From ancient habit to lifestyle phenomenon: the long parable of natural foods and superfoods

Fiera Milano, Rho


From ancient habit to lifestyle phenomenon: the long parable of natural foods and superfoods

The Ambassadors of TUTTOFOOD have told us from different standpoints about their very personal relationship with natural, organic and healthy food. Reporting the trends in their markets.

Natural, organic foods. Healthy foods. Foods almost turning into comic book superheroes thanks to the 'superfood' label. A market that only in Italy moves billions of euros every year, stimulating innovation in all players in the supply chain. But it is also a wide-ranging cultural and social phenomenon that extends across the world and that, as we now realise, is not a passing fad but is destined to stay. TUTTOFOOD asked some of its international Ambassadors to take a closer look at this 'lifestyle' aspect. This is what they told us.


Molly Piccavey, a British food blogger based in Spain, has been working on the subject of superfood for some time: "Actually, almost any food can be a superfood if it is produced healthily and correctly”, explains Molly. "There are so many foods that are rich in antioxidants or other healthy substances: the fact that we prefer some of them over others can be based on scientific evidence, but often also on trends. It should also be taken into account that these peaks in the demand for a particular product have an impact on the environment, therefore a superfood might be healthy, but not necessarily sustainable. Having said that, goji berries, avocado and kale are still among my favourites”.


Another top food blogger from Spain, Natalia Osorio, even wonders whether we can really talk about superfood. Her answer? Focus on the great classics. "My larder is never short of fruit, vegetables, cereals, dried fruit and kefir. Among my favourites there are especially red fruits, which are rich in antioxidants, fibre and anthocyanins. Incidentally, these fruits not only are resistant to freezing, but according to some studies, when frozen they even increase the concentration of active ingredients by losing water. Another ingredient I often like to use is chia seeds, which are also great to be added to cakes that are my speciality”.


And speaking of traditional foods that can be considered superfoods ante litteram, olive oil can’t be left behind. Once again is Molly Piccavey telling us about it, drawing on her experience in Spain: "Today there are more than 700 varieties of oil olives in the world, whose nutritional qualities have improved over the centuries while man was creating new cultivars. Here in Spain, there are 12 designations of origin only in Andalusia. Olive oil has always been an integral part of the Mediterranean diet and has proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some studies also associate it with better cardiovascular health and even with a lower incidence of depression”.


The direct experience of those dealing with food on a daily basis therefore seems to suggest a simple but powerful concept: superfood is often just a new way of calling old healthy habits, which are often to be recovered. Thanks to innovation, today we can achieve this in a contemporary way through short-label, natural and also organic and biodynamic products.