It is amazing to me how confused everyone is about nutrition.
The effects of food in the human body is complex and predicting its effects on everyone is impossible as we just do not know enough (the naked truth I guess).
However it is really not that bad. Through proper testing methods the scientific community still has gathered enough data points and developed enough knowledge to roughly predict some of these effects, which to some point is fine, but its complexity calls for more.
So the solution has traditionally been incremental experimentation plus a statistical and probablilistical study over a sample of subjects that by design is as representative as it can be made by the scientists and regulatory authorities involved.
But everything depends on measurement.
It is the way we gauge reality and how we compare things. So what happens when nobody measures? Or even worse, when they measure wrong.
You get…well, you don’t know what you get which is the whole point. Misinformation.
Government regulations can impose costs on the food industry by standardizing and making more testing mandatory (e.g. ORAC 5.0 for foods that claim antioxidant properties, cell aging for those that claim anti-aging, etc.) but although this is a very politicized point and can be argued for long I always thought individual responsibility drives government anyway.
And it has because at least at Brunswick Labs we progressively see more food companies recognizing consumer appreciation for reliable information. My favorite indicator is the rapidly increasing number of customers for whom we perform preclinical and clinical studies to thoroughly understand the effect of their foods. Yes, you should be impressed as it is the type of studies required by the FDA describe the image to approve pharmaceuticals.
Marketing groups are seeing increased revenue, product branding value, and company credibility (another form of branding) as there is a large market that craves for the best possible information that can be offered to them.
Still there are so many unsupported claims from premium food and beverage manufacturers that never tested their products properly that it has become one of my favorite examples of how marketing drives consumption as opposed to quality information. To be fair, most cases seem unintentional since as we reach out they acknowledge the need and proceed to test and research their products. And this is good for everyone.
The bottom line is that testing is a service they provide, part of the value they offer with their products, a higher quality of information.
When buying food and beverages you place your trust on the manufacturer, and they are not all made equal.