Supermarket Chaos

“Low-fat,” “Gluten-free,” “Reduced sodium” – labels,
advertisements and recipes that are plaguing our supermarkets, TV and internet.
I remember walking through my local supermarket feeling unbelievably
overwhelmed. I remember growing up eating a “balanced” meal with meat, rice and
vegetables. As a student, I was taught about the Canadian food guide standards
and how many servings of each category we were supposed to have. Things felt
simpler back then. Fast forward 20 years and I’m confused about every product I
pick up. I have spoken to many people about following food trends. Whether it’s
going Paleo or Gluten-Free, I believe it’s important to discuss these things
with your doctor or a nutritionist. I also think it’s a responsibility of
companies marketing any product with a mindfulness that we are susceptible to
falling into “food traps.” That doesn’t take away the responsibility of
ourselves to educate about our body and what we need in order to flourish. We
want the onus to be on us to not fall for these “food traps” just because
“that’s what everybody else is doing.”
 I find it
frustrating that food has become more complicated because for some, food is
already complicated enough. For those individuals going through disordered
eating, these labels reinforce a need to stay or be a certain way. It no longer
promotes a healthy view on food but instead it has a mindset that if you don’t
do things in a certain way, you are more likely to be unhealthy, have health
issues, gain weight, etc. I recently watched a documentary, The War on Wheat, on CBC’s “The Fifth
Estate”. The documentary is based on the book, Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis. The documentary looked into claims
Dr. Davis was making about wheat. He believed that wheat is causing an array of
illness, body malfunction and mental health concerns; however, these claims
have not undergone any research studies. Dr. Davis’s book is a best seller with
millions of people following his teachings (The Fifth Estate, CBC News). It truly
makes one wonder how powerful these forms of labels and advertisements have on
Next time you go into your supermarket, watch TV or
surf the internet – take a second and listen to what your body needs and wants
and follow that. The unfortunate reality is that we will be bombarded by flashy
slogans and trendy words. Do your research, talk to your doctor and/ or
nutritionist and get back to enjoying food the way you want. Let us organize
this chaos together.
Nafiza is a Clinical Counsellor with Fraserside Community Services Society. Her passion is to promote healthy eating and activities in youth and adults, to live life appreciating the body she has today and to work on optimizing the opportunities she has around her.

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