Anyone having visited the main supermarkets of late could not but have noticed that we as consumers have now entered a totally new world of devastating health. Gone are the bleak advertisements of chocolate bars or croissants. It’s all health, health and more health. Giant posters of apples, Pink Ladies or Jonathans, all pink and roseate, viridian green Granny Smiths, a tsunami of huge fruits have now been posted and pasted on every square metre of wall or window at the supermarket entrances. Let’s not also forget the vegetables though. Yesterday at Aldi’s there where peas in their pods so well photographed and blown up in size they almost looked dangerous.
There is now the push on in earnest for all to get violently healthy and no excuse for getting girths above the OBM measurements anymore. This is how so often things are handled. Obesity as a result of supermarkets pushing very profitable but dodgy foods still continue as ever but a veneer of concern for robust health is cleverly being promoted.
Those giant posters of fruit and veggies not only soothes those that have genuine concern for the millions of overweight people but it soothes above all the shopper thinking that entering the supermarket now delivers them from junk food. The mood is set in believing all is well and their shopping continues as before. The trolley still features the same cooking sauces, the same chips, biscuits, choky brekkies and other high carbon junk foods. The relentless race to diabetes goes on and the millions of overweight no doubt will queue our surgeries and hospitals as never before.
A cooking and food expert interviewed on ABC FM radio gave an account of a person faced with a fish and a saucepan and could not relate that to cook the fish it needed to be placed in the saucepan and heat applied. Jamie Oliver some time ago travelled through UK schools and found some children could not identify the potato. They simply thought it came in golden coloured strips.
Despite all those TV shows and all the cookery books with millions watching and reading, cooking wholesome meals at home is getting less. Just because our large Mansions now have Caesar stone kitchen benches, butcher blocks and huge knifes hanging from the wall, doesn’t mean that families sit down to eat a well cooked and healthy meal.
On the ABC program of QA, the panel was asked why Solariums were not being banned. The answer; It is a State issue and there are many warnings on the use of Solariums causing cancer anyway.
Apparently a similar answer was given on junk foods with the opinion that ‘surely’ adults can make up their own mind and take care that their children eat healthy foods and don’t become obese. We ‘should all exercise good and healthy choices’ and that should not ever be taken away by banning junk food ads during children TV, one opposition minister , Christopher Pyne, suggested. This was also T. Abbott’s refrain when health minister during the Howard reign.
No one came up that ‘the free choice’ available for decades had not resulted in improved dietary habits. Would it not be prudent to try something else? Free choice also gave us thousands clogging hospitals with people dying from smoking. It was tackled very successfully. Plain packaging again will lower the number picking up smoking and many will give the habit up.
Surely, with food, the same can be tried. No-one wants to deny a chocolate or the biscuit, the frozen meal or the soft drink. But why not have those foods costing more and made less attractive. Much of the junk food exterior packaging are depicted with images of healthy food while in fact the food inside is just rubbish of very dubious nutritional value.
Could we include much more dietary advice with perhaps a star system the same as on white goods. The Mars Bar a single star, the apple or stick of celery 5 stars. I read that at Saturday school sports, the tuck shops still sell sausage rolls and junk sugar stuff that no one seems to question. Kids don’t buy the treats if they are healthy, some complained. Well, let them go hungry and see if they will get into the apple or fruit salad, the chicken and cheese or egg and tomato sandwich?
The check-out counter inevitably pushed the worst of junk foods and many a mother despair going through without the child throwing a tantrum for another sweet crunchy bar or sugary drink. At petrol station we are exhorted to spend another $5, – to get another 4 cent per litre of petro discount. The extra money is for either soft drink combined with sweet bars etc. Again, a pushing of junk food is featured. It is wrong, wrong, wrong.
When it comes to ‘free choice’ we are in the grip of very clever advertising giants with millions to spend which drives us now in their clutches, dressed up with good health posters . The ‘free choice’ morphs us all into very obedient but overweight people.