Pick up just about any commercially prepared food item at your local grocery store and flip it over — the odds are good you won’t get very far into the ingredient list before you come across something that makes you stop and scratch your head. Where the heck does “natural flavoring” come from, anyways? And why does this mystery ingredient need a name that is shrouded in ambiguity?
In all fairness, food technology and commercially prepared foods have played a significant role in securing a relatively safe and stable supply of food for Americans — but the complex manufacturing processes that are involved in making these foods, the scientific jargon used on ingredient lists, and the clever marketing schemes that companies employ make it difficult for consumers to make an informed decision about what they’re putting into their bodies. Food doesn’t need to be so complicated.
Luckily, lots of great people in the food industry are responding to concerns, like the team at Montana Mex:
Eduardo Garcia (aka Emperor of Flavor) — is all about the food.
Chris Cummins (aka Shepherd of Progression) —oversees the progression and direction of the company.
Indra Fanuzzi (aka Commander of Connections) — is the logistical genius who brings everything from manufacturing to shipping together.
Jennifer Jane (aka Architect of Imagination) — keeps the company looking their best by managing marketing and branding.
This dynamic and conscientious foursome, who have developed a line of healthy, delicious, and affordable sauces and seasonings, believe in happy people and healthy products — in fact, that’s the company’s exact mission.
You’ll find that honest food is motivated by the same principles that inspire the people behind the brandsI was lucky enough to get a few minutes of their time to talk about the importance of what we put into our bodies. I laughed (the labels on their collection of salts tease, “take my top off and pinch me”), I cried (but only because I was laughing so hard), and I totally agreed with everything they had to say.
If you’ve been on the fence about spending a little bit more money for healthy and responsibly produced products, here are three reasons why you should consider choosing honest food whenever you can.
Honest Food Is Better For You
There are so many different points in the manufacturing process where foods can have unhealthy ingredients added to them. As Eduardo says, “processed foods is like the game ‘telephone’ — every single ingredient goes through an incredible number of steps and processes from the point of raw material to a retail-ready product.” Add to that the fact that many food labels are confusing and misleading, and it’s hard to know what you’re really eating. Jen reminds us not to trust packaging, explaining, “Phrases like ‘all-natural,’ ‘free-range,’ and so on are minimally regulated by the FDA, allowing brands to manipulate these phrases to increase sales.” Chris doesn’t think marketing has any place in the food industry at all; “marketing implies you’re trying to convince someone of something, which shouldn’t be how it is when you’re selling something you put in your body.” Can’t argue with that.
The bottom line? The labeling on honest food is transparent and all of the steps in the manufacturing process are accounted for, which is major motivation for companies to use real, good-for-you ingredients.
You Have a Right to Know What You’re Eating
According to Chris “The fact that we have to discuss why you have a right to know what’s in your food is a real shame”. Our thoughts exactly, Chris. Eduardo adds, “Why would consumers not have a right to know what’s in their food?”
The fact is that we eat every day, and the food we eat matters. How can we stay healthy if we don’t know what we’re eating? Jen says, “Food is one of our basic needs; it’s an everyday occurrence, and what we eat (chemicals, sugar, etc.) builds up over time. People should have the right to gauge what risks they want to take, especially if it is a product that is consumed on a regular basis”.
Indra’s advice? “Read the ingredients, understand how they affect you, and get to know the companies making your food. We believe that if there is an ingredient that we don’t like on a label, it has no place in our products or anyone else’s. If you don’t know what it is, don’t put it in your mouth.” Plain and simple.
The bottom line? The foods we eat every day have the power to keep us healthy as well as the power to make us sick. How can we make good decisions unless we know what we’re eating?
There Are Real People — with Real Stories — Behind the Brands
So many of the foods that we eat are produced by people who just want to turn a profit. And, sure, all companies have to make money to stay in business, but when enormous profits trump public health or a moral compass, it’s time to rethink the way things are done.
This is less of an issue when food is produced honestly. In order to truly know what goes into a product, you have to get to know the people behind the ingredients and how they work day in and day out. When you do that, you’ll find that people who do things the right way do so because they genuinely care. Whether you look at food as a universal language like Indra does, as a means of living healthfully as Chris and Jen do, or whether food is one of your greatest joys, as it is for Eduardo, you’ll find that honest food is motivated by the same principles that inspire the people behind the brands.
The bottom line? Get to know the people producing your food. If you like their ideals, then the odds are good that you’ll like their food, too.
Montana Mex is on a mission to create honest, delicious, and affordable products — and to have fun while doing just that. Their motto, “Happy People, Healthy Products,” says it all. For more about Montana Mex, visit their website.