Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ban Fast Foods

While scanning the news, I came across this article out of the U.K. entitled:  “Fast food should be banned from public transport to tackle 'guzzling on the go', say obesity experts.”  The article points out that “experts at the world’s largest obesity conference urged politicians to make sweeping changes to limit the availability of junk food on public transport.”  This push for restrictions would hopefully reset social norms and shift the public out of the current custom of round-the-clock snacking.  Essentially, the “guzzling on the go” is fuelling Britian’s weight problem.

The head of the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool, Prof Halford, suggests that people eat so much because eating opportunities are always available.  He goes on to say that in the 1970’s, food in general as well as the type of food was more restricted as compared to today.  Also, people had to prepare their food.  Speaking at the European Congress on Obesity, Prof Halford pushed politicians to take radical action.  Like smoking and alcohol were banned from public transport, so should fast food. 

By George, the Brits appear to have gotten it right!  They are suggesting that the only way to curb the consumption of fast food by the populace is to restrict the availability of junk food in public venues.  I must admit that although I believe in the freedom of choice, when it comes to food, the conglomerates’ cocktails of addictive fast food have clearly gotten the better of our society.  Maybe it is high time for the politicians to step in on behalf of people and protect them from themselves!

Given the potential benefits of this push to restrict fast foods on public transport in the U.K., maybe the same should be done in North America.  With this in mind, I might have to change my slogan to “Ban Fast Foods.”  On second thought, I don’t think I will.  Regardless, the ingredients in fast foods are still to blame for society’s addiction to the slop.  So once again I say: blame it on fast foods!

- B.J.T. Pepin

Monday, May 01, 2017

Menu labeling rule in limbo?

While I was taking a look at the news, I came across an article entitled: “Menu labeling rule in limbo as feds signal last-minute delay.”  The federal rule to take effect on 05 May 2017, “would make it mandatory for all restaurant, supermarket and convenience store chains to post calorie counts on their menus…” Now, just as it was about to take effect, the FDA indicated that the rule could be delayed.

So what do you think is behind the delay?  Some would say that it is a last ditch effort by certain forces to lift regulations that are burdensome to businesses, because of the additional costs associated with the production of new menus.  A counter argument would suggest that since the food industry is already producing some form of labelling, the so-called additional cost is nothing but a smokescreen.

So what are some of the benefits to such a rule?  Foremost, consumers would be in the position to see the calorie counts before buying food and would tend to order less calorie-laden options.  Also, a directive that requires the food chains to admit on paper the ingredients they put in the food they serve is a godsend.  It would allow consumers to be better informed on the chemicals/poison readily put in most foods.  Social pressure for healthier food could, potentially, lead the food conglomerates to produce healthier alternatives.  So far, this sounds pretty good, right?

What do I say?  It’s about time that such regulations are put in place!  It would force the food chains to disclose to all their customers the kind of garbage that they serve!  Therefore, it isn’t surprising that forces within the food industry are trying their best to prevent such law from coming into effect!  However, my darker side believes that such a law really won’t make much of a difference.  Why, you ask?  Because the populace is so addicted to the hollow, sugar-laden foods served at fast food joints!  The same is true for the quick-cooking/time-saving trash available at supermarkets!  The result is that most people wouldn’t/couldn’t alter their choices! 

I find it sad to admit/realize that a potentially great law would not make much of a difference.  This is a clear case of the food industry controlling the populace for such a long time that the people have become powerless.  So where should we place the blame?  To me it is simple.  Blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin