I have a bunch of "food blogs" in my rough drafts that I want to finish up and upload already....Food is one thing I am passionate about and one of the major things that has changed in my life when I moved to Japan and then back to the US, and then to Hawaii.
Today I am drinking my green tea and reading this article:
It is a long read, but well worth it. Japan had no shortage of colorfully-packaged, weirdly flavored chips, chocolates and candies, but they also had legal limits of how much sugar companies can use, and high fructose corn syrup and chemical food colorings are considered "gross" by many people.. Japan also had been using Stevia as an artificial sweetener, with Sucralose in second, and Xylitol in most of their chewing gums, for about a decade before America considered adopting the practice. And the thing is, Japan isn't the only country like that. American food manufacturers have very unique ideas...
What got me first was the part about soldiers "not eating enough" and them resorting to refined starches that they could "just eat and eat." I'm no scientist, but I was under the impression that physically and mentally typical humans had an innate ability to eat as many calories as they need at that mealtime. At least, I know babies do at birth because my daughter nurses until she is full, then she stops drinking, and then a few hours later, she nurses again. She doesn't nurse until she explodes like a water balloon and she doesn't let herself starve and refuse to nurse. Not eating your food because you don't like the taste is a first-world problem of the highest degree and not something the food supplier should be concerned about, and certainly not an excuse to offer sweetened refined junk instead of whole foods.
The section about the Lunchables is outright disgusting, I would sooner throw a slice of whole wheat bread, a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit into a bag than give a child one of those. Oh, wait, according to the food companies kids won't eat healthy food anyway, they will only eat sweets and junk. Funny thing about that, we had a 3 year old in the preschool I taught at who would outright refuse to eat her lunch, whatever it was, and when her mother came a couple hours later the girl would tell her mom she was hungry, and the mother reached into a purse and gave her some kind of snack cake, bread, etc. We outright told the mom to stop giving her that junk if she wants her to eat her lunch. She did, and after a few days, the girl was eating a variety of foods for lunch every day. Again, kids not eating "healthy" foods because caregivers will give them junk or sweets later anyway......first-world problem.
And then the section that just says to me: young people are starting to care about their health! But we can still get the old people! They're just going to die soon anyway!
I already knew before about Coca Cola's aggressive marketing in third-world countries. I watched a documentary before about advertising vans that would go places where people didn't even have cars, and tell the locals about how soda was so delicious, how Crest toothpaste made your teeth so white, and Tide laundry detergent made your clothes so clean! Which was obviously very calculated. Use Tide to make your water undrinkable, drink Coke, and then use toothpaste to keep it from rotting your teeth completely. Despicable and on the same level as Nestle pushing baby formula in countries where there isn't even clean water to mix the formula and wash bottles. They take advantage and prey on impressionable people who get sucked in by the colorful packaging and the fabricated statements about how whatever product is "the best".
Seems like an interesting book to put on my list.