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article imageOp-Ed: New phone app for fats, sugars — and a dumb global food industry

By Paul Wallis     Sep 4, 2011 in Health
Sydney - The new Traffic Light Food Tracker is a simple enough app. You enter some basic data, and it tells you if the fat, sugar and sodium levels are OK. The mere fact that this tracking app is exists is an indictment of a food industry that must be in a coma.
The Traffic Light Food Tracker targets some of the most truly over-represented foods in the modern diet. These things cause medical problems. Nobody needs megatons of sugar, sodium or fat. You do need very small amounts, but not in these ranges.
The truth is that the cost of these things to consumers and food distributors is incredible. A lot of the “food” value is actually unnecessary, useless and dangerous garbage. It comprises a lot of the cost of the foods.
There’s no real excuse for these useless additions, except in very old food technology:
Sugar and salt are old style preservatives. Compared to some of the garbage on the market, they’re relatively safer, but the sheer volume of them over time is a possible dietary hazard. Indigenous peoples, not used to the high sugar content, have the highest rate of diabetes in the world, in an era of a diabetes pandemic.
Fat is used by the body for energy conversion. Without some body fat, people die. At toxic levels, however, the heart is likely to seize up, and the extra weight is dangerous. (Toxicity varies according to the individual, but too much is too much.)
Even more bizarre is the fact that a lot of much higher food value, lower cost alternatives are also quite common:
Soy flour
Rice flour
Potato flour
Almost any low GI food can be used as filler for adding solid content
The irony is that using food content like this would not only shut down the dietary global disaster of recent years, but also drastically reduce the cost of food processing. These foods don’t need processing, just adding to meal content.
McDonalds, KFC and the rest of the suite of high processing cost food distributors could become great distributors of high value foods, simply by not processing their food so much. Meat is best digested in a less processed form- Less grinding, less cost for the distributors and the customers. Bread doesn’t need much work either, and the cost of sugar in white bread is quite high.
Is this a difficult concept to follow?
Less cost= better food= more people alive and well and able to buy it
As distinct from high cost food which is literally wiping out the client base, I think it’s got a few things going for it.
The future of food analysis
Of course in future, food analysis will actually require tricorders, particularly with all the GM food likely to be coming on the market.
You’ll need to analyse your food for:
Non-metabolizable content- Some GM foods are rumoured to contain materials the body can’t digest. You can put on weight and keep it on when you get reincarnated.
Additives only- Sooner or later, someone will think of simply including the additives and reducing production cost by leaving out the food. Think of a nice juicy grilled cardboard fillet with flavouring.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Food- A new dietary fad in which anything can be claimed to be food, and you win a few more hours of life if your app can identify what the “food” actually is.
Placebo Food- Again not actual food, but used to see how many consumers are prepared to eat it until they starve to death.
Pensioner Food- This is a sort of holistic environmental approach to food, in which you get to eat food which is as old as you are. The theory is that people will soon learn to simply stop eating. The cost of waste management systems is reduced to zero, lowering pollution, and stick people are easier to cremate.
Keep up the great work guys!
Download The Traffic Light Food Tracker app for iPhone or iPad.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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