Mars Shmars by M. Kuehn

Now I really have heard it all. Mars, the owners of the Dolmio range are putting a message on their most popular products that are laden with salt, sugar and fat. The message? Only eat this product once a week.

Jolly well done. How responsible of you. Here’s the thing though. In the light of today’s reports on the appalling rates of tooth decay in kids and the growing numbers of obese children, call me stupid but how about doing something radical like lowering the amount of sugar, salt and fat in your food. No? Didn’t think so.

I’ve spent many hours writing to the food giants and have come to the conclusion that it is a pointless exercise. The usual response? ‘We put all the nutritional information on our website so people can make an informed decision.’ What a load of old hooey. You can see it now, can’t you?
‘Right kids, we’re off for a treat to x pizza company. Oh wait, let me just look on their website for
the nutritional information before we go so I can make an informed decision.’ Sod off.

A few of my friends have been rather scathing in their condemnation of parents who allow their kids to indulge in drinks that have anything from 6 to over 20 tsp of sugar in them. Why oh why is there no government pressure on the food industry to reduce the sugar levels in food? Because we’re not a nanny state? Because they don’t give a shit, that’s why. It’s precisely the poorer and disadvantaged in our society who are suffering the most, perhaps due to poor education, poverty, a lack of food culture where buying a frozen pizza for a quid is the easiest and cheapest option. It’s not the smug, middle class, gleaming gnashers in place, looking down on those poor mites who are having 12 teeth at a time yanked from their sick gums. Be warned. The underclass in the UK is growing, as is poverty, disastrous health consequences and the hugest gap between the poor and the folk who are exhausted by having to move their money around all the time. In it all together? Feel free to give the hollowest of laughs.

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