Daily (Or When the Mood Takes Me) Gripe: Sugar and Junk Addiction. Obesity? What Obesity?

Sugar, salt and junk processed foods! As you do your weekly grocery shop, have you stopped, looked and contemplated how your local supermarket encourages you to buy shit food? Whether intentional – money and profits would never come into it, would they! – or just demand-driven, they are, in a very large part, contributing as much to the obesity epidemic as fast-food chains are.

So grab your shopping trolley – watch the wonky wheels – and lets shop. We start in the deli/fresh fruit and vege section. Probably the worst things I can say about this section is that a lot of the deli meats contain nitrites that aren’t good for you in large amounts, and the ready-made salads should be avoided as they are quantity produced, so full of salt in the dressings not to mention fat. The fruit and veges are, in the greater part, not fresh from the farmer but from cold storage so are depleted in nutrients, and generally don’t last all that long when you get them home.

On the borderline of this section, and before you hit the aisles are eggs – avoid caged at all costs, and encourage the supermarket not to stock them…not that this will stop them, as they are cheap so customers buy them – “fresh” cakes, biscuits and bread are lined up for you to grab. “How convenient”, you will think! Sure is, and lots of specials on things like slices, biscuits and donuts, all mass-produced, all full of sugar and fat. Handy positioning in fump-bins so that kids can grab them in passing. As you turn into the bread section, if you bother to glance to your far left you will see a chiller section for everything soy/tempeh/vegetarian orientated – in a need-to-know position as…well..we don’t want to promote that, do we! And we turn into the fresh baked bread section – not! As we found out recently, and rather controversially, none of it is actually freshly made. The partially cooked products come from places as far away as Ireland. Why they can’t be baked here is anybodies guess, though agsin, undoubtedly, it comes down to profits. Not being freshly made, it is going to be lacking in wholesomeness and nutrients. Already we are starting to put on weight.

So we turn into our first aisle. Bread, including “white death” – my terminology for any white bread. If people haven’t learnt by now, they are not going to. There is probably one healthy brand there. Opposite are ” Health” bars…a misnomer if ever there was one. Again, about two reasonably healthy brands. The rest are full of sugar, fats and artificial products. Hint – if they are made by a company that also makes cereal, avoid them! At the end of this aisle are health foods, and possibly the only genuinely healthy products you will find in here, despite my sceptacism that the supermarkets house branded organic products are possibly not all that organic. Let’s face it – the term is trendy, and generic now. The end positions of these aisles are populated by catalogue specials – chocolates, soft drinks and chips.

We now hit the cereal aisle. A whole side of the aisle. Overall – mainly rubbish. All salt, sugar, fats, artificial colours and flavours. Frightening shit. Even most of the muesli’s are rubbish. If you sre lucky, maybe five or six items are actually safe to eat. Cereal drinks – yes, you read that right. Msy as well drink a cip of sugar. Opposite are dessert choices, all in packets to be mixed, or sugar and artificial everything syrups, or canned fruits – possibly the wisest choice. Turning into the next aisle we find peanut butter, Vegemite honey and jam at the end. Even I’m leaving this alone because I do eat them. Jams need sugar to set them, honey is a natural product that in pretty well unadulterated, and I tell people that a good breakfast on the run is wholegrain toast with peanut butter. Move on! Ah…biscuits. Processed, sugar, fat, palm oil, artificial everything. Opposite is hot chocolste, tea and coffee. There are about two organic or free-trade hot chocolates worth buying, the rest have artificial sweeteners. Tea is safe. Ordinary instant and bean coffee is safe. The problem here are the flavoured coffees. I suppress a shuddet! Full of artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners, whiteners. Death in a cup! Rounding the end to proceed into the next aisle, we encounter a Milo cereal promotion. The front of the box is a flashing neon light of goodness – 50% wholegrain, two essential vitamins/minerals, Heart Foundation tick and dome ither tick which just seems to be decoration. For a mum-on-the-run a dream come true, a miracle cereal that just screams goodness! Goodness! Goodness! However…..the side nutritional panel – confusing to read at the best of times – tells a different story. High amounts if salt, fat and carbohydrates in the form of sugar. What a shock! Next aisle – what a shocker. Sift drink for miles. Full of sugar, and worse for the diet ones that like to scream “Zero” sugar. Not exactly a lie as they don’t have sugar. They have something even worse – Aspartame. Opposite are shelves of energy drinks which should just be banned. Not only full of artificial shit, they are basically tins of sugar, which is where the energy rush comes from. Sports drinks ditto! Bottled water, for fuck sake. Companies actually rake perfectly fresh – and free – drinking water and put it in a plastic bottle that people then pay money for! Crazy? And cordials (artificial flavours and sugar), and the tetra-pac drinks that are also full of artificial everything and sugar. Next aisle – pasta. That’s fine, then we get to the sauces. Processed to within an inch if their life – artificial volours, flavours and tons of salt. Taco meal packs the same. Asian foods – a mix of healthy and unhealthy. Soups which are nothing but processed crap and salt, along with artificial colours and flavours. Next aisle peanuts and nuts – many with too much salt. Lollies of every description full of sugar and artificial colours and flavours. Chocolate – the dark, healthy variety in the minority. Potato chips full of fat, salt and artificial colours and flavours. Next aisle stocks – at least you can get salt reduced – spices, oils, vinegars, baking requirements, packet cake mixes – like cakes are that hard to make yourself. And so it goes on. Instant noodles full of salt and artificial everything, condiments full of salt and artificial everything, dressings full of fst, sslt and artificial evetything. Seems to be a recurring theme here.

Then we get to meat. Poor quality, over-priced, full of fat. Freezer cabinets full of pre-prepared meals that are basically processed, full of salt and artificial crap. Prepared chicken and seafood meals that are the same. Frozen hamburgers, pizzas, pies, sausage rolls all full of salt and ditto ditto. Ice -cream…okay, I eat ice-cream so we’ll leave that alone. Pre-prepared desserts like cheese cakes, pies and danish full of sugar and fat. Bacon and cold cuts full of dangerous nitrites. Margarine – don’t even start me on how unhealthy margarine is. Fruit juices full of reconstituted fruit juice and sugar. Dog foods and kibbles that should never be fed to pets due to the amounts of rubbish in them, treating our pets like they don’t even matter. Full of meat by-products – read offal, carcasses and diseased meat, corn with no nutritional value, and plain crap. It gisgusts me!

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Tim Alderman
Copyright 2013

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