Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Processed food – an illusion of choice?

February 24, 2013
Snickers bar

Mmmm… Snickers

Mmmm… Snickers. It’s one of my absolute favourite guilty pleasures – a perfect combination of salt, sugar and fat, chewy and crunchy and DELICIOUS. So when, briefly, there were plans to reformulate Snickers so they would no longer be vegetarian, I was incensed.

How dare they deny me the choice to eat my Snickers? Ok, so it’s not the healthiest snack, but dammit I can make my own decisions. Luckily, the worst did not come to pass and I am still free to eat my favourite chocolate bar when the mood takes me. Or am I… ?

I’ve been reading a lot about ‘unhealthy’ foods recently. There’s a growing wave of opinion that processed foods need to be regulated, because they make unhealthy lifestyles that little bit too easy and appealing, landing health services with huge problems like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

But so far no one has hit on the best way to do this – and part of the reason why is because of the ingenious re-framing of the question by the huge companies that stand to lose the most. You might be outraged at the thought of extra tax on unhealthy foods – why should you pay for other people’s obesity problems? But, without sounding too much like a crazy conspiracy theorist… that’s exactly what they want you to think. (more…)