Some food holidays just aren't worth the hype.
Just conduct your own quick Google search, and you’ll find a list of multiple food holidays for almost every day of the year. Everything from pickles to cereal, oreos to cheese doodles, you name it! And although we can get behind the fun and benefit for retailers in promoting and celebrating some of these food days, there are some we think should just be ignored completely.
National Buffet Day
We are still dealing with alarming obesity rates here in the US, increases in Type 2 Diabetes, and studies show the cost of obesity to our nation is $150 billion in healthcare annually and billions of dollars more in lost productivity. Still we continue to see oversized portions and giant sized sugary beverages served in restaurants. The buffet/all-you-can-eat factor doesn’t help. Some research shows that when people are presented with many choices, they tend to overeat as to indulge the feeling of needing to “try” everything (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0125869). And if that’s not enough reason, how about the waste factor? The food industry as a whole is taking a closer look at how to cut back on food waste, and the buffet is good place to start. Sorry Vegas!
Too Many Alcohol Days
If you browse the food holiday calendars, you’ll see beer, wine, liquor and specialty drinks days sprinkled throughout the year. Bloody Mary Day, Drink Wine Day, Moscow Mule Day, Tequila Day, Beer Eve and Beer Day, and more. We counted over 30 alcohol related holidays. The problem is that alcoholism in the US is on the rise, according to a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry, rising by 49 percent decade of the 2000s. And now, one in eight American adults, or 12.7 percent of the US population, meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder. That’s not to say we can’t celebrate the holidays for responsible and moderate drinkers. We are just suggesting that with alarming statistics like this, maybe too much celebrating is not a good thing.
National Soylent Green Day
(Not referring to the modern Soylent brand meal replacement)
Not sure how many people actually celebrate this day, but this one makes our list, because we believe there are other ways to nourish your body and also enjoy food. We are living in a time of food halls, food trucks, a vast and diverse offering of multi-cultural influenced dishes, products and recipes on the Internet. Consumers are interested in how their food is grown and how it’s made. Although this holiday is a nod to the 1973 Sci-Fi thriller, Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston, this holiday doesn’t make any sense for modern food culture.
National Greasy Foods Day and National Fast Food Day
There’s a pizza day, a fried chicken day, tater tot day…there’s already enough specific greasy food days celebrated throughout the year, and let’s face it, fast food consumption isn’t slowing down. In fact, the average American spends $1,200 a year on fast food, but what we find to be the most alarming of stats, is that children consume an estimated 12% of their calories from fast food. And in 2015, Trans fats, which found in most commercial baked goods and fried foods, were officially deemed by the FDA to cause high cholesterol– the leading cause of heart disease in the U.S. Supermarkets can gracefully avoid these two holidays or offer the antithesis by encouraging healthful eating, but doing so by showcasing delicious “anti-fast food” options.
Stay tuned for part two, The Food Holidays You Should Be Celebrating.