Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hooray for Choice (and thank goodness for my Thermomix)!

I try hard, particularly at Thermomix demonstrations, not to preach to everyone about how they should eat and what foods they should feed their families.  It's an area I'm very passionate about, so I don't always succeed.  I do know that everyone is fully entitled to make different choices and decisions.  I also know, all too well, that sometimes it's hard to eat the right thing even when you know what the right thing to eat is.

It's a completely different story though when the information people base their decisions on is incorrect.  Consumers often believe what they are told and trust in the health claims products make.  After all, surely the company can't write something on the label that isn't true.  Right???  Alas, it's often not about what is said on the label, but what is left unsaid.

In my opinion, the "nutrionism" movement has a lot to answer for.   Just because something is low-fat doesn't necessarily mean it is good for you.  Fortifying sugar laden breakfast cereals doesn't render them a healthy option.  You can't manufacture a "food" that has the same nutrient content as a whole food and tell me that it's a better option.  People like Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan have taught us that the whole food is the real deal and we may not nutritionally know why that is for decades of years to come.

In 10 years time, we might learn that the "healthy" products we are encouraged to buy today actually aren't so good for us (hmmmm, let's all just think about margarine for second).  Although I know it's a shameless Thermomix plug, it's this issue above all others that makes me believe every kitchen should include a Thermomix.  It means we can cook FOOD.  Just food.  Healthy food.  Quickly and easily.  I can see what ingredients go in and know, with confidence, what my kids are putting into their little bodies.  It means I can make a wholesome, nutritious dinner in fifteen minutes from basic ingredients without having to rely on navigating the myriad of "health" claims the supermarket shelves present.

So, well done to CHOICE who have announced their Shame the Claim campaign.  Our food labelling legislation is a joke and any step towards better educating consumers is to be applauded!   I'd encourage everyone to join in the Choice campaign and also to take it one step further.  Make an effort to reduce your use of packaged foods and  use that Thermomix to it's maximum potential. 

Happy Mixing,

1 comment:

  1. I heartily agree Brooke! As someone who was denied the right to enjoy cooking and eating for most of my life, only to find myself in the throes of an eating disorder.

    The key is education and information. The more people know about what is in the food they are consuming, and where it comes from, and are given the time and skills to be able to source and prepare it, the better, more informed decisions they will be able to make about feeding themselves and their families.

    One thing I want to acknowledge though is that not everyone has access to or the skills for whole foods. Whole foods do take time and money. Admittedly, here in Australia we are luckier than many others around the world, and produce is far more accessible, as well as we do have more time on our hands to be able to put into sourcing and preparing foods. But people of low incomes are still denied access to whole foods and time to source and prepare it, even here.

    If only Thermomixes were Government issue to all households!