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For the past 20 years, one of the things I’ve heard over and over again is how fat society is becoming.
There’s a ton of reasons for this, from portion sizes to government subsidies to questionable labelling to food additives to a society that now values convenience over wellbeing.
To be honest, while we all have to take a responsibility for the situation we’re in, it doesn’t help when companies and governments spend countless billions on ads claiming ‘they care’ when everything they do shows they don’t.
Unless when they say ‘they care’, they actually mean about their profits.
Case in point, this:
Now I’m not a nutritionist, but I’m pretty sure the cheaper item – burger, chips and a soda – is less healthy and more calorific than the alternative water and salad.
Sure, the burger and chips will no doubt taste infinitely better, but why even bother putting it on the menu if you’re going to charge a 40% premium.
Now I appreciate the restaurant chain in question would be able to point out a whole bunch of factors that justify the price differentiation – and maybe some of them might even be true – however, I’m fairly certain that if you did the analysis, the underlying reason would be that, bizarrely, selling burgers, chips and soda is far more profitable to them than salad and water … hence the price premium is driven both by the cost of the raw ingredients as well as their desire to get people to choose the higher profit item over the healthier produce item.
Of course, some of this price discrepancy will have been heavily influenced by the companies procurement policy – locking in farmers to supply specific items at very low cost – however Governments subsidy programs will also have played a role given they are constructed to overcompensate farmers for growing ‘corn’ rather than fresh vegetables … resulting in companies finding all manner of ways to use this raw ingredient to boost their profits, regardless of the health implications.
Oh, and for the record, corn is a major ingredient in everything from replacing sugar in soft drinks to making car tyres.
Which might be good for adaptability and usage but its bloody terrible for health.
This ‘we care, but we don’t do’ drives me nuts but what bothers me more is that while governments, farmers and fast food companies are obviously taking the piss, the health and weight-loss companies could be far more militant in their approach in dealing with this situation … but sadly they’re not, because the reality is they profit from societies problems so their strategy appears to be ‘help, don’t cure’.
I would love to help one of these companies profit hugely from taking this issue head on.
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