It seems that almost everyone’s interested in making healthy choices these days, but knowing how and what to eat in order to maximize your diet can be overwhelming. That’s why many of us are going back to basics: less processed, simple, and often traditionally prepared foods. The clean-label trend is gaining traction with individual supermarket shoppers and restaurant patrons as well as large-scale producers and restaurants of all kinds.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at clean eating and why it’s a food trend that’s brilliantly simple and simply delicious.
What is Clean Eating?
Perhaps you’ve heard the terms “clean eating” or “clean label” and been confused by what they actually mean. While food-safe sanitation practices are essential, these terms aren’t related to actual dirt, but rather the concept that ingredients in their natural state (i.e. minimally processed) are best.
Clean Labels keep it simple.
Fitness magazine defined clean eating as choosing authentic foods: “At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or ‘real’ foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.”
Clean Labels keep it healthy.
In the supermarket scene, one stand-out retailer working to clean up their product offerings is ALDI. Along with its sister store Trader Joe’s, ALDI provides clean-label foods for budget-conscious shoppers. Many of ALDI’s products are sold under their private label, and the reformulation promises to remove additives like partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, and MSG.
As food industry analyst Phil Lempert described it:
“Today’s shoppers are more involved with food than ever before. They want to know everything about their food and the companies that supply them – especially as it relates to ingredients and the impact on their families. ALDI is leading the supermarket industry in rightly responding to the science that shows the implications of these ingredients, and meeting the needs of the increasingly savvy consumers who don’t want artificial or potentially harmful ingredients in the products they buy.”
Clean Labels keep it green.
The ethos behind clean-label eating extends beyond the impact on our bodies to the world around us. Trending environmental concerns about minimizing food waste, improving animal welfare, promoting organic production, and reducing chemical pesticides and GMOs continue to lead the conversation in grocery stores and restaurants alike.
One popular chain restaurant that’s promoting cleaner labels across their menu is Panera Bread. Among the many efforts they’re making toward their “Clean Journey” (and implementing their “No-No List”) is a commitment to supporting animal welfare, such as utilizing grass-fed beef and switching 100% cage-free eggs by 2020. Learn more about their policy on vegetarian feed and zero antibiotics on this infographic.
Here’s hoping you enjoy some healthy and delicious dining this weekend! Happy Foodie Friday!
And, of course, for something a little weird…
As part of their clean journey, Panera Bread challenged some customers to pronounce some of the more complicated ingredients in many foods. Check out a video featuring their entertaining confusion here.