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The Processed Food Industry.......what EXACTLY are they trying to feed to the nation?

(130 Posts)
PuffTheMagicDragon Thu 10-Mar-05 10:01:39

I've posted this on a food thread, although my thinking was sparked by the trailer for next week's "School Dinners" programme by Jamie Oliver.

He will be showing children what goes into their "non Jamie" school dinners. I saw a few seconds of it, which involved pouring a pink sludge (some kind of "meat" product) into a big bucket. The kids clearly weren't impressed.

Whilst ingredients have to be listed on packaging, it can be difficult to visualise them eg "reformed meat".

Should supermarkets etc be required, by law, to show photographs of the main basic ingredients in highly processed foods?

dramaqueen72 Thu 10-Mar-05 10:07:25

ooooooooo yes! that would make people sit up wouldnt it?! i dont have a problem with anyone who wants to eat 'crap' as long as they are fully aware of what goes in it, cant bear the shut-my-eyes-and-not-look attitude to food. looking forward to watching jamie re-educate these kids then!

secur Thu 10-Mar-05 10:09:20

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PuffTheMagicDragon Thu 10-Mar-05 10:11:01

That's how I feel dramaqueen, it's ultimately up to us what we and our children eat, but I think we are deliberately starved of appropriate information by the industry.

DaddyCool Thu 10-Mar-05 10:14:28

don't get me started on this... myself and my colleagues here at work have just had a big group moan about this. it makes me so damn angry that kids are continually offered 'crap' food in schools and the fool that's in charge reckons it's because "they must be given both options". options my arse, they are kids. they can have 'options' when they reach 18

BubblesDeVere Thu 10-Mar-05 10:16:45

DD1 is wanting to go on school dinners, but I won't let her. She has a packed lunch, that way I know EXACTLY what goes into it and make sure she has fruit with her dinner.

Bozza Thu 10-Mar-05 10:17:41

I gave my DS an option last night daddycool. For his supper (had early tea at nursery at 4.30) he could have a banana and a kiwi fruit or a banana and a peach. He chose the latter.

Secur at your girls.

DaddyCool Thu 10-Mar-05 10:18:59

quite right bozza!

dramaqueen72 Thu 10-Mar-05 10:20:05

absolutely daddycool, its try the 'salad or hot veggies?' option in my house! i hate what we are calling 'childrens food' in this country. HATE the crap they put on childrens menus when we eat out. adults wouldnt eat most of it, so why do they feed it to the most delicate, still growing inside of a child? oooh, makes me fume!

secur Thu 10-Mar-05 10:20:29

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secur Thu 10-Mar-05 10:21:54

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DaddyCool Thu 10-Mar-05 10:22:55

it defies all common sense doesn't it dramaqueen! i don't understand where the authorities on this are coming from at all. i know where the corporations are coming from, they just want to make money but authorities such as the group that decides the school menus - what's driving their opinions on this!

beansprout Thu 10-Mar-05 10:24:39

I'm showing my age now (grumpy old woman) but I ate my school dinners. Didn't always like it but appreciate that at least I was fed something useful!

What makes me really angry is that the bottom line is that these companies are compromising people's health for the sake for profit and in that regard, they aren't too much better than cigarette companies frankly.

DaddyCool Thu 10-Mar-05 10:25:07

i was just kidding on the 'options at 18' comment but you know what i'm getting at

beansprout Thu 10-Mar-05 10:26:39

Absolutely agree DC. If kids knew how to feed themselves we would let them cook but hey, that's what grown ups are for... to make grown up decisions.

dramaqueen72 Thu 10-Mar-05 10:27:48

is it fat cat bribery that keeps the food on the menu? do the goverment and local councils get money from promting crap? or just save money?
my big kids are now alittle to old for me to'control' (!) exactly what they eat (they are 10 and 13) but at home i make their choices as good as i can, if they want 'junk' food i make it homemade -homemade pizza burgers etc, at least no e-numbers, chemicals here. dd2 has no options -mummy knows best! altho i still fight daily battles with grandparents/friends/etc who buy utter rubbish for the kids.....

PuffTheMagicDragon Thu 10-Mar-05 10:44:21

I think the vast majority of people want to feed their children healthy food. But, many people don't really know/understand what's in processed food they are buying, and that's due to the information not being explicit. Lists on packaging are fine, but it doesn't go nearly far enough. Food is a visual experience among other things and this country is being cheated by the processed food industry because it's dressing up what it churns out, to fool people into buying it, because the packaging is attractive.

The money spent on actual "food" for school dinners has been exposed by the C4 programme.

Maybe Jamie's next programme should look at what's being sold on vast swathes of our supermarket shelves.

stickynote Thu 10-Mar-05 10:46:45

For anyone that's interested, this is a pretty scarey but informative read

moondog Thu 10-Mar-05 10:53:56

I saw the Jamie's Dinners thing for the first time last night. Really interesting. Like him, but doesn't he endore packaged children's crap for Sainsburys?? Hmmmmmm.
Agree, Puff, people don't have a clue what is in food. Why is this? The point was amde in something I read a while ago that our concept of being 'time poor' is bollocks. Years ago, people had a lot less time, but they still managed to cook.
Cookery lessons are shite/non existent in our schools at present, so I'm told.
(Actually, my work occasionally involves visiting schools and I can't believe what they're rustling up. No, ready mixed pizza base with a bottle of Dolmio and some ready grated cheese on top is NOT cooking!)

There was an excellent article in the Telegraph yesterday (or poss. day before) about school dinners around the world. Mentioned France (where my 4 nieces and nephews are-fantastic food.) and I think Finland, where the menus are posted on the Web with recommendations for the evening meal so as to ensure a really balanced diet.

moondog Thu 10-Mar-05 10:56:00

I want to get that stickynote, also the Joanna Blythman one about the power and terrifying control of the supermarkets.
(Note to self:keep calm, it's not even lunchtime...)

moondog Thu 10-Mar-05 10:56:00

I want to get that stickynote, also the Joanna Blythman one about the power and terrifying control of the supermarkets.
(Note to self:keep calm, it's not even lunchtime...)

PuffTheMagicDragon Thu 10-Mar-05 11:09:37

lol moondog re keeping calm, its not even lunchtime !

I'd forgotten about Jamie and Sainsbury's !

We have a lovely little parade of shops round the corner from us - good organic butcher's, fruit shop etc, but it's very hard for them to keep going in the face of the might of the out of town supermarkets.

Also, loads of people would buy organic meat if they could afford it, but it's out of reach financially for many. That makes me really .

moondog Thu 10-Mar-05 11:14:28

It is possible to buy and cook good tasty stuff for very little, but people don't know how.
Mind you, George Orwell made some good points in 'On the Road to Wigan Pier' in response to government bodies exhorting the working classes to eat more wholemeal bread,carrots and so on.
if you're feeling shit, and your life sucks then a ciggie, a packet of chips,sweets and alcohol do numb the pain a little.

I do think of that when I am poncing about doing something crafty with chick peas and herbs...

sweetkitty Thu 10-Mar-05 11:15:24

Having worked in the food industry for many years (no not making crap food) I am well aware of the rubbish that is put into processed food.

If the govt is really concerned about childrens health why don't they make crap food expensive and organic fresh food cheaper. Surely if you have to pay extra for processed food it would make you think twice.

Good old fashioned cookery lessons should be compulsory in schools as well.

secur Thu 10-Mar-05 11:16:04

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