How Businesses Shape Food Culture
Why Business Should Offer More Diabetes Fighting Food
Every year, the number of Filipinos who are diagnosed with diabetes rises. It is predicted that 15 years from now, the Philippines will be one of the top 10 countries in the world with the most diabetes cases.
Because type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, there are things you can do to prevent diabetes. The thing is, being Filipino kind of makes it difficult.
The number of diabetes cases is due, in part, to our culture and society. Filipinos love to eat, and no social gathering is complete without food. The thing is, Pinoy food is not exactly the healthiest in the world.
Filipinos are huge white rice eaters, which contains a lot of glucose in it. This goes with our stew-y and fatty foods like batchoy, papaitan, adobo, and of course, lechon. Our street food, despite being addictive as can be, isn’t any better. There’s adidas, betamax, isaw, and all the tusok-tusok that’s full of trans-fats and saturated fats.
Our culture isn’t the only one to blame for this. After all, it’s difficult to undo centuries of traditions and habits that have been passed on to us. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
There is a way for us, as a nation, to eat better. And that’s with the help of business.
How businesses affect food culture
Whether you realize is or not (and whether you like it or not), businesses have a direct effect on our behaviors. The brands and food we see on television, posted on social media, consumed by our favorite celebrities, and even brought in by huge corporations creates hype that make us everyday Juan and Juanas want to have it.
If bad food for diabetics and non-diabetics alike, such as greasy, processed, and sugary food are being shown and promoted, it is natural for us to want to belong by eating these. And with an abundance of choices of these kinds of food around, it also makes the temptation much stronger.
On the other hand, if businesses choose to put their money in whole foods like farm-to-table dishes, fresh produce, and unrefined snacks, the public is mostly to follow as well! Whole foods not only keep our bodies healthy but can also help fight diabetes. The food we eat is not as heavily influenced by our physical needs as it is by our environmental and social environment. So, if all we are seeing are healthy food, then our minds will also start craving for these as well.
It’s really a matter of normalizing healthy food and making it accessible to everybody. If more businesses focus on making healthy food available to Filipinos, even the marginalized, then it starts becoming a part of our daily lives. With more choices also comes an influx in supply, meaning the prices will be much lower. Think of your favorite fast food restaurant and how many of those you see on the street. It’s that cheap because of how much supply it has. The same thing can happen to the prices of healthy food if only more people invest in it and choose it over fatty food.
While making lifestyle changes should start from us, businesses have the power and the reach to influence a wider network of people to change their habits for the better. If more businesses make nutritional food available to the masses, then we just might start seeing a shift towards a healthier lifestyle as a nation.
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