In case you missed the article in the New York Times on Sunday, the question that was raised was “what if broccoli was marketed like other highly processed food we get tricked into buying?” Michael Moss, the author of “Sugar, Fat, and Salt: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” asked some of the master marketing minds from big food corporations “How would you get people to want to buy and eat broccoli? What would your campaign look like? What would the message be? What would you do that all the well-intentioned government-funded campaigns have failed to do for generations?”
I have to admit that I often buy broccoli because I know it’s healthy. I also have to admit that I sometimes just throw it away because it’s gone bad before I eat it. Why? Well, as I discovered from reading this article, I have become pretty limited in how I think about broccoli and don’t often think about putting it in the meals that I cook. For instance, did you know you can grill broccoli? As one the marketing slogans said, “Have a side of steak with your broccoli.” Just by reading this article and thinking more about how “awesome” broccoli can be, I have bought broccoli once, ate it, and really liked it, and I have found a new recipe with broccoli that I’m going to try later in the week (it’s a stir fry with broccoli and shrimp). My mind seems to be fascinated with the idea of making broccoli exciting.
We are very conditioned by the messages in our heads and in our environment. How many messages do you see for fresh fruits and vegetables? If you did, how much more would you think about them, buy them, and eat them? Mindfulness can help us break out of the ruts of conditioning and discover new worlds of food. I challenge you to pick a vegetable that you think you only eat because it’s healthy. Think about a cool marketing campaign for it, find some new recipes and try them out, approach the vegetable with a beginner’s mind that will allow you to see it in all its glory. So much of what we do starts with how we think about it. Change your thoughts and you change your reality. Repeat after me.. “Broccoli is awesome.”
We are also very conditioned by our taste buds. If you eat a lot of highly processed food or food with sugar, fat, and salt, then your taste buds have become less sensitive and less able to enjoy the delightful subtleties of fresh fruits and vegetables. (See my blog “Mindfully Training Your Taste Buds”). Mindful eating can turn this around for you. You can re-condition your taste buds to discover the joys of broccoli and many other vegetables.
Watch this video to see the behind scenes story about the broccoli makeover.
Become part of the movement to make healthy food hip!