Do you ever wonder if the food safety and nutrition issues that receive so much attention in the U.S. on a daily basis are as prevalent in other parts of the world? Last month, I had the opportunity to tour Portugal and Spain, and although I was there for vacation, this thought crossed my mind a few times as I ate my way through these two beautiful countries. Maybe it was because I was so in awe of the immense history and stunning architecture, but food safety and nutrition controversies did not seem to be the big news stories there the way they are here, with daily headlines on U.S. morning news shows blurting out the latest food “crisis.” But the gastronomy to be enjoyed by travelers was certainly a big bragging point in both countries!
I was a bit surprised that I did not see more of the absence labeling that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing on the front of food packages in the US, claiming “free of” this or that. I also noted the narrower selection and/or smaller packaging (but higher prices) of some food products, the slices of under-ripe tomatoes on my panini sandwich, etc.
And I suppose with fewer choices, there is less opportunity to be picky – you get what you get. While I noted the absence of many of the choices and conveniences we enjoy (and often take for granted) here in the U.S. every day, I certainly took the opportunity to enjoy all the delicious pastries and gelato Europe is known for (while balancing my added calorie intake with lots of walking)!
Although I was focused on enjoying the culture and the fun to be had in these amazing places, I got the sense that the locals, too, were not interested in getting caught up in things like the healthfulness of the foods being promoted at the World Cup. They had too much team spirit and country pride to care about anything else but coming together to root for their country, and it reminded me that the culture and camaraderie I was witnessing, along with the celebration of rich and diverse cultures through enjoying delicious food, are what I will remember and what matters most.
What travel adventures involving food have you had this summer? Tweet us @FoodInsight using the hashtag #foodtravels and share your stories and pictures with us!
MARCH 2016: Editor’s Note: “Marching” Toward Better Health • 3 Tips to “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” This National Nutrition Month • 8 Spices from Around the World • Future of Food, Part II: Serving Up Meat, Over Glass • Tip o’ the Mornin’ to You: Don’t Feel Green on St. Patrick’s Day (or Any Day)
FEBRUARY 2016: Editor’s Note: Future Foods, Coming to a Plate Near You • Future of Food, Part I: Food Innovations of Tomorrow • Why You Should Check Food Labels for Potential Allergens • Super Confused About Super Foods? An Educated Consumer Is a Healthy Consumer • How Librarians Prevent the “Dunning-Kruger Effect” • Citrus: Great Fruits for Heart Health
JANUARY 2016: Editor’s Note: Gold Medals and Silver Anniversaries • Feeling List-less? Then Check Out This Litany of New Year’s Food Trends • Happy 25th Anniversary, IFIC Foundation!: Serving Up Food Insights • A History of Communication: Insights from IFIC Foundation’s Sylvia Rowe Fellows
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015: Chew on This: A Food Technologist Puts Red and Processed Meat in Perspective • Understanding, Evaluating, and Communicating Nutrition, Part III: Research Funding • Training the Next Generation of Science Communicators, Part II • Achoo!: Food and Other "Prescriptions" for Surviving Cold and Flu Season • When Nutrition Gets Personal: Study Shows New Frontiers in Understanding Glycemic Response
OCTOBER 2015: Orphan Crops • Answering the Challenge of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" • Weeding Through the Facts on Herbicide Resistance • Rainy Day in Nashville Fails to Dampen RDs' Spirits • Understanding, Evaluating, and Communicating Nutrition, Part II • Training the Next Generation of Science Communicators, Part I
SEPTEMBER 2015: 4 Clever Food Safety Hacks • Hashtags & Hyperbole • Understanding, Evaluating, and Communicating Nutrition, Part I
SUMMER 2015: What's Your Health Worth?, EXPO Milano 2015, "Single Study Syndrome"
MAY 2015: Future of Food (EXPO Milano), Grilling Tips, Food & Health Survey Webcast
APRIL 2015: Food & Nutrition Lessons from Mom, Microbiome, Flowers & Food Security
MARCH 2015: Chemophobia, Fitness Trackers, Dietary Guidelines 2015
FEBRUARY 2015: Farming Cocoa for Your Valentine’s Day Chocolate, At the Heart of Fats and Oils
DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015: 2015 Food Trends Forecast, Gluten & Health, Life after PHOs
NOVEMBER 2014: A Very Southern Farm Tour, Diabetes Awareness, Turkey Safety for Thanksgiving
OCTOBER 2014: RDNs for Nutrition Expertise, Nutrition Behavior Profiles, Fall Food Days
SEPTEMBER 2014: Food Safety Month, Physical Activity & Obesity, Using Video for Education
AUGUST 2014: Back-to-School Nutrition, Pesticide & Health, Sustainable Nutrition
JULY 2014: Perceptions of Food Technology, Millennial Food Preferences, Introducing the FACTS Network
MAY/JUNE 2014: Food & Health Survey, Produce Safety, Summer Grilling Tips
APRIL 2014: ASN & Processed Food, "Banned Ingredients"
MARCH 2014: Nutrition is in Bloom - Changes to the NFP, Nutrient Adequacy, Trans Fat Q&A