Generally from time to time each one of us receive emails that talk of various ‘superfoods’ Many runners who have read the book Born to Run by Chistropher Mcdougall have also got acquainted with Chia seeds in that book. Most emails will talk of some exotic fruits or vegetables that are supposed to impart huge and miraculous benefits by their consumption.
So here is a general take on all such superfoods:
1. There is no geographical lottery that imparts certain foods greater power than others. Foods in all parts of the world contain nutrients and micro-nutrients that are all desirable for achieving one effect or the other.
2. The benefits touted of one superfood can be easily touted for other foods also. It is just that one is being ‘branded’ while another is not.
3. Generally fruits that are more rare and uncommon are imparted with the superfood status. Rarity thus equals desirability in most cases.
4. The industry primer “Sucessful Superfruit Stratgey: How to Build a Superfruit Business” puts it rather bluntly, “Superfruits are the product of a strategy, not something you will find growing in a tree”
See a book review here: http://www.new-nutrition.com/report/showReport/16
5. The above book lists a six point strategy for building the business and point 6 states : “Clever marketing and promotion doesn’t necessarily involve a huge advertising campaign: Viral marketing that reaches the right audience in the right way can be more effective….” So most of the time those emails are marketing collaterals intended to go viral.
6. The superfoods business play upon the basic human nature to gain an unfair advantage over others by taking a ‘shortcut’ . It helps to generally remember that in life there are no free lunches..superfoods or not.
7. Most such marketing initiatives emerge from the Western countries. So we see fruits from other countries as being more super endowed than ours. Similar to Mickey Mouse having better brand recall than the Mooshika of Lord Ganesh.
8. Do you know what are the latest superfoods lining Health food stores in the west? Virgin coconut oil, Coconut milk and Organic clarified butter ( a.k.a. Desi Ghee ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee Take that Mr Cardiologist
9. Just because that Yam on the vegatable handcart does not wink at you with its nutritional values it does not mean that is a poor chump either.
10. Have you seen our comparative study of Indian Subja v/s Chia seeds at http://youtoocanrun.com/2012/07/sabja-chia-the-lab-test/