Why individuals "just saying no" to Big Food isn't enough

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Fidel

A Portuguese-Canadian family we knew used to like to barbeque in their driveway on Canada Days. My mother was a seafood lover and would always bring some fish as it was about the only meat on the neighbors July 1st menu. Everything from sardines and smelts to pickerel and pike. I remember ma saying her dad used to take her to fishmongers back in Ingerland. She said they'd sometimes have conger eels as big as her waist in diameter. Blech! And a Scottish friend says he remembers picking winkles off the beach. I think the proper name is periwinkles. Apparently they are a sea snails and tasty with salt and vinegar. Blech again. Oh aye,  I can remember the smell of baked kippers 'n bloaters in the house when I was a lad.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Winkles are very popular here, Fidel. Usually folks boil then clean them, and sometimes chop them up, and add to ground beef recipes such as hash.

I used to eat them until I developed an intolerance to most shellfish about ten years ago.

Fidel

I'll stick with regular fish. Canned herring in lemon juice is good. I'd always put in a request for herring when working for U.S. mineral exploration companies in the north. I'd stop on the line for lunch and heat three or four cans of herring over a small fire. And I do like oysters and clams, shrimp, crab and slobsters. Drool-drool.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I love pickled herring, but I can't get it here. Frown

Fidel

I love pickled eggs at Christmas, but I pickle them without using alum. Ex-nay on the alum eh.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Been watching that documentary I mentioned earlier - altogether it's about 3.5 hours, with the addition of a children's school segment. Probably the best doc I've ever seen.

HBO: The Weight of the Nation

Bringing together the nation’s leading research institutions, THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION is a presentation of HBO and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.

The centerpiece of THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION campaign is the four-part documentary series, each featuring case studies, interviews with our nation’s leading experts, and individuals and their families struggling with obesity. The first film, CONSEQUENCES, examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese. The second, CHOICES, offers viewers the skinny on fat, revealing what science has shown about how to lose weight, maintain weight loss and prevent weight gain. The third, CHILDREN IN CRISIS, documents the damage obesity is doing to our nation’s children. Through individual stories, this film describes how the strong forces at work in our society are causing children to consume too many calories and expend too little energy; tackling subjects from school lunches to the decline of physical education, the demise of school recess and the marketing of unhealthy food to children. The fourth film, CHALLENGES, examines the major driving forces causing the obesity epidemic, including agriculture, economics, evolutionary biology, food marketing, racial and socioeconomic disparities, physical inactivity, American food culture, and the strong influence of the food and beverage industry.

Michelle

Big Food teams up with Big Illness Charity to confuse and fool us about what food is healthy.

Critique of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check program

Quote:

Before criticizing federal and provincial governments, before chastising the public about their need to be more concerned about their determinants of health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation should take a good long look at themselves in the mirror. What might they see?

- Health Check'ed Slush Puppies.

- Health Check'ed vegetable juice with nearly a 3rd of their own daily recommended sodium maximum.

- A front-of-package labeling program that thinks 3-4 nutritional determinants of food are all that matter.

- Partnerships with Boston Pizza that lead to the sale of heart shaped pizzas on Valentines day (a practice akin to a lung association having a day where they promote cigarette sales in 7-11s where part of the proceeds of smoke sales would go to them) and the distribution of fast food coupons to children who fund raise for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

- Dietitians that rather than promote home cooking would rather give up the fight altogether and instead encourage weekly school pizza days with "healthier" fast food pizzas - akin to a respirologist encouraging light cigarettes because people are already smoking.

- Reports on childhood obesity that don't mention the word calorie even once.

For such a proud and supposedly stalwart organization these glaring shortcomings besmirch their good name.

The whole article is excellent.

Mr.Tea

Great article!

The "health care advocacy groups" that collaborate with "big food" should be ashamed of themselves.

I did get a smile yesterday, however, when Mountain Dew launched an online contest to name their new flavour of drink and online communities came together to make the top vote winner "diabetes".

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Michelle wrote:

Big Food teams up with Big Illness Charity to confuse and fool us about what food is healthy.

Critique of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check program

Quote:

Before criticizing federal and provincial governments, before chastising the public about their need to be more concerned about their determinants of health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation should take a good long look at themselves in the mirror. What might they see?

- Health Check'ed Slush Puppies.

- Health Check'ed vegetable juice with nearly a 3rd of their own daily recommended sodium maximum.

- A front-of-package labeling program that thinks 3-4 nutritional determinants of food are all that matter.

- Partnerships with Boston Pizza that lead to the sale of heart shaped pizzas on Valentines day (a practice akin to a lung association having a day where they promote cigarette sales in 7-11s where part of the proceeds of smoke sales would go to them) and the distribution of fast food coupons to children who fund raise for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

- Dietitians that rather than promote home cooking would rather give up the fight altogether and instead encourage weekly school pizza days with "healthier" fast food pizzas - akin to a respirologist encouraging light cigarettes because people are already smoking.

- Reports on childhood obesity that don't mention the word calorie even once.

For such a proud and supposedly stalwart organization these glaring shortcomings besmirch their good name.

The whole article is excellent.

 

Jeez.  What a great illustration.  I read the report in the last link and yeah, no talk at all about calories or related portion sizes. Maybe they figure that, that is rolled up in 'good nutrition' but in my experience 'portion sizing' can get lost in the mix.  I do remember getting some education in school (way back when) around how much to eat but I believe it's something that as a whole is being lost.  Across the board our cultural ideas of what is the amount to eat has gotten worse and worse.  

 

Regarding the pizza thing, I was watching one of those nanny shows where she was talking to a group of parents about portions.  One of her illustrations was to show them one of those mini  4inch pizzas you can buy.  When asked what the portion is for young children most said the whole thing and many said maybe half.  The answer was one quarter.  One of those pizzas is enough for four children.  She then illustrated the same thing with pasta and then showed how most of the kids would eat the larger portions, no problem, because it was in front of them.   So pizza, which can be made into healthy versions can easily become unhealthy if kids and people are consistantly eating too much of it, especially if it's not matched with a balance of exercise.   It could be the most nutritionally sound pizza in the world and it wouldn't matter if I ate too much of it on a consistant basis.  This is why personally I don't eat tons of pizza, even my own homemade version. I find it just too hard because it's so yummy to eat an proper amount.    Just one piece!  Yeah right. lol

Pasta is another one for me. Oh boy do I love pasta.  The portion of pasta which most nutritional breakdowns are based on is miniscule.  What seems to be the right amount for me is 4 to 5 times what the breakdown is.   It's taken me a long time to change that perception. 

lagatta

That is true for pizza and pasta; they aren't necessarily unhealthy at all, if the dough is made from quality flours, the sauce if any and the toppings are nutritional and not over-abundant (we are basically describing good homemade pizza here) but it is ridiculously tempting.

But I don't think pizza per se can be compared to cigarettes; Mediterranean flatbreads are a very, very old food and don't necessarily imply obesity or gluttony, but those chain pizzas are beyond bad. Overly sweet tomato sauce, greasy toppings and over-large portions (as they are more cost-effective and appealing).

Mr.Tea

lagatta wrote:
That is true for pizza and pasta; they aren't necessarily unhealthy at all, if the dough is made from quality flours, the sauce if any and the toppings are nutritional and not over-abundant (we are basically describing good homemade pizza here) but it is ridiculously tempting. But I don't think pizza per se can be compared to cigarettes; Mediterranean flatbreads are a very, very old food and don't necessarily imply obesity or gluttony, but those chain pizzas are beyond bad. Overly sweet tomato sauce, greasy toppings and over-large portions (as they are more cost-effective and appealing).

Pizza can be perfectly fine for you, so can pasta, so can burgers and most other foods if they are ACTUAL FOOD.

There's a huge difference between a pizza made from real ingredients vs. a heavily processed instant pizza full of all sorts of artificial ingredients. A good rule is that if you haven't heard of the ingredeitns and can't pronounce them, you really shouldn't be eating that food.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Anyone hear the results of the bill in the USA to force disclosure of GMO on foods?  GMO foods would have to be labelled as such - right now they are not.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Google has:

California GMO Labeling Law Makes It Onto November Ballot

excerpt:

If passed in November, Prop. 37 would make California the first state in the U.S. to require labeling of most foods made with GMOs.   Given the size of California, such a law would become a de-facto national law because many retailers and manufacturers follow the most strict law in every region to make production simpler.  In 50 countries around the world, GMO labeling is already law. The state of Alaska is the only state in America that requires GMO shellfish and fish to be labeled, and it is the only state that has any kind of stipulation on labeling.

According to LabelGMOs.org, the organization responsible for getting the initiative on the ballot, it is time for Californians to stand up for their right to know. According to recent surveys, about 90 percent of Californians are in support of the GMO labeling.

Because over 90 percent of us want our foods labeled. We believe our right to know what we are buying and feeding ourselves and our kids supersedes corporate rights to a nontransparent profit. We are tired of elected officials buckling to corporate pressure over the clear desires of us, their constituents. We are outraged that we don’t have the same right that over 40 percent of the world’s population has: A clear, transparent market with genetically engineered ingredients disclosed in a simple, easy-to-read way.

Three-quarters of U.S. Senators rejected a federal GMO labeling bill earlier this year. Since then, nearly 20 states have had similar bills turned down in Congress.  All this is in spite of the fact that GMO labeling was one of President Obama’s campaign promises.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Greenpeace Canada: GMO foods

excerpt:

GE food has been in grocery stores since 1996, but no long-term tests have been done on the impacts on human health. Potential health risks include the development of antibiotic resistance, allergic reactions, nutritional changes and the creation of toxins. GE crops also threaten plant diversity, essential for food security.

We want better labelling of GE foods so consumers can make informed decisions. Canada and the United States are the only industrialized countries that do not have mandatory labelling regulations in place.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

This reminds me of a  Simpsons episode: Mini-Wheats cereal recalled after metal found in packaging 

(Bart Simpson was hospitalized after eating Krusty-Os that had metal fragments in them)

Aristotleded24

There's another aspect of healthy eating that is overlooked, and that concerns the fact that people often work irregular hours. Yes, it's ideal to prepare your meals at home yourself, but when you work to 11PM or midnight or even later, it's not practical. It also creates severe imbalances to eat large meals after coming home late (to say nothing of the fact that people often just don't have the energy for that) so often the most practical thing in these instances is to buy out and at least have a sub or a wrap early on in the evening.

The biggest problem I have with nutritional advice aimed at individuals is it assumes that people are free to make such choices, and doesn't seem to factor in that people do the best they can with what they have. I often wonder how many people who've written books about healthy eating have ever personally had to work the irregular hours many of us do.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

In the last years of her life, my mother lived in that awful  fifty year old high rise dilapidated complex of tiny apartments just east of Carlingwood on Carling Avenue in Ottawa - god, what a hellhole that place was. I don't know what went wrong - she had lived in beautiful homes all her life, buying low, doing renovations and then selling high. Maybe she was just tired. Anyway, her apartment, and those around her, had just the tiniest kitchen imaginable - and she was just steps away from a huge grocery store. With no room to prepare a good meal, not to mention the place was grossly overheated all summer - lousy, totally inadequate a/c - is it any wonder that many residents decided to eat at the Carlingwood Food Court instead of doing their own cooking? Frown

 

ETA: my best friend from the 1960s lived in downtown Ottawa - just steps away from the Sparks Street Mall - in another old high rise apartment complex - and like my mum's, the place had just really tiny kitchens. God, what a dump. What is it with Ottawa and tiny apartment kitchens??? Frown

Otavano

I'm vegan myself, but I think some things can be done such as introducing a tax on certain unhealthy ingredients and perhaps putting that towards nutrition education in compulsory education.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Otavano wrote:

I'm vegan myself, but I think some things can be done such as introducing a tax on certain unhealthy ingredients and perhaps putting that towards nutrition education in compulsory education.

You do realize this is Canada, right? Governed by extreme right wing Conservative and Liberal federal governments? Laughing

Otavano

Boom Boom wrote:

Otavano wrote:

I'm vegan myself, but I think some things can be done such as introducing a tax on certain unhealthy ingredients and perhaps putting that towards nutrition education in compulsory education.

You do realize this is Canada, right? Governed by extreme right wing Conservative and Liberal federal governments? Laughing

Well, if most Canadians have gone extreme libertarian or whatever, then what can we do outside the political process? Obviously as individuals we can choose to eat healthy. Beyond that, I guess we can volunteer to educate others? I don't know the answer to this.

lagatta

Ottavano, I'm a little bit afraid of that. Things such as soft drinks and chips etc are already taxed. If not, there might be a lot of disagreement with respect to unhealthy ingredients. There is a lot of controversy, for example, about whether very low-fat diets are actually healthy, and which fats are healthiest.

There should definitely be nutrition education in schools, including how to prepare some healthy meals. I was shocked to learn that a woman I know near here (she is a member of my tenants' association and an active participant in the demos here recently), who is in her early 60s, never cooks, when she lives even closer to the Jean-Talon Market (large public market with several actual farmstands). I had a young student renting a room where I used to live (after Mr Antigatta moved out leaving me with a lot of debts and trouble, years ago) and she didn't cook anything either - she mostly ate crap like McDo, although there are actually fairly healthy prepared foods at the market and the shops around it, not any more expensive than McCrap. But at least she had the excuse of being young, and probably spoilt by her parents.

My boomer friend and I met at the wine shop - she said she was buying a nice wine because she was having friends over, and I asked what she was making (for me, having friends over with good wine would involve cooking something very good - this time of year probably involving squash (yum). She said she was just picking up some snacks.

Aristotle, irregular working hours and night work are very unhealthy in other ways as well. There are things one can make in advance; I made a peperonata last week (similar to a ratatouille, but just sweet peppers - and perhaps a hot one - and onion+garlic, braised in a bit of olive oil and tomato). I also blanch things such as chard and kale, to have them at the ready.

Boom Boom, near the Sparks Street Mall is very desirable now (though parts of Rideau St reman surprisingly seedy); I imagine that complex has been renovated - and is far more expensive now, alas. Actually, apartments in Paris, and in NYC, are often very tiny - people manage to cook a surprising number of dishes in them. It does increase the takeaway market though, and nutritious takeaway is dreadfully expensive.

I didn't know those Carlingwood/Carling apartments were in dreadful shape - have no idea whether they have been improved since then. Eating in the food court also provided pensioners an opportunity to socialize, but usually the food is deplorable from a nutritional standpoint.

onlinediscountanvils

Boom Boom wrote:
What is it with Ottawa and tiny apartment kitchens??? Frown

 

I don't know, but I can guarantee it has nothing to do with an abundance of quality restaurants. Laughing

But seriously, I've seen tiny kitchens in practically every city I've ever visited. I don't think the design of the two buildings you mentioned are unique to Ottawa.

6079_Smith_W

a propos nothing, I just noticed Dr. Freedhoff's name, which means "graveyard" in German (friedhof).

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

My mum died in 1989, so it was the late 1980s I'm talking about here. That apartment complex beside Carlingwood was the last place in Ottawa I'd ever want to live.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think food from some of the fast food places is highly addictive, one reason they sell so well.

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.chieftain.com/life/local/article_a1368d42-5338-11df-991d-001c... expert says food is a drug for stressed kids[/url]

Quote:
The national obesity epidemic — among adults, as well as kids — isn't just about too much sugar, too many carbs and not enough exercise. It's about abnormal brain chemistry. It's about addiction.

At least that's the thinking among many neuroscientists and biologists who study the effects of brain chemistry on human behavior, as well as a growing number of physicians who treat addicted individuals.

Doctors who specialize in treating obesity are beginning to agree, according to Dr. Gabor Mate, a Vancouver, British Columbia, physician and author of "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction" and "Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers."

Mate, who treats street addicts through a government-funded program, said during a telephone interview last week that neither genetics nor cultural shifts toward sedentary lifestyles and super-sized meals are sufficient to explain the sudden and rapid rise of obesity among children.

He said most cases more likely are rooted in abnormal neuro-chemical and electrical pathways in the brain that were stunted during early childhood because of abuse, neglect, traumatic loss — or simply insufficient nurturing from a familiar, loving adult.

Mate said he believes a vast majority of obese children and adults are food addicts — a stronger term than "compulsive eaters" but one that applies because today's sugary, highly processed foods behave in the same way as opiates and other drugs that stimulate the brain's "feel good" chemical and electrical pathways.

Children who experience abuse, trauma, neglect or parental loss — and even those whose mothers were clinically depressed during pregnancy or very early childhood — nearly always have brains that either don't make enough dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and other mood-regulating hormones, or which have inadequate receptors to make normal use of those chemicals, he said.

So, when they discover a food or drink (or a behavior) that boosts the levels of those chemicals, or their activity in the brain, they feel good — better than they ever have. And they want more.

But just as is the case with alcohol and other drugs, once the brain becomes accustomed to the artificial stimulation of neurochemical production and interaction, it further slows down its own production of those critical substances. So it takes more and more of the substance (or behavior, such as sex, gambling or shopping) to get the same "high" again, or to even feel something akin to "normal," Mate said.

Many adults have dual addictions, with drugs or alcohol coming before or after food, but food is the most accessible "drug" to children, and is even used by parents as a means of comfort or reward, or as a substitute for meaningful interaction with the parent(s).

"In North America, just since the economic crisis, the junk-food consumption has gone way up. Why? Not because it's cheap. It releases endorphins in the brain that soothe stresses, Mate said

 

I think this is a great article, although it - perhaps inadvertently - overemphasizes childhood experiences that may (or may not) be seen as exceptional; abuse, neglect, trauma, and loss. But elsewhere, Dr. Maté emphasizes how essential the consistent presence of a non-stressed, emotionally available adult is to a child's brain development. In our society, how many families can claim to have at least one non-stressed, emotionally available adult on a consistent basis?

Bacchus

Im afraid its very addictive and helps satisfy a craving in many people, especially as a refuge from whatever stress they endure elsewhere.

 

I know for myself I have to be very careful with crap snacks because I cannot just eat a few, but almost always binge whenever I have them. (so a box of vachon cakes will last a day, maybe two instead of the week or two it ahould as a occasional treat)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Same here. I don't buy crap because it's gone too soon, and I'm trying to keep my weight down.

Sven Sven's picture

Adults can set a better example for kids.

Michelle

Here's a really great article slamming those nasty, fatphobic, stupid commercials, brought to you by an insurance company who would love to perpetuate the myth that obesity in American society is solely the fault of individuals, because that makes it so much more acceptable for them not to cover obesity-related conditions that way.  Shades of Mike Huckabee in 2008 defending a health care system that denies coverage to millions upon millions of Americans because they should take "personal responsibility" for their health like he did.  (Unfortunately, most people can't afford to pay out of pocket for weight loss surgery the way Fuckabee most likely did.)

Thanks so much for posting that fatshaming, finger-pointing shit here, Sven.  It's an excellent example of the way one segment of corporate America throws as much crap food as they can at kids and adults, and then another segment blames them for giving in to it, complete with stereotyped behaviour.

As the Lindy West article I linked to above says - when was the last time you saw fat kids sitting around bragging about how much they and their parents could eat, and aspiring to eat mountains of food in the future?  Fat kids don't brag about being fat.  They're ashamed of it, mocked and bullied and treated like shit for it, and develop eating disorders (binge eating privately for comfort) as a reaction to it - it's a vicious cycle, and one that ads like this perpetuate.  What fucking planet are the assholes who made that commercial on, anyhow?

What planet are you on for thinking that commercial is in any way insightful or helpful to the discussion, Sven?

Michelle

I tuned into a couple of episodes of Steven and Chris during the past month, and both times, I lucked into seeing segments with the dietitian that frequents the show.  Both times, she promoted drinking chocolate milk as a good way of getting calcium, protein and vitamins.  Specifically CHOCOLATE milk - because, you know, it tastes good.

When you have dietitians on TV telling people that it's healthy to drink their calories not just in milk but in chocolate milk (which has twice the sugar and calories as the same amount of Coca-Cola), there's a problem.  And I know so many people who actually believe that shit, that it's a good thing to give your kids chocolate milk, despite it being loaded with sugar, because it encourages them to drink more milk and makes them strong and healthy. 

Now, you might ask, why do so many people believe stuff like that?  Oh, I don't know, maybe because the corporate food lobby has even managed to brainwash some health care professionals into believing that crap food is healthy? 

Mr.Tea

Michelle wrote:

As the Lindy West article I linked to above says - when was the last time you saw fat kids sitting around bragging about how much they and their parents could eat, and aspiring to eat mountains of food in the future? 

It wouldn't surprise me if they did these days. ESPN broadcasts hotdog eating competitions, for fuck's sake. There are tons of shows like "Man Vs. Food" where the whole premise is to treat eating mountains of fatty food in record time as some sort of spectator sport to be encouraged.

In any other area of unhealthy behaviour, this would never make it to air. You'd never have a show about how many cigarettes somebody could smoke in an hour. 

lagatta

That was a great article, Michelle. Of course there are also issues of urban planning, especially car-dependency or even long commutes on public transport (as the latter leave workers very, very tired without actually having expended many calories) that make people in many parts of North American countries fatter on average than people with the same genetic makeup elsewhere (of course I'm thinking firstly Québec vs France, even though Québec certainly is not among the "fattest" places in North America). I took a plane back here with many boomer-aged women and while few were what one would call seriously overweight or obese, on average there was at least a 10kg difference with women of the same age and social class I'd seen in central Paris.

No, we don't all live on poutine. I hate it. And yes of course, many of us are of other origins, but that is just as true in Paris.

Blaming and shaming people does no good at all, and discourages stigmatised people from taking part in healthy exercise.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
lagatta

I'm just looking over the Pharmaprix (= Shoppers') flyer, among other flyers, and of course there are promotions on crap foodlike Hawkins Cheesies (yes, an iconic Eastern-Ontarian junque) and lots of other crap. I'm no saint; I've succumbed to crap from time to time, usually the pseudo "healthier" versions that may contain fewer horrid chemicals but no less overheated fat, and salt. But just wondering, why on earth are they selling stuff like that in a so-called pharmacy?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've seen on CBC this week that several grocers have been caught selling canned food well past their expiration dates - Safeway was singled out as the worse in this regard.

On CNN there's an investigation regarding cheaper fish being labelled as a higher quality product.

Getting to the point where you really can't trust food producers.

 ETA: is it really so hard to just check the expiration dates on the bottom of cans before buying? I've been doing this for decades now.

Slumberjack

Corporate food is destroying the very conditions of our existence, well before we actually sit down to eat it.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CNN: Nationwide study casts a wide net over seafood fraud

excerpt:

Mislabeled fish is flooding the marketplace and Americans may be swallowing it hook, line and sinker, according to a new study by an environmental activist group.

A look at seafood sales across the country by ocean conservation group Oceana found that roughly one third of the time, seafood sold at U.S. grocery stores, seafood markets, restaurants and sushi venues had been swapped for species that are cheaper, overfished, or risky to eat.

excerpt:

The two most mislabeled fish, according to Oceana, were snapper (for which 33 different species of fish including rockfish, perch, sea bream and tilapia were substituted) and tuna, which was mostly replaced with escolar - an often-banned snake mackerel that can cause mild to severe gastric distress to those who consume it. In many cases, Atlantic cod, which is often overfished, was mislabeled as the more sustainable Pacific cod (and vice-versa). Grouper was often replaced with at-risk species including Gulf grouper and speckled hind, or in one case, king-mackerel, a high-mercury fish that the federal government has advised sensitive groups, such as pregnant women, to avoid.

ennir

IMV the only sane response is a local one for food that can be produced locally and buying fair trade organic for those products which are not available locally.  I know that I am fortunate to be able to afford to do that but truthfully I have no idea of what I spend on food relative to what others spend, I do know that I will forgo other things to eat well.  I suspect I spend about the average because I don't buy processed food.

What I find odd is the notion of eating food that is good for you most of the time but then treating yourself with food that is not as if that is a treat. I wonder how were we ever convinced to eat anything that is unhealthy for us?

Perhaps part of it is that there are different experiences of taste, an article I came across a while back said there were super-tasters, medium-tasters and non-tasters.  It seems to me that processed food is marketed to non-tasters and if children consume it they become non-tasters.

I also wonder about how food is introduced to us, a friend's grandchild didn't like bananas and so at home never ate them, one day at day-care the worker decided this child should eat a banana, the child had severe reaction and had to go the hospital.  Reactions needn't be so extreme though, my point being that we should respect children's appetites.   

I always knew that bread wasn't good for me, I didn't know that celiac ran in my family and that eventually I would become very ill from eating bread.  I knew though that if I ate one piece, I could eat the whole loaf, that eating any of it seemed to trigger a compulsion larger than any self-discipline I had.  I suspect many people suffer from this compulsion.

I think the best way to protect children from the crap is to involve them in the kitchen and garden if possible, to feed them delicious food so that they develop discernment and to never, never, never suggest that McMonster foods are treats.

 

 

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I have to be careful here on the coast, because I'm deathly allergic to clams and mussels, and have a milder allergy to lobster - and all of these are consumed widely here. Every Christmas I get gifts of food from folks here, and I have to be really, really careful with those. I'm still alive at age 63, but I've had a couple of near-death experiences. The idea that canned fish is not what is advertised scares the heck out of me.

ennir

P.S.

I admire Jamie Oliver for the work he is doing, I watched the program and it is obvious that the school lunch program is about profit and not nutrition, can that change?  I don't know what the answer is other than have parents reclaim their children's lunches as Boom Boom has suggested.

I have small people in my life and their well being greatly concerns me, recently the not quite three year old tried to convince me that candies were fruit and I thought, so true, those devious bastards have made tiny little apples and oranges......and this is not a child that ever gets such candies at home but there are those relatives but not only relatives, stores, stores that hand out free suckers.  It is endless. 

Edited for spelling mistake.

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