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Consumer’s Perspective on 2000’s Foods

“Consumers are continuously bombarded with advertisements. People are very confused about many things apart from food and they do not know what to believe. In this darkness, food has an important place since people eat three times per day. Some hold on to tradition; they keep consuming what their parents consumed or what they receive from their villages. Some try to consume healthy food according to their budgets. Some people are confused just like our repairman and they no longer raise question. Some people carry out research and question. I think [we] have to explain things through giving confidence to this questioning part of the people.” Tugba-barutcuoglu

Tuğba BAYBURTLUOĞLU
Food Engineer, Business Science Specialist

We are confused about the life… We are very confused on where to go, what to do, and how to live, and, in fact, some people continue to make us confused. Our view of food and choice took its share from this confusion more than they deserve.

I would not want to begin my article on “Consumer’s Perspective on 2000’s Foods” for a reputable nutrition magazine with “making philosophy.” However, my remark on the perspective of today’s customers on food in the recent period begins with such introduction.

I think I have a bit of right [to talk about this] as a food engineer that worked in the food sector in various positions for twenty years, and I dedicated eight years of this duration to raise my child as a mother and my organic food brand. For weeks, in order to clear confusions of tens of customers, I talked over the phone with them and replied to customer’s emails.

Recently, I called a repairman for couple of maintenance works in my home. We got hungry in the afternoon and decided to order Turkish pizza and kebab since repair works have been ongoing in the house. While we talk about a place that we can order chicken shish, my repairman said, “I do not like chicken, mam.” That’s ok! We ordered another food for him. After we made space among furnishes, we sat down and ate the food. There was no problem so far. Right after the food, my repairman excused himself and went to the terrace to smoke.

He did not eat the chicken since it may be harmful, but he inhaled thousands of poison with a cigarette. Isn’t that confusion?

Unfortunately, our beloved press, professors, doctors, and we, i.e. educated engineers of this country, could not reach the repairman on cigarette and chicken. We came short of telling people how harmful the tobacco is. We can assume that everybody heard enough about this but our repairman was not convinced to change his behavior. This issue may not be the food engineer’s job, but we could not talk about the right things about chicken. We have not been concerned enough to show how nonsense this situation is. How can we be that concerned? I realized this situation when I saw this with my own eyes.

In order for a newspaper to be bought and for a television to be watched, these news outlets need to make a news-quality broadcast. To get more attention, there needs to be a broadcast with surprising news. In order for more, it needs to be more and more surprising…

As you can image, this equilibrium can last forever but there is a wall of morality. Sometimes, it does not hit this wall since some experts from various professions sat on the guest seat and talked all the time. Some of the things they say are right. I do not have objection against these. However, some of the things are either exaggerated or mistaken because of lack of information, and these experts refused to be corrected because of their egos. Some of their talks are disaster since they speak with authority on any subject, and the press titles these experts’ opinion by giving reference to their ignorant views.

We laugh at our pitiful situation
Unfortunately, nobody will say ‘enough’ against those experts and the media that always seek more attention and rating. The press will try to find a way to trigger the sense of wonder.

There is especially another side of the story for television channels. Most advertisers are fast-food producers. Among them, refined food producers have bigger share that present their products as the source of life. I do not think that I am the only one who realized that subjects that viewers are interested and most advertisements are completely dissimilar.

Still, we have solution. I think we have to give answers to consumers in line with the newest information we have. Consumers are continuously bombarded with advertisements. People are very confused about many things apart from food and they do not know what to believe. In this darkness, food has an important place since people eat three times per day. Some hold on to tradition; they keep consuming what their parents consumed or what they receive from their villages. Some try to consume healthy food according to their budgets. Some people are confused just like our repairman and they no longer raise question. Some people carry out research and question. I think [we] have to explain things through giving confidence to this questioning part of the people. We have to hear them carefully to understand what they have in mind and start a dialogue that will not discredit the information they have since they can shut themselves off and answer you back. I believe that we have to answer them sincerely and should be constructive. To tell the truth, if I were not a food engineer and when I raise these questions (I would surely ask these questions), I would like to get answer like this fashion and not want to be marginalized.

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