Sometimes the events of the world can just bring you down. 1 in 3 kids is overweight or obese. For the first time, our kids are expected to have a lower standard of living than we do. If the stock market drops any faster, it will create a sonic boom. And finally, McDonald’s went and ruined Smores for everyone.
My normal reaction to doom and gloom is to curl up in the fetal position, but for the last three days I have been upright, walking and even…wait for it… smiling! Yes, my time covering the Natural Products Expo 2011 has me actually feeling good and dare I say it, cautiously optimistic about our future.
An Industry Where Hard Work Equals Better Health
We love our gadgets, but when we left the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last year we just felt inadequate and stressed. The phone you just bought is a dinosaur, your TV is too small, your camera is too big and if your not wearing 3D glasses to watch everything, well, you really should be in a therapy.
It is clear incredibly smart and good people are working in the electronics industry and making technologically impressive products, it is just that their desire to build better, faster and more advanced does not always line up with making consumers feel better. In the Natural Products industry, you have hard working folks trying to develop better tasting, more healthy and all natural products. Their goal of trying to make products “better” lines up with our goal as parents of trying to feed our family the most healthy foods.
If your goal is to make a 10 foot TV, you can succeed, but how many people does that help? On the other hand, if you are working to find ways to use organic ingredients, reduce sugar, replace synthetic ingredients with natural ones, treat growers in a fair way and design foods that are tasty and gluten free…that really helps everyone. In the end, you reach a point of diminishing returns when your job is to make flat screen TVs bigger and bigger, but if your job is to make the foods we eat more natural and healthy, you can never overdo that.
Guess What? It Turns Out We Don’t Need To Feed Our Family “Tasty Crap” All Day
Let me explain what I consider to be “tasty crap”. Many of the conventional chips, drinks and snacks we eat and serve to our kids are tasty…that is why we eat them. The bad news is most of these products are also crappy from a health standpoint. The products are heavily processed, have no nutrients and are filled with lab created ingredients that no one can pronounce.
In walking the Natural Products Expo East show floor, we have been very pleased by the number snacks that are healthy, natural, organic and MOST importantly, actually taste good! For years, parents have been aware of the health benefits from moving their family to a natural or organic diet, but taste (especially among kids) has been a major stumbling block from making the change. Finally, natural manufacturers have gotten the message that taste matters and there are great options in just about every category.
Prepare To Learn About Healthy Snack Alternatives and More
This is normally the section of the article where the authors goes into all the great products they found at Expo East. That is a fine idea, but who has time to write, there is still one more day of Expo East to go! We are going to walk the show floor one more time today, taste more samples, take more notes and then tell you what we found. Okay, we can’t resist a little teaser – how about some Way Better snack chips that are sprouted, or yummy Real Deal chips that also have 1.5 servings of vegetables in them. Need a treat? How about an Organic Superfood Delight that is gluten free, sugar free and raw? Wow, we can hardly wait to tell you about all the cool things we have found.
Oh, and who knew you could get this close to Obama without any secret service agents around…unless Pluto IS a secret service agent…