On a recent and rare scroll through the news this week, I read that UK ministers are considering introducing a 'Sugar Tax' to help cut down obesity rates in the UK. Yet another demonstration of just how removed from the people those who run this country really are. Getting people to pay more money for sweet treats is not the answer to the problem at hand.
Every week I do my grocery shopping seeking to buy the healthiest ingredients possible at the least cost. And I'm appalled to tell you that while I could feed my family of four (2 adults, 2 children) white bread, oven chips and sausages for next to nothing, buying fruit, vegetables, unprocessed meats and wholegrain foodstuffs--as we're told are healthiest for us--renders me almost broke!!
It's not the UK's addiction to sugar that's make us a fat nation, it's that poorer families simply can't afford to eat well.
Further more, looking at the lessons my children are taught in school today, compared to what I learned thirty years ago, and what the older generations learned in the decades before that, where are the life-skills?
What about teaching our children the joys of growing your own vegetables and fruit. Even those without a garden can grow a few lettuces in a pot. Give each child a pot, some soil and some seeds and set them homework of seeing what they can grow. Document the process, let them observe and learn. It's a great life skill, patience and nurturing; the hands on experience of tending a plant and the reward of being able to eat what you've grown. Much more interesting than ten spellings and some online math's problems.
There's nothing on the curriculum about budgeting an income to make sure the bills are paid and food's on the table. These days they're too busy teaching ten year olds complex equations and making sure they can spell obscure words like 'dictatorship', which of course, is so relevant! (this should be read in a sarcastic tone)
So how do you solve the obesity problem? Well not that anyone will listen to me--why should they-- but I believe what's really needed to help address the problem is joined up thinking. The Minister of Education and the Minister of Health should get together to bring food back into schools before it's too late. I'm pretty sure there's no shortage of TV chef's who would be only too happy to support this, Jamie, Delia, Gordon, Hugh, Nigel and Nigella ... I'm looking at you here, to name but a few.
The Homemakers and gardeners of the 60s, 70s and 80s are aging, classic skills of how to feed a family need to be learned, before it's too late. This article by The Huffington Post more than demonstrates my point on the matter.
And the government needs to hold a serious intervention with food agencies to address the rising costs of feeding a family, especially in the current economic climate. Those with an influence, it's time to put what little power you have to use, where it's really needed ...
And here endeth my rant on the matter.