In mid-August, the Center for the Study of Consumer Behavior of Roskachestvo conducted a survey of consumers’ opinions: how the pandemic and its consequences affected the quality of food. The respondents were interviewed in large cities, with a population of more than 100 thousand people, in all federal districts.
After all, what are we seeing today? Against the background of the continuing rise in prices and tariffs, the level of food quality is falling. Because, first of all, natural raw materials and semi-finished products are becoming more expensive, as well as all kinds of substitutes for natural food components – palm oil, unsafe for health, all kinds of mixtures of artificial components, flavors, dyes and other “additives”.
And what did the survey show? 39% of respondents claim that the quality of most products has decreased; 57% believe that the quality of food has not changed. And only 4% believe that the quality of food has improved.
According to 96% of respondents, the quality of products decreased in the following product categories: sausages and delicacies – by 72%; dairy products – by 59%; cheeses – by 55%; meat – by 41%; fresh vegetables – by 38%; confectionery and sweets – by 37%; bakery – by 36%; fruits – by 33%; fish and fish products – by 29%. For alcoholic beverages, the decline in quality is estimated at 20%; soft drinks – 15%.
It is characteristic that according to Roskachestvo data (August of this year), the results of the study coincide with the number of citizens’ appeals to Roskachestvo with requests to check the quality and safety of a particular product.
According to available estimates, most manufacturers and trading companies consider the deterioration in the quality of products as a consequence, first of all, of the continuing devaluation of the ruble, that is, a further decline in its purchasing power. Because of this, there is an increase in the cost of natural ingredients for food production, which leads to a growing volume of use of all kinds of substitutes that imitate naturalness.
But, for the most part, surrogates also become more expensive. Therefore, for the production of products, those of them are chosen that rise in price at the minimum rate. That is, according to Dmitry Potapenko, an expert on trade policy, in view of the rise in the cost of everything and everyone, “the more the set of natural, healthy ingredients in the product will be reduced. And the price for it will still grow slowly but surely: the growth will be at least 15-17%, but this is after the elections. “
In fact, here’s just one example: Russian retail chains have been selling instant kissel with cranberry flavor since about mid-summer. The name of this product does not worry at first. But what does it contain?
There is not a word on the label about the availability of natural raw materials. But it is indicated in the composition, for example, “Red charming dye” (E129) “, which” can influence the activity and attention of children. “
This, it turns out, is what his “charm” is: thanks for the warning …
It also contains “Brilliant black dye (E151)”. But is this “diamond”, which, by the way, is included in many other drinks and “related products” so safe? Far from it! According to the specialized analytical portal “FindFood.ru” (RF, 2021) “the substance is dangerous to the life and health of living organisms”. To date, the dye E151 “Black Shiny” or, as it is also called – “Diamond Black”, is prohibited from using in the food industry in a number of countries, such as Canada, Norway, USA, Japan, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland. It’s different in modern Russia! The cheapness of such an additive is due to the fact that it, “possessing excellent chemical (precisely chemical! – A.B.) properties, does not require large costs in the process of industrial production. “
At the same time, scientists and physicians draw attention to the severe consequences of the use of the E151 dye, which is expressed “in a persistent allergic reaction.” It is especially dangerous for people suffering from intolerance to drugs of the aspirin group. In addition, this supplement can provoke the development of asthma, lead to excess excitability and childhood hyperactivity, which leads to increased fatigue.
Currently, E151 can be found in dairy products, dry soups, canned fruits and vegetables, as well as meat products, sauces, semi-finished products, cheeses, fish and seafood. However, on the labels of all these products, the harmful properties of E151 are not prudently indicated.
This is understandable: it is cheap to produce them, and therefore you can do it in large quantities …