Saturday, 2 November 2019

The Calculus of Hunger

I recently wrote an article about cheap meals, and the misrepresentation of costs.

A similar issue is that of portion control. Thanks to the likes of the exceedingly smug Jamie Oliver, we have additional taxes on sugary foods. Similar campaigns have led to markings on food packaging to indicate levels of fat, sugar, etc.

This is good, to some degree, as it helps us to make informed choices about what we eat, and helps us to improve our diets. However, I dare say that those reaching for the bags of crisps or bars of chocolate, are well aware that they are not the healthy option. We're all rather sick of being patronised, thank you very much.

Also, the dirty tricks arise again.

A large bag of crisps will have the nutritional information based on a portion, generally a fraction of the size of the bag. Of course this is not just the case with crisps and snacks, but I use them as a convenient example. Perhaps I just have a problem in that I see the bag as one portion, rather than the arbitrary 25 grams or whatever has been deemed appropriate for me by whichever nutritionist we've decided is correct on any given week.

I do appreciate what people are trying to do, but frequently it is all too heavy handed. These nutritional stats are tweaked to give an impression that what you're eating is healthier than it really is. I understand. Nestlé need to make money, and behaving ethically just really won't cut it. Bellies need to be filled with whatever excrement companies wish to pump out, and we're all hungry. Just do yourself a favour and keep a calculator in the kitchen, right?

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