The food industry has a long history, beginning when humans first served a meal from home. The industry has seen that event refined to its current state of a multisegmented domestic and international business. In addition to having to meet customer expectations in quality and price, the food industry must satisfy a number of requirements such as labeling, standards of identity, food safety, and so on. We have seen spiraling ingredient, labor, and regulatory costs; such increased costs lead to the pursuit of more efficient methods of manufacture and optimum formulations (50).

Thomas Jefferson prescribed the need for a wise and frugal government. We have initiatives undertaken by a number of presidents—Kennedy, Nixon, and most recently Clinton, with the Food Safety Initiative. The Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University estimates that the private sector will pay $688 billion in "hidden compliance costs" related to federal regulations in 1997, roughly 9% of the gross domestic product (51). The consumer will ultimately pay the price; yet government regulations are necessary. It is important, therefore, that the desired food quality be achieved through engineering quality into the process at minimum regulatory costs through such programs as HACCP and quality systems, and communicating and educating the consumer on how to handle the food product for optimum taste and nutrition.

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

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