Are “superfoods” a scam?
This article says everything I’ve been trying to say about superfoods for a long time. Here’s an excerpt:
“Worse than superfoods’ origin myths, though, are their effects on the people in their native regions. In 2009, at the height of the açaí berry hype, Bloomberg News reported that the fruit’s wholesale price had jumped 60-fold since the early 2000s, pricing the Amazonian villagers who rely on it out of the market. In the Andes, where quinoa has been cultivated since the time of the Incas, price spikes have turned a one-time staple into a luxury, and quinoa monocrops are crowding out the more sustainable traditional methods.
If that doesn’t faze you, perhaps this will: Quinoa may deliver a complete protein—all of the amino acids you require—in a compact package, but rice and beans together actually do better. And like goji berries, blueberries and strawberries are packed with phytochemicals. The only problem is that lacking an exotic back story, food marketers can’t wring as exorbitant a markup from these staples: The domestic blueberry, for example, is periodically (and justifiably) marketed as a superfood, and in 2012, products featuring blueberries as a primary ingredient saw their sales nearly quadruple. But they only raked in $3.5 million—less than 2 percent of açaí-based product sales.
Yes, the food industry’s hawkers have a tough job—and you can make it even tougher. The real superfoods are lurking exactly where marketers don’t want you to look: in produce sections, bulk food aisles, and backyard gardens. Not quite as exotic as the Himalayas. But then again, neither are those industrial plots in China where goji berries actually come from.”
Yes. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.