. Now, though, we have almost real-time data on food production, stocks and supply chains. Would it not be sensible to strengthen local food systems that can complement our supermarkets and global networks?

If we don’t do this, the only lesson we will have learned from the coronavirus crisis is to start hoarding baked beans, toilet paper and hand sanitiser as soon as we first hear of a looming disaster.The Conversation

Kimberley Reis, Lecturer, School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Griffith University; Cheryl Desha, Associate Professor, School of Engineering and Built Environment, and Director, Engagement (Industry), Griffith University, and Paul Burton, Professor of Urban Management & Planning and Director, Cities Research Institute, Griffith University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Don’t panic: Australia has truly excellent food security



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Steve Hatfield-Dodds, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and Peter Gooday, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

COVID-19 has taken Australia and the world by surprise. Coming after severe droughts in eastern Australia, concerns have been raised about Australian food security.

The concerns are understandable, but they are misplaced.

Despite temporary shortages of some food items in supermarkets caused by an unexpected surge in demand, Australia does not have a food security problem.

An Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences study released today outlines why Australia is one of the most food-secure countries in the world.

Supermarket shelves reflect a surge in demand

Uncertainties around the impacts of COVID-19 have triggered a rapid increase in purchasing by consumers seeking to stockpile a range of items, resulting in disruption to stocks of some basic food items.

This disruption is temporary and not an indication of food shortages.

Rather, it is a result of logistics taking time to adapt to an unexpected surge in purchasing.

We are highly food-secure

Food security refers to the physical availability of food, and to whether people have the resources and opportunity to get reliable economic access to it.

Australia ranks among the most food secure nations in the world, and is in the top 10 countries for food affordability and availability.

Australians are wealthy by global standards and can choose from diverse and high-quality foods from all over the world at affordable prices.

Most Australians can afford to purchase healthy food that meets their nutritional needs, and as a result, Australia has the world’s equal-lowest level of undernourishment.

We import only 11% of our food

Most food and beverages consumed in Australia are produced in Australia.

But not everything that Australians like to eat is produced here. So we import about 11% of the food and beverages we consume by value.

The imports are mainly processed products (including coffee beans, frozen vegetables, seafood products, and beverages), along with small amounts of out-of-season fresh food.


Imported products account for 11% of expenditure on food and beverages

Imports of processed and fresh (primary) food and beverages, as a share of total food and beverage consumption (including tobacco and alcohol) by value, three year average 2016-17 to 2018-19. Does not include takeaway and restaurant meals.
ABS 5368.0, 5204.0

It is possible that disruptions to food imports from COVID-19 (or something else) could result in temporary shortages of some products, restricting consumer choice in the same way as cyclones have restricted access to Australian bananas.

It would be unlikely to have a material impact on food security – in terms of ensuring a sufficient supply of healthy and nutritious food, even if higher prices for or limited availability of specific products disappoints or inconveniences some consumers.

Australia produces more food than it consumes

Australia typically exports about 70% of agricultural production.

The level of exports varies across sectors. Some of our largest industries, such as beef and wheat, are heavily export-focused. Others, like horticulture, pork and poultry, sell most of their products in Australia, with an emphasis on supplying fresh produce.


Most Australian agricultural production is export oriented

Share of agricultural production exported by sector, 3 year average, 2015-16 to 2017-18.
Source: ABARES 2020

Australia’s large exports, even in severe drought years, act as a shock absorber for domestic supply.

They allow domestic consumption to remain stable while exports vary, absorbing the ups and downs associated with Australia’s variable climate and seasonal conditions.


Domestic food consumption is stable, while agricultural exports vary

Domestic consumption and export estimates for wheat, beef, rice, fruit and nuts, 2006-07 to 2020-21. Fruit and nuts covers table grapes, apples, pears, oranges, mandarins, peaches, mangoes, bananas, almonds and macadamias. f = forecast.
Source: ABARES 2020

The outlook for rain is good

After a hot and dry 2019 and widespread drought conditions in NSW and Queensland, above-average recent rains and positive forecasts provide the basis for the best start to Australia’s agricultural production season in years.

While current prospects for winter crops are good, more rain is required for these to be realised.

The Bureau is forecasting that grain production is likely to return to close to average levels, with a significant chance of higher production given the good start to the winter cropping season.


Wetter than average conditions are likely across agricultural areas from May to July 2020

Map shows chance of exceeding median rainfall for the period May to July 2020, showing above average rainfall is likely or very likely across all inland areas of Australia, including the wheat sheep zone.
Source: BOM, April 9, 2020

For livestock producers, better seasonal conditions provide the opportunity to rebuild herds and flocks following a relatively long period of destocking.

Our access to food is secure

Australia is one of the most food-secure countries in the world, with ample supplies of safe, healthy food. The vast majority of it is produced here in Australia, and domestic production more than meets our needs, even in drought years.

While we import about 11% of our food and beverages, disruptions to these imports would not threaten the food security of most Australians.

The Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences is forecasting a return to close to average levels of grain production, with a significant chance of higher production, given the good start to the winter cropping season.




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The analysis released today explores related issues in more depth, including the contribution of irrigated agriculture to Australian food security, levels of global grain stocks, and the contributions of international trade and Australian exports to food security in other countries.

Australia’s agricultural producers do rely on global supply chains and imported inputs. Shortages or disruptions to these inputs have not yet been significant or widespread, but could reduce productivity and profitability.

While action is already in train to address key issues, it will be important for business and government to continue actively monitoring and managing these risks.The Conversation

Steve Hatfield-Dodds, Executive Director, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and Peter Gooday, Acting Executive Director Agriculture, Water, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

‘How will we eat’? India’s coronavirus lockdown threatens millions with severe hardship



HARISH TYAGI/EPA

Craig Jeffrey, University of Melbourne; Febe De Geest, University of Melbourne, and Jane Dyson, University of Melbourne

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown for India’s 1.3 billion people. With just four hours’ notice, the government instructed everyone to remain in their homes, banned public events, closed schools and colleges and shut commercial and industrial outlets across the country.

The World Health Organisation has praised Modi’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The lockdown may also be crucial in preventing the spread of the virus.

But the recent move to prevent community transmission is having an enormous impact on those most in need in India – the hundreds of millions who live in poverty.

The Uttar Pradesh government has arranged for 1,000 buses for migrant labourers as hundreds of them started walking to their villages on foot.
Stringer/EPA

Food aid from government ‘feels like a joke’

Over 90% of India’s 500 million non-agricultural workers are employed in the informal economy, for example, as construction workers, food vendors, rickshaw drivers or in sales. After the lockdown was announced, many people found their industries or operations had closed, or new rules about travel and social distancing prevented them from working.

One such individual, Anand, belongs to an adivasi, or tribal, migrant community living in a slum colony in the outskirts of Nagpur, a city in Maharashtra, central India. We met Anand (all names in the story are pseudonyms) in the context of research we have been undertaking on social transformation in contemporary India.




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Since the start of the lockdown, Anand has not been allowed to work in his usual job, cutting trees. Like most others in the informal economy, he relies on his daily wages and has no employment rights, paid leave, insurance or savings.

With no regular access to clean water or even soap, Anand is concerned about COVID-19. He his even more worried about hunger.

I’m so afraid. How long will this last for? If we can’t go to work, how will we get money? And if we don’t have money, how will we eat?

Last week, the federal government announced direct cash transfers to poorer households, mainly through existing government schemes, and provided the elderly, widows and disabled people pension payments for three months in advance.

Two days later, Modi established a Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES fund) to solicit donations from companies and individuals to help those in need.

Several state governments, including Maharashtra, are engaged in similar measures, offering cash transfers and free food to the poor.




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But the amounts of money and food provided through government initiatives are insufficient and sometimes delivered slowly. Many migrants are also not formally registered to receive support through existing schemes. Instead, they have to rely on NGOs or find some way to “make do” themselves.

Anand has been relying in recent days on a local NGO, which delivers a small bag of food to feed his family of six. Commenting on the tiny parcels that arrive, he said: “It feels like a joke.”

Rural communities worries about returning migrants

There are millions in similar situations across India. Yogesh is a rickshaw driver living on the outskirts of Meerut, a city in Uttar Pradesh, not far from New Delhi. He told us that when his work dries up, “even my shit stops.”

The Uttar Pradesh government has promised one-off cash transfers to its residents, but these amount to just 1,000 rupees, or roughly A$21.50, which is hardly enough to feed a family for five days.

Anand and Yogesh still had some form of shelter, but since the lockdown a large number of India’s enormous migrant worker population – many of whom receive housing through their employer – have become homeless.




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In Delhi, night shelters are grossly overcrowded and thousands of people are stranded at bus and train stations. Many have begun walking home, often journeys of hundreds of kilometres, only to be forced to return to the cities.

Workers spray disinfectant inside a building compound in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir.
FAROOQ KHAN/EPA

These struggles are not confined to urban areas. Vandita, who we also know well through our research, lives in a remote village in the Himalayas. As a subsistence farmer, she has some stores of food and even some savings. But the lockdown scares her.

Last year’s crop stores are running dangerously low, and the spring harvest in the mountains is still some months away. Social distancing measures restrict effective agricultural work, particularly the cooperative labour groups so essential to survival in these harsh environments and for the social lives of rural women.

Disrupted supply chains is also making it increasingly difficult to find food to buy at the markets.

The sense of fear and uncertainty is already affecting people’s mental health. Vandita speaks about growing rates of depression as isolation measures disrupt the collective work and cohesion on which the social and economic life of the village depends.

If migrant labourers return from the cities, Vandita predicts her village will be “in crisis”. Like other villagers, she lacks access to decent health care. Reaching the nearest major hospital would be a journey of several days. If there was an outbreak of coronavirus in the village, it would have rapid and tragic consequences.

India has so far avoided the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, though there has been a spike of cases in recent days. The short-term security of people like Anand, Yohesh and Vandita will depend on the capacity of government to expand its distribution of support.

For many of India’s poor, time is running out.The Conversation

Craig Jeffrey, Director and CEO of the Australia India Institute; Professor of Development Geography, University of Melbourne; Febe De Geest, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne, and Jane Dyson, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

We know how long coronavirus survives on surfaces. Here’s what it means for handling money, food and more



Manuel Bruque/EPA

Ian M. Mackay, The University of Queensland and Katherine Arden, The University of Queensland

Like the other 200 or so respiratory viruses we know of, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the new coronavirus, infects the cells of our airways.

It causes a range of signs and symptoms, or none at all. It can spread easily from person-to-person, and can be coughed into the air and onto surfaces.

Viruses only replicate inside a living cell – outside the cell, they’re on a path to either infect us, or their own destruction. How long a virus survives outside a cell varies.

Researchers found SARS-CoV-2 remains infectious in airborne droplets for at least three hours. This doesn’t mean infected humans produce enough virus in a cough to infect another person, but they might.


Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

We think the virus also spreads by touch. Hard, shiny surfaces such as plastic, stainless steel, benchtops, and likely glass can support infectious virus, expelled in droplets, for up to 72 hours. But the virus rapidly degrades during this time. On fibrous and absorbent surfaces such as cardboard, paper, fabric and hessian, it becomes inactive more quickly.

How can we reduce risk from surfaces and objects?

Frequently touched surfaces are all around us. Benches, handrails, door handles – they are in our homes, on our way to work, school, play, shop, and every other destination. There’s a risk of contaminating these surfaces if we touch them with virus-laden fingers, and a risk we’ll contract the virus from such surfaces.

Think of your hands as the enemy. Wash them well, and much more often than usual. Between hand-washing, avoid constantly touching the mucous membranes that lead to your airways. Basically, try not to rub your eyes, pick your nose, or touch your lips and mouth.




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Taking precautions through small actions

We’re already seeing engineering initiatives to help combat the virus’s spread. In Sydney, pedestrian crossings have been automated so people can avoid touching the buttons.

To slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, assume everything outside your home is potentially contaminated, and act accordingly. So don’t touch your face, sanitise frequently while you are out, and wash your hands and clean your phone once home.

While it’s best to stay home, keep these tips in mind if you must leave the house.

• Going shopping

Grocery shopping requires touching surfaces and items, including trolleys and baskets. Sometimes sanitiser or antibacterial wipes are available for hands and handles at the store entrance – but they’re often not, so bring your own (if you can get some). It probably doesn’t matter what type of bag you use, but have a plan for how to avoid bringing the virus into your home.

• Making payments

Cards and cash could transfer the virus to your hands. That said, card payment is probably lower risk because you retain the card and don’t have to touch other people. But wherever possible, contact-free bank transfers would pose the least risk.

• Handling and eating fresh and canned food

SARS-CoV-2 is inactivated at temperatures well below those required in the process of canning food, so canned food is free of it. For freshly packaged food, risk depends on whether the person doing the packing was sick or not. If you are concerned, stick with food that can be cooked, peeled or washed in mild soapy water, and thoroughly rinsed.




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While evidence is weak, we know soap and water should inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on food – but this will work better on foods with a shinier, harder outer surface, compared to foods that have been cut or have softer surfaces, such as strawberries and raspberries. If you decide to wash any food with soap, make sure all the soap is removed.

• At the park

Avoid equipment that is likely used a lot, including play equipment and water fountains. It would be safer to kick a ball around or play on the grass, rather than use swings. Sandpits hold horrors other than SARS-CoV-2.

• Takeaway and deliveries

When getting takeaway food, or for businesses offering it, avoid plastic containers and use more fibrous materials such as cardboard, paper and fabric for packaging. Researchers found no infectious SARS-CoV-2 on cardboard after 24 hours.

Also, avoid proximity to servers and delivery people, and opt for contactless delivery whenever you can.

• Public transport, escalators, elevators and bathrooms

Frequently touched hard, shiny surfaces such as lift buttons and handle bars in trams are a big risk, more so than fabric seats, or taking the stairs. Even the most high-tech overseas surface cleaning efforts are intermittent, so you’ll need to take responsibility for yourself. Also, after using public bathrooms, wash your hands well.

Calm and calculated

It’s important to be calm, realistic and not focus on single events or actions once you step outside. You can’t account for everything.

Think more about the risk of the entire task rather than the many small risks encountered during the process. A silver lining in taking such precautions is that you’ll also reduce your risk of catching the flu this season.

It’s also important to keep your home clean. You can use diluted bleach, detergents or alcohol solutions on surfaces. Queensland Health has more information.




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For items that are hard to clean, sunshine may be valuable. Leave your shoes outside, soles up, in the sun. Coronaviruses begin degrading quickly in temperatures higher than 56 degrees Celsius, and in direct UV light.

Ultimately, the best ways to avoid SARS-CoV-2 infection are primitive ones – sanitise your hands and stay away from others. Physical distancing remains the most effective measure to slow the progression of this pandemic.The Conversation

Ian M. Mackay, Adjunct assistant professor, The University of Queensland and Katherine Arden, Virologist, The University of Queensland

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Frozen, canned or fermented: when you can’t shop often for fresh vegetables, what are the best alternatives?



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Jesse Beasley, University of Melbourne; Kate Howell, University of Melbourne; Nathan M D’Cunha, University of Canberra; Nenad Naumovski, University of Canberra, and Senaka Ranadheera, University of Melbourne

If you’re trying to reduce your trips to the shops as you practise social distancing and contribute to “flattening the curve” of the coronavirus spread, you might be wondering what it means for your vegetable crisper.

Fresh vegetables need replacing often and, thanks to panic buying, there’s no guarantee you’ll find your favourite fresh foods in your local supermarket.

The good news is there are some really nutritious alternatives to fresh vegetables, and the old adage that “fresh is best” isn’t always true.

How to ‘flatten the curve’. Video by the Australian Academy of Science.

Even before coronavirus, vegetables were getting pricier

Fresh vegetable prices have been increasing on average 2% per year over the past decade.

In Australia, vegetable prices are expected to increase 20-50% over the coming months due to drought and the recent bushfires.

Cauliflower, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, and root vegetables such as potatoes and pumpkins are expected to be hardest hit.

We should therefore all be thinking of ways to maximise the shelf life of our fresh veggies. In addition, it’s important not to forget the value of frozen, canned and fermented alternatives.




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Don’t skip the veggies, even in a pandemic

Australian dietary guidelines recommend daily consumption of different types and colours of vegetables. However, these guidelines don’t say in what form these veggies should be eaten.

Fresh vegetables are at their most nutritious (and often cheapest) when they are recently harvested and in season, which is not always the case on supermarket shelves.

Long transport times and poor storage conditions can also reduce the nutritional quality of fresh vegetables.

The upshot is that frozen and fermented vegetables can provide the same nutrition as fresh alternatives, especially as they’re often harvested in season and snap-frozen or fermented soon after picking.

Whatever you choose, it’s important to remember vegetables are not only nutritious – they can also reduce the risk of cancer and improve your gut microbiome.

Frozen and fermented vegetables can provide the same nutrition as fresh alternatives.
Shutterstock

Fresh vs frozen vegetables

The shelf life of fresh vegetables is generally short (3-14 days) even when refrigerated. Freezing, on the other hand, can preserve the nutritional quality of vegetables and increase their shelf life to up to 12 months.

In some cases, frozen vegetables have a higher nutritional quality than fresh vegetables, particularly if there is a short time between harvesting and freezing.

Nevertheless, some nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C are vulnerable to the freezing process. One study found higher levels of vitamin C in fresh capsicum, carrot, parsley and spinach relative to frozen alternatives.

Variation in the freezing process, storage conditions and temperature can also change the quality of vegetables.

For example, ice crystals that form during freezing can damage the internal cell structure of potatoes and negatively affect their texture.

If you want to freeze vegetables yourself, select those that are fresh, undamaged and in season and blanch them quickly before freezing. This helps retain colour, flavour and nutritional quality.

Some vegetables such as tomato, capsicum and corn do not need to be blanched before freezing.

Blanching and freezing fresh veggies is a great way to improve shelf life.
Shutterstock

Canned and fermented vegetables

Canning and/or fermentation can extend the shelf life of vegetables to between one and five years.

Canned vegetables generally have a similar nutritional profile to fresh vegetables, particularly when it comes to minerals and fibre. However, certain steps in the process (such as peeling) may lead to some nutritional loss.

Just remember that once opened, canned vegetables should be stored in a separate container and consumed within three days.

Fermented vegetables such as kimchi and sauerkraut not only taste delicious, they have a range of health benefits and are packed with beneficial probiotics.

During fermentation, microorganisms convert the carbohydrates in veggies into alcohol and/or acids that act as natural preservatives (extending shelf life) and can improve the digestibility of starch and protein.

Fermented vegetables are also full of antioxidants and adding extra ingredients like ginger, chilli and garlic can make them an even more nutritious choice.

To reap the full benefits, ferment veggies yourself or choose refrigerated fermented vegetables at the shops (unrefrigerated versions are pasteurised and can have lower probiotic benefits).

Keep calm and eat veggies

Vegetables are a great source of essential nutrients and Australians should aim to eat a wide variety of them each day.

By including fresh, frozen, canned and fermented vegetables in our diet, we not only give our bodies a boost, but help to take pressure off Australian growers to produce high quality and seasonal vegetables all year round.

The vast majority of Australians don’t eat enough vegetables, and these nutritious and tasty alternatives could be the key to improving our overall health – at a time when we need it most.The Conversation

Jesse Beasley, PhD Student in BioSciences, University of Melbourne; Kate Howell, Senior Lecturer Food Chemistry, University of Melbourne; Nathan M D’Cunha, PhD Candidate, University of Canberra; Nenad Naumovski, Associate Professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Canberra, and Senaka Ranadheera, Lecturer, University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

5 ways nutrition could help your immune system fight off the coronavirus



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Clare Collins, University of Newcastle

The coronavirus presents many uncertainties, and none of us can completely eliminate our risk of getting COVID-19. But one thing we can do is eat as healthily as possible.

If we do catch COVID-19, our immune system is responsible for fighting it. Research shows improving nutrition helps support optimal immune function.

Micronutrients essential to fight infection include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, and the minerals iron, selenium, and zinc.

Here’s what we know about how these nutrients support our immune system and the foods we can eat to get them.




Read more:
What is a balanced diet anyway?


1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A maintains the structure of the cells in the skin, respiratory tract and gut. This forms a barrier and is your body’s first line of defence. If fighting infection was like a football game, vitamin A would be your forward line.

We also need vitamin A to help make antibodies which neutralise the pathogens that cause infection. This is like assigning more of your team to target an opposition player who has the ball, to prevent them scoring.

Vitamin A is found in oily fish, egg yolks, cheese, tofu, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes.

Further, vegetables contain beta-carotene, which your body can convert into vitamin A. Beta-carotene is found in leafy green vegetables and yellow and orange vegetables like pumpkin and carrots.

2. B vitamins

B vitamins, particularly B6, B9 and B12, contribute to your body’s first response once it has recognised a pathogen.

They do this by influencing the production and activity of “natural killer” cells. Natural killer cells work by causing infected cells to “implode”, a process called apoptosis.

At a football match, this role would be like security guards intercepting wayward spectators trying to run onto the field and disrupt play.

Fish is a good source of vitamin B6.
Shutterstock

B6 is found in cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, chicken and meat.

B9 (folate) is abundant in green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds and is added to commercial bread-making flour.

B12 (cyanocobalamin) is found in animal products, including eggs, meat and dairy, and also in fortified soy milk (check the nutrition information panel).

3. Vitamins C and E

When your body is fighting an infection, it experiences what’s called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress leads to the production of free radicals which can pierce cell walls, causing the contents to leak into tissues and exacerbating inflammation.

Vitamin C and vitamin E help protect cells from oxidative stress.




Read more:
Coronavirus: it’s time to debunk claims that vitamin C could cure it


Vitamin C also helps clean up this cellular mess by producing specialised cells to mount an immune response, including neutrophils, lymphocytes and phagocytes.

So the role of vitamin C here is a bit like cleaning up the football ground after the game.

Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, lemons, limes, berries, kiwifruit, broccoli, tomatoes and capsicum.

Vitamin E is found in nuts, green leafy vegetables and vegetables oils.

4. Vitamin D

Some immune cells need vitamin D to help destroy pathogens that cause infection.

Although sun exposure allows the body to produce vitamin D, food sources including eggs, fish and some milks and margarine brands may be fortified with Vitamin D (meaning extra has been added).

Most people need just a few minutes outdoors most days.

People with vitamin D deficiency may need supplements. A review of 25 studies found vitamin D supplements can help protect against acute respiratory infections, particularly among people who are deficient.

5. Iron, zinc, selenium

We need iron, zinc and selenium for immune cell growth, among other functions.

Iron helps kill pathogens by increasing the number of free radicals that can destroy them. It also regulates enzyme reactions essential for immune cells to recognise and target pathogens.

Whole grain foods contain a variety of important nutrients.
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Zinc helps maintain the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes. Zinc and selenium also act as an antioxidant, helping mop up some of the damage caused by oxidative stress.

Iron is found in meat, chicken and fish. Vegetarian sources include legumes, whole grains and iron-fortified breakfast cereals.

Zinc is found in oysters and other seafood, meat, chicken, dried beans and nuts.

Nuts (especially Brazil nuts), meat, cereals and mushrooms are good food sources of selenium.




Read more:
Health Check: should I take vitamin C or other supplements for my cold?


Putting it all together

It’s true some supermarkets are out of certain products at the moment. But as much as possible, focus on eating a variety of foods within each of the basic food groups to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals.

While vitamin and mineral supplements are not recommended for the general population, there are some exceptions.

Pregnant women, some people with chronic health conditions, and people with conditions that mean they can’t eat properly or are on very restrictive diets, may need specific supplements. Talk to your doctor, Accredited Practising Dietitian or pharmacist.




Read more:
Social distancing: What it is and why it’s the best tool we have to fight the coronavirus


And beyond diet, there are other measures you can take to stay as healthy as possible in the face of coronavirus.

Stop smoking to improve your lung’s ability to fight infection, perform moderate intensity exercise like brisk walking, get enough sleep, practise social distancing and wash your hands with soap regularly.The Conversation

Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Coles says these toys promote healthy eating. I say that’s rubbish



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Carla Liuzzo, Queensland University of Technology

As a parent, I find it so frustrating to take my children shopping, reusable bags in hand, only to be offered plastic toys at the checkout. It’s an incredibly confusing message to be sending kids. And it seems Coles is confused too.

Last year the company stated it wants to be “Australia’s most sustainable supermarket”. But with last week’s relaunch of “Stikeez” – yet another plastic collectables range off the back of their Little Shop promotion – Coles is showing dogged commitment to unsustainable marketing.

Stikeez are 24 plastic characters (plus four rare ones) in the shape of fruit and vegetables, aimed at encouraging kids to eat healthy food.




Read more:
Why and how retailers turn everyday items into ‘must-have’ collectables


After petitions against previous plastic “mini” campaigns by Coles and Woolworths, Coles will make the Stikeez characters returnable in store for recycling.

But this misses the point. Coles is generating waste needlessly in the first place. Surely it’s time to move beyond plastic freebies as a way of boosting sales?

Coles sent almost 100,000 tonnes of waste to landfill in 2019.
Shutterstock

Irresponsible marketing

We have a waste problem in this country. Australians are the third highest producers of waste per person, after the US and Canada. Some councils are having to stockpile plastic, there’s a federal plan to phase out exporting waste overseas and we have high rates of contamination of recyclables.

And Coles, one of Australia’s supermarket giants, sent almost 100,000 tonnes of waste to landfill in 2019. That’s 274 tonnes per day.




Read more:
Stop shaming and start empowering: advertisers must rethink their plastic waste message


But after their Little Shop collection provoked a consumer backlash, Coles took steps to reduce waste generated from their latest campaign. Stikeez wrapping contains partially recycled content, and Coles is providing in-store collection points where Stikeez can be returned and repurposed into shoe soles, in partnership with Save Our Soles.

Certainly this is preferable to throwing the items into the rubbish, but repurposing the plastic is not without environmental cost. Fuel is required to transport the waste and the process of repurposing plastic uses energy.

What’s more, asking shoppers to bring back their Stikeez puts the onus on consumers, rather than the company, to dispose of the items responsibly. And as we’ve seen by the low rates of recycling of soft plastics on a national level – recycling soft plastics is also offered in store – it’s far more convenient to throw items in the bin.

Coles haven’t publicised data about how many collectables they will produce.
Alpha/Flickr, CC BY-NC

Coles is also missing the point of the consumer backlash. When a company already generates huge quantities of waste in its core business and says it wants to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket, it cannot generate additional waste on plastic marketing.

Boosting the bottom line

Last year Coles’ Little Shop put many parents offside. But Coles earned around A$200 million in extra revenue as a result of the original promotion.

Coles reported an increase in the first quarter of 2019 in sales of 5% and gained a competitive advantage over rival Woolworths, which managed only 1.5% in the same period. Obviously the bump in sales was too hard for Coles to resist.

It’s difficult to get an accurate figure on what waste this latest Stikeez campaign will generate. Coles haven’t publicised data about how many collectables they will produce. And waste contractors to Coles haven’t revealed how many collectables ended up in landfill last year, though there have been reports of Little Shop items ending up on beaches in Bali.

Last year, Coles said 94% of Little Shop collectables were either kept or given to family or friends. But University of Tasmania marketing expert Louise Grimmer discredited this data, saying it was not based on any meaningful longitudinal research that would allow such claims.

Stikeez undermines Coles’ sustainability efforts

If organisations produce plastic for marketing purposes, it’s difficult to see how we can achieve plastic recycling rates of 70% by 2025. This target – set by federal and state governments and which Coles has signed on to meet – also stipulates the removal of “problematic and unnecessary” single use plastic packaging.

Coles’ Little Shop promotion faced petitions from people concerned about the plastic waste it generated.
Shutterstock

Federal Assistant Minister for Waste, Trevor Evans, said finding a sustainable way to manage plastics was a major challenge and requires a coordinated effort. As a powerful household brand, Coles must unequivocally be part of this effort.




Read more:
How recycling is actually sorted, and why Australia is quite bad at it


Coles’ environmental policy says it’s “committed to doing business in an environmentally responsible manner”. But plastic freebies fly in the face of this policy.

Better waste regulation

Voluntary initiatives for companies to reduce packaging and plastic waste, which Coles have signed on to, have not produced meaningful results.

Currently only one-third of all plastic packaging in Australia is recycled.

Overseas countries have moved away from voluntary frameworks to more structured and enforceable regulations to reduce plastic production and waste. In fact, Europe voted to ban single use plastics last year.

As long as Australia lags on waste regulation, organisations such as Coles will continue to contravene their own environmental policies.


The Conversation contacted Coles for comment. Its response is as follows:

Customers have told us that they use Stikeez as a fun tool to encourage kids to eat more types of fresh foods. The collectibles form part of the Coles Fresh 5 Challenge which encourages kids to eat all the Five Food Groups daily. We made changes to the Stikeez campaign this year to ensure it’s more environmentally sustainable.

Stikeez collectibles, including those customers have from last year, can now be recycled at all Coles supermarkets. We have partnered with Australian recycling group Save our Soles so that Stikeez can be recycled through the same process that is used to recycle footwear in Australia since 2010 to create useful products like anti-fatigue mats, gym matting, retail flooring and carpet underlay.The Conversation

Carla Liuzzo, Sessional Lecturer, School of Business, Queensland University of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

No food, no fuel, no phones: bushfires showed we’re only ever one step from system collapse



Australian Navy

Anthony Richardson, RMIT University

This summer’s bushfires were not just devastating events in themselves. More broadly, they highlighted the immense vulnerability of the systems which make our contemporary lives possible.

The fires cut road access, which meant towns ran out of fuel and fell low on food. Power to towns was cut and mobile phone services stopped working. So too did the ATMs and EFTPOS services the economy needs to keep running.

In a modern, wealthy nation such as Australia, how could this happen?

In answering this question, it’s helpful to adopt “systems thinking”. This approach views problems as part of an overall system, where each part relates to each other.

In other words, we need to look at the big picture.

Through a systems lens

Systems are everywhere, from the coral ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef to the vast technology networks of global financial markets. In a human sense, social systems range from the small, such as a family, to large organisations or the national or global population.

The systems I mentioned just now are “complex” systems. This means they are connected to other systems in many ways. It also means a change in one part of the system, such as a bushfire in a landscape, can set off unpredicted changes in connected systems – be they political, technological, economic or social.




Read more:
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All complex systems have three things in common:

  1. they need a constant supply of energy to maintain their functioning

  2. they are interconnected across a range of scales, from the personal and local to the global and beyond

  3. they are fragile when they have no “redundancy”, or Plan B.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange – part of the complex system of global financial markets.
Justin Lane/EPA

The case of East Gippsland

To better understand a complex system collapse, let’s examine what happened in Victoria’s East Gippsland region, particularly the coastal town of Mallacoota, during the recent fires.

This case demonstrates how one trigger (in this case, a bushfire) may start a cascade of events, but the intrinsic fragility of the system enables total collapse.

Transport-wise, neither East Gippsland nor Mallacoota itself are physically well connected. Fires cut both the only transport connection to East Gippsland, the Princes Highway, and the lone road out of Mallacoota.




Read more:
Australia can expect far more fire catastrophes. A proper disaster plan is worth paying for


Smoke haze prevented air transport. This meant the only way out was by sea, in the form of intervention by the Australian Navy.

Second, there were no reserves of food, fuel, water, medical supplies or communications at hand when the fires had passed. Supplies ran so low there were reports of a looming “humanitarian crisis”.

These shortages are no surprise. In Australia, as in most developed countries, food and fuel distribution systems run on a “just in time” model. This approach, originally developed by Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, involves organising supply networks so materials are ordered and received when they are needed.

Such systems remove the need to store excess goods in warehouses, and are undoubtedly efficient. But they are also extremely fragile because there is no redundancy in the system – no Plan B.

Implications for Australia

Australia as a whole is, in many ways, just as fragile as Mallacoota.

We import 90% of our oil – a figure expected to rise to 100% by 2030. Much of that fuel passes through the Straits of Hormuz and then through the Indonesian archipelago. We have few alternative routes.




Read more:
Australia’s fuel stockpile is perilously low, and it may be too late for a refill


Nor do we maintain sufficient back-up reserves of fuel. Australia is the only International Energy Agency (IEA) member that does not meet the obligation to keep 90 days of fuel supplies in reserve.

As East Gippsland and Mallacoota have shown, many other connected systems, such as food distribution networks, are critically dependent on this fragile fuel supply.

A close shave

On January 3 this year – the very day HMAS Choules evacuated people from Mallacoota – the US killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by drone strike.

If Iran had responded by disrupting the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, throwing global oil supply into turmoil, Australia may have faced nationwide fuel shortages at the height of the bushfire crisis.

Late last year Australia reportedly had 18 days of petrol, 22 days of diesel and 23 days of jet fuel in reserve.

A global fuel crisis was avoided only due to restraint by both the US and Iran. Australia might not be so lucky next time.

Activists calling for de-escalation in the conflict between the US and Iran in January.
MARK R. CRISTINO/EPA

The need for reserves

Our communities, especially in bushfire-prone areas, need more redundancy to make them resilient to disasters. This might mean towns storing water, non-perishable food, blankets, medical supplies, a generator, a satellite phone and possibly fuel, in protected locations.

More broadly, Australia needs a national fuel reserve. This should be in line with the IEA’s 90-day obligations. In December last year, Australia reportedly had just 54 days’ worth of reserves.

The federal government has recently looked to bolster reserves through possible deals with the US and Holland. But overseas supplies will not be very helpful in an immediate crisis.

The implications of the bushfire crisis are clear. At a national and individual level, we must improve the resilience of the systems that make our daily life possible.The Conversation

Anthony Richardson, Tutor and Researcher, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Why it can be hard to stop eating even when you’re full: Some foods may be designed that way



Bet you can’t eat just one.
tlindsayg/Shutterstock

Tera Fazzino, University of Kansas and Kaitlyn Rohde, University of Kansas

All foods are not created equal. Most are palatable, or tasty to eat, which is helpful because we need to eat to survive. For example, a fresh apple is palatable to most people and provides vital nutrients and calories.

But certain foods, such as pizza, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies, are almost irresistible. They’re always in demand at parties, and they’re easy to keep eating, even when we are full.

In these foods, a synergy between key ingredients can create an artificially enhanced palatability experience that is greater than any key ingredient would produce alone. Researchers call this hyperpalatability. Eaters call it delicious.

Initial studies suggest that foods with two or more key ingredients linked to palatability – specifically, sugar, salt, fat or carbohydrates – can activate brain-reward neurocircuits similarly to drugs like cocaine or opioids. They may also be able to bypass mechanisms in our bodies that make us feel full and tell us to stop eating.

Our research focuses on rewarding foods, addictive behaviors and obesity. We recently published a study with nutritional scientist Debra Sullivan that identifies three clusters of key ingredients that can make foods hyperpalatable. Using those definitions, we estimated that nearly two-thirds of foods widely consumed in the U.S. fall into at least one of those three groups.

Documentaries like “Fed Up’ (2014) have linked obesity to food industry practices and American eating habits.

Cracking the codes

Foods that are highly rewarding, easily accessible and cheap are everywhere in our society. Unsurprisingly, eating them has been associated with obesity.

Documentaries in the last 15-20 years have reported that food companies have developed formulas to make palatable foods so enticing. However, manufacturers typically guard their recipes as trade secrets, so academic scientists can’t study them.

Instead, researchers have used descriptive definitions to capture what makes some foods hyperpalatable. For example, in his 2012 book ”Your Food Is Fooling You: How Your Brain Is Hijacked by Sugar, Fat, and Salt,“ David Kessler, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), wrote:

“What are these foods? …. Some are sweetened drinks, chips, cookies, candy, and other snack foods. Then, of course, there are fast food meals – fried chicken, pizza, burgers, and fries.”

But these definitions are not standardized, so it is hard to compare results across studies. And they fail to identify the relevant ingredients. Our study sought to establish a quantitative definition of hyperpalatable foods and then use it to determine how prevalent these foods are in the U.S.

In 2018, 31% of U.S. adults aged 18 and over were obese.
CDC

Three key clusters

We conducted our work in two parts. First we carried out a literature search to identify scientific articles that used descriptive definitions of the full range of palatable foods. We entered these foods into standardized nutrition software to obtain detailed data on the nutrients they contained.

Next we used a graphing procedure to determine whether certain foods appeared to cluster together. We then used the clusters to inform our numeric definition. We found that hyperpalatable foods fell into three distinct clusters:

– Fat and sodium, with more than 25% of total calories (abbreviated as kcal) from fat and at least 0.30% sodium per gram per serving. Bacon and pizza are examples.

– Fat and simple sugars, with more than 20% kcal from fat and more than 20% kcal from simple sugars. Cake is an example.

– Carbohydrates and sodium, with over 40% kcal from carbohydrates and at least 0.20% sodium per gram per serving. Buttered popcorn is an example.

Then we applied our definition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, or FNDDS, which catalogs foods that Americans report eating in a biennial federal survey on nutrition and health. The database contained 7,757 food items that we used in our analysis.

Over 60% of these foods met our criteria for hyperpalatability. Among them, 70% were in the fat/sodium cluster, including many meats, meat-based dishes, omelets and cheese dips. Another 25% fell into the fat/simple sugars cluster, which included sweets and desserts, but also foods such as glazed carrots and other vegetables cooked with fat and sugar.

Finally, 16% were in the carbohydrate/sodium cluster, which consisted of carbohydrate-dense meal items like pizza, plus breads, cereals and snack foods. Fewer than 10% of foods fell into multiple clusters.

Many hyperpalatable foods are widely available and cheap.
gabriel12/Shutterstock

We also looked at which of the USDA’s food categories contained the most hyperpalatable foods. Over 70% of meats, eggs and grain-based foods in the FNDDS met our criteria for hyperpalatability. We were surprised to find that 49% of foods labeled as containing “reduced,” “low”, or zero levels of sugar, fat, salt and/or calories qualified as hyperpalatable.

Finally, we considered whether our definition captured what we hypothesized it would capture. It identified more than 85% of foods labeled as fast or fried, as well as sweets and desserts. Conversely, it did not capture foods that we hypothesized were not hyperpalatable, such as raw fruits, meats or fish, or 97% of raw vegetables.

Tackling obesity

If scientific evidence supporting our proposed definition of hyperpalatable foods accumulates, and it shows that our definition is associated with overeating and obesity-related outcomes, our findings could be used in several ways.

First, the FDA could require hyperpalatable foods to be labeled – an approach that would alert consumers to what they may be eating while preserving consumer choice. The agency also could regulate or limit specific combinations of ingredients, as a way to reduce the chance of people finding foods that contain them difficult to stop eating.

Consumers also could consider the role of hyperpalatable foods in their own lives. Our team needs to do further work validating our definition before we translate it for the public, but as a first step, individuals can examine whether the foods they eat contain multiple ingredients such as fat and sodium, particularly at high levels. Recent surveys show increased interest among U.S. consumers in making informed food choices, although they often aren’t sure which sources to trust.

One starting point for people concerned about healthy eating is to consume foods that are unlikely to be hyperpalatable – items that occur naturally and have few or no additional ingredients, such as fresh fruit. As food writer Michael Pollan recommends, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

[ Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter. ]The Conversation

Tera Fazzino, Assistant Professor of Psychology; Associate Director of the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment, University of Kansas and Kaitlyn Rohde, Research Assistant, Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment., University of Kansas

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.