Sorry, was that a bit over the top?
No, as it turns out.
First, please read this piece by Seth Godin – it is nothing short of brilliant: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/06/the-perfect-crime.html
I’ll give thanks here to Yoni Freedhoff and his blog Weighty Matters for this post: http://www.weightymatters.ca/2013/06/saturday-stories-godin-rudeness-tragedy.html
Ok, you are back. Here is my very short take. The lay-take as it were, since I am not trained in marketing …
- We have witnessed a complete change in the way we eat over the last half century. Pretty much since big food realized that they were not just a small chain of restaurants any more.
- We have witnessed a spectacular rise in obesity that tracks almost perfectly to the rise of big food as culture changing marketing machines.
- We have witnessed sky rocketing health costs in direct correlation as heart disease, type II diabetes, and related illnesses track the obesity curve.
- We have recently begun to see our governments lowering labeling standards and partnering with big food. In Canada, a big deal was made when Tim Horton’s – our nations biggest donut shop – announced that they were part of the solution and our federal government publicly solicited more of same. This amounts to an abdication of their responsibility to manage the nation’s health and the costs of its health system. And for big food, it amounts to cheap protection against the zealous protection of the population that would require tougher laws and regulations.
My conclusion from all this is pretty much my conclusion about all related calamities … we have allowed a resurgence in manipulation by what amounts to the “new rich” … i.e. executives and shareholders who have decided that anything goes in the quest for “growth” and “profits” …
Destroying the middle class (and the main source of tax revenue in the process), destroying our health, destroying our economy (what else would you call the rampant destruction wrought by Wall Street) … all of it is apparently fair game so long as someone benefits.
Why do governments allow it? This should give us all pause … I know what I think, but what do you think?
Corruption perhaps? … shhhh …
Anyway, we know that cigarette advertising was dramatically crushed because the health risks were understood a long time ago … and rates of smoking have commensurately dropped over the years.
Big food has a much more palatable product to a much larger segment of the population. But their product is no less damaging to long term health, and has probably destroyed more peoples’ health than cigarettes. The effects are also much more obvious -- smokers have an advantage to go with their choice for a slow and unpleasant death – they get to stay thin and look somewhat cool. Fat people have no such advantages … and I know this from experience, so please don’t suggest that I am picking on fat people. They get to shop for ugly clothes, breath hard walking to their car, sit on the couch because it is embarrassing to be out in public, and basically live a crappy life. (I’m generalizing, but you know who you are.)
Note: Some will say “but just stop eating that crap.” Well, I pretty much have … but it took me decades to finally tame the effects of big food’s marketing and products. It is one of the hardest things to do, along with quitting smoking. And most people don’t get there without some form of intervention.
My point here being that big food is due pretty soon for their comeuppance … and I hope that either Canada or the USA finally gets a leader with the balls to deal with them. Our conservatives are not only gutless, they are philosophically in bed with the sleaze. And in the USA, the current Democratic party has shifted right of Ronald Reagan, so you know that what would be positioned by big food as an “attack on freedom” is just going to happen until another Kennedy type comes along.
So we wait …