I’ve been in a lot of conversations recently that revolve around trust. Our news cycle is constantly throwing trust into question, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to know whom to turn to when it comes to critical decisions.
In no way is this more apparent than in the food industry. For years, the industry was able to operate from a dictatorial position: we will tell you what you need to know. Fat content? Sure. Calories? You bet. Sodium? OK.
But we quickly yearned for more.
So what changed? Our access to information. It democratized the process, taking power from the all-powerful and redistributing it into the hands of the people.
Suddenly, consumers could see a side by side comparison of two products that carry the same name, made by the same company—one sold here in the U.S., the other sold overseas. And they could see how differently the products were formulated. The products sold overseas, use real ingredients that have been found in our food supply for generations, while the products sold here in the U.S. are far more likely to include cheaper, artificial ingredients developed in labs and designed to preserve shelf life and drive greater margins and profitability.
And American families couldn’t stomach that double standard. A lot of us woke up to the fact that we were being sold the cheaper products, full of artificial ingredients, while these same companies formulated their products differently, full of real ingredients, for consumers overseas. A food awakening occurred, which I share in my book The Unhealthy Truth (Random House 2009).
And while correlation is not causation, at the same time, our families were getting sicker. It didn’t matter if it was something like asthma or allergies, or something like cancer and diabetes, no family was immune. We were suddenly saddled with managing conditions that changed the way we lived our lives. No longer could a mom go out without both an epinephrine device and allergen free snacks. No longer could someone eat out in a restaurant without first understanding the sugar content, or salt content, or allergen content. What was first incredibly annoying became the norm, and restaurants began to cater to these changing needs, and so did some of our favorite brands. Thank goodness, because American families simply wanted to eat real food.
The companies who have embraced radical transparency are the ones who will survive. The information flow isn’t stopping, and it is bringing a swift and profound conversion to our food system, from blockchain to B Corporation and beyond. No longer are consumers willing to blindly swallow what is put in front of them (or at least most aren’t). Today, we are questioning how products are made, where they are made and why certain processes are employed: from farm to table, to genetic engineering to keto, paleo, gluten-free and so much more. On top of that, an entire new industry is forming around blockchain and the ability to have access to data ledgers that provide the exact level of detail anyone is looking for at anytime.
It can be intimidating to those who have dictated food standards for the last several years and for those who have something to hide, but it can be liberating to those who embrace the standards of transparency.
It’s not unprecedented; we’ve seen this movie before. Think about Intel Inside, you probably knew more about what was inside your computer before you knew what was inside your food. Once that shift happened, the need to know, the companies that got on board with it first earned the trust of the consumer. The same thing is happening in the food industry. This is why companies like MegaFood are true trusted partners of mine. The company has gone above and beyond time and time again. From getting certified as a B corporation, to being totally transparent in their partnerships with farmers who support organic and regenerative agriculture to create the real food ingredients inside each tablet, powder and gummy vitamin, and advocating for regenerative practices worldwide, to being the first supplement brand to have its entire line of products certified glyphosate-residue free. MegaFood has even gone so far as to help petition the EPA to ban the use of glyphosate in the desiccant phase. MegaFood is a true leader when it comes to complete transparency with its consumers, retailers and even its own team of dedicated and motivated employees who all value its mission – to create a healthy, sustainable future for all. You can read more about MegaFood’s outstanding Big T Transparency proposition here.
The reality is, the upfront work to be this radically transparent is not always easy, but doing it certainly makes it easier in the long run. But MegaFood consumers will always know exactly where they stand – right beside the brand, shoulder to shoulder, on a mission to nourish our world and create the healthiest products possible. And for that transparency and so much more, they have earned my trust and I hope many more brands follow suit so that we can normalize transparency in this space.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign the petition to ban glyphosate! Let’s ban together for the good of our food, for the good of our planet and the good of our health!
This post was created in partnership with MegaFood®. I’m proud to work with brands that care about the health of its consumers and the planet. As always, all opinions and text are my own.