Birds know what to eat, better than us! E B Watts
Next time you think the big supermarkets care about your health, look at how they are designed. American food campaigner Michael Pollan writes that iff supermarkets really cared, they would have central aisles packed with fresh organic produce. Instead, you’ll find:
- All have the same design: 2 or 3 aisles of fresh produce, then most of the other aisles are full of processed food. Most stores sell the processed cereals at eye level (porridge oats at the bottom), milk at the far end corner (so you can ‘buy things’ on the way).
- And most have no clocks or windows, so you kind of lose your mind. They’ve even found people interviewed in supermarkets with things in their trolley they did not know they had put in there! That’s the power of advertising, when you’re watching an ad late at night on TV, then go bleary-eyed to the supermarket next morning.
- If you drive daily to the supermarket, that’s petrol and wear and tear on your car. You often end up buying more ready-meals, and they are more expensive than making your own meals with real (cheap) ingredients.
- Local shops employ local signwriters, they have lunch at the local pub and buy from local suppliers. All of these tend to be create more jobs. The shop workers at the supermarkets may be local, but often the managers aren’t, ‘driving in from head office’.
Michael’s book Food Rules is small enough to fit in your bag, if you need a reminder on what to buy at the supermarket, if you have no choice but to shop there. He condenses all his knowledge into 64 simple rules. It’s a good layout: one page lists the rule in one sentence, then the facing page gives a few short paragraphs on why. Here are a few to keep in your head:
Don’t buy ingredients your great-grandmother would not know
Eat food from a plant: not made in a plant.
Don’t get your fuel, from the same place as your car
Don’t buy cereals, that change the colour of the milk!