There has been a debate today in the papers and on the telly about the new colour coding system the government/big brother/nanny state intend to introduce on food packaging and labels. How many of us when we go shopping after a long day at work or with a few young children in tow stop to read the nutritional content of our food?
Do we really care about the percentage of salt, sugar, unsaturated fat, calories, etc? Why is it that ‘healthy’ food is more expensive than ‘unhealthy’ food? I can pick up a bag of apples in my local supermarket for more than it would cost me to buy a meal at McDonalds! We are so busy that we want food now. We don’t have time to be slaving over a cooker for however long to cook a healthy, nutritious meal when we only have less than an hour to shove something down before we have to dash out again!
If I’m shopping on a budget, a microwave meal or a frozen pizza suddenly doesn’t seem that bad. I guess to make myself feel better I’ll have a diet coke with it! Why is it that when we go for the healthy option we perform a mini makeover on our meals by adding salt, ketchup, cheese, etc. Isn’t the whole purpose of buying healthy is so we can eat healthy? Multi-vitamin supplement here I come! That’s why we’re so bloody miserable, we can’t enjoy our food!
I strongly support the ‘everything in moderation’ philosophy and I do try to have the occasional salad or fruit, but food certainly doesn’t rule me. Anyone who knows me can testify that I will eat anything and quite a bit of it, as long as it’s not moving on my plate. I am after all a growing lad! Maybe a bit more lateral growth than I’d like but what the heck! I don’t want to make my already miserable shopping trip more agonising by spending however many minutes reading the nutritional content or value of every item of food I put in my shopping basket. I don’t know what it means anyway? All I care about is how it tastes.
Obviously if I can’t see my feet when I look down I’ll have to be more careful about what I buy and I might have to read the percentages and change my eating habits. But if I’m fairly active and at an average weight, why should I bother? I don’t like the taste of these fat free, low sugar, low salt items anyway. Everything in moderation.
There are a few people who read and decide to calculate the percentages of the content and the calorie count, etc. Good for you. I admire the fact you are passionate about what you put inside your body, and if that floats your boat then by all means continue. This is not a post to have a stab at the health conscious. I’m merely giving my opinion so please don’t have a go at me for being honest. I’m just quite curious about how many of us actually read or care about these things that they put on our food packaging.
Here’s another interesting one. Have you ever noticed the random, stupid things these companies print on their labels? For example, the packet of nuts that read “This product may contain traces of nuts or nut derivatives.” No! Really?! On the back of a children’s cough syrup you can sometimes find “This product may cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery when taking this medicine.” Thanks for that. I’ll remember your warning when I give my 6 year old daughter a set of car keys or ask her to use the forklift to shift a palette for me!
What do you think about this health storm that’s brewing about your food’s nutritional value? Is it worth the hype? One love.