Chocolate wars and the sneaky hidden agenda of food corporations 

Chocolate Wars - The Good Life Letter

9th August  2009

  • Is there a hidden agenda behind the latest chocolate scare stories?
  • Revealed! The Darwinian snack hunter evolution theory
  • Good chocolate vs bad. Good salt vs bad. And other revelations...

Who'd have thought that chocolate could start a war?

A war or words at least...

I can't imagine a real war over chocolate. You know... with guns, tanks, missile launchers and the like.

If this type of total war was going to happen it would have been when the European 'Snickers' came rolling over the UK borders and destroyed the 'Marathon'... and a whole way of life.

Some resistance fighters believe we still live in "Snickers-occupied Britain." They cross out Snickers on the packet and write MARATHON with indelible ink over the top.

Secretly, they gather together and eat them in secret bunkers, talking about the days when 5 pence pieces were bigger, dog poo was white, and everything was generally better.

But at the very least, my letter about chocolate on the 31st of July caused an outpouring of indignation.

The hidden agenda behind the chocolate debate

One reader says:

"Firstly, it seems to me the perfect opportunity for chocolate manufacturers to increase their profits! Smaller bars for the same or similar price? Secondly, I don't think it will stop obesity. People will just buy two bars rather than one. I honestly can't see how this will adjust people's habits or intake."

They continue:

"If the government want to do something more constructive, then try educating people about better eating habits and stop the big processed food manufacturers from confusing the public about unhealthy foods. They are allowed to advertise foods that are highly processed and often high in sugar and they portray these as being healthy, good for your heart etc. The public are largely ignorant and confused about nutrition and the manufacturers prey on this.

"I absolutely agree. Although I feel somewhat guilty for turning people into angry Good Life ranters, because this reader finished by saying:

"Obviously I've been reading your letter for far too long as I'm beginning to rant! I love food, have been known to eat chocolate, ice cream and drink beer, wine and malt whisky so I'm no health fanatic but I get cross when I hear some of the nonsense passed about by government and the press."

However, another reader initially disagreed with this view...

"It seems a shame that we (our government) have to try such a trick. I'm sure it will work. Research will definitely show that people who eat one chocolate bar a day now have less fats, BMI and cholesterol than those people who ate one chocolate bar a day before the size was changed."
Then even this reader ended up thinking twice...

"....But then, how many will eat two smaller bars a day?"

 And another Good Lifer joined the fray to say

"If they reduce the size of the bar, are they going to reduce the price accordingly? And if so, people will simply buy more of the cheaper bars to compensate for the drop in quantity."

Bold The Darwinian snack hunter theory

However the most learned response I got was from this Good Lifer, who says:

"In noting the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin earlier this year, we celebrated the ability of human beings to adapt.  If you alter the size of chocolate bars (or burgers, or cans of fizzy drink or anything else of same ilk) people will simply find a way round it, possibly by switching to something else more harmful.  On the other hand, people might simply take no notice at all and carry on buying chocolate bars, mini-sized already, in bulk in supermarkets.  For many, chocolate is included in the week's shop along with bread and washing liquids."

Aha! I like this theory.

So perhaps we will EVOLVE into even more sophisticated - and even portlier - snack hunters.

Darwinism in action!

The problem, as some people see it, is that when authorities try to FORCE healthy habits on the populace, it can backfire horribly. The same reader goes onto say:

"None of the Government's so-called healthy ideas have been thought through and this will be just another costly disaster. The healthy school dinner idea proposed by Jamie Oliver is a prime example.  I'm all in favour of children eating well but to force both pupils and schools to switch virtually overnight from burgers to salad was ridiculous.  Phasing in the healthy options, along with some subtle education about the benefits, might by now have borne some fruit (to coin a relevant phrase)".

When will the government learn that people don't like to be told what to do? We don't want to be patronised and lectured.

Especially when the measures they take only put MORE money into the coffers of the confectionary companies who get away with charging the same for less.

Time and time again it's the same old story, right?

Let's not listen to hypocritical government lectures... let's empower OURSELVES

In my view, The Good Life Letter is about empowering you to know the many options are for your health. Not to say: "Do this, don't do that, and behave yourself!"

Chocolate is being demonised in the media to sell a few copies, but it won't solve the problem. And it may simply add more pennies to the cost of living, yet again.

And there's another reason this blanket "EVIL CHOCHOLATE" finger wagging is nonsense...

We all know there's reasonably healthy chocolate, made mainly from cocoa, eaten with some benefits if in moderation and as part of a good varied diet...

And there's unhealthy chocolate - the uber-processed and sugar-laden confectionary you get in the newsagents.

There's healthy salt - like sea salt - which you sprinkle on fresh, unrefined, homemade food. The salt you can SEE going onto your food, and adjust accordingly.

And there's unhealthy salt - the stuff that's jam-packed into ready meals, sauces and snacks. The stuff you don't see. That you don't even know you're eating and in what volume.

There's healthy fat and unhealthy fat. There are good carbs and bad carbs.

If the government would stop demonising one substance after another, ramming rules down our throat, and hoodwinking us with their hidden agendas... then maybe we can have an open and honest debate about how we can ENJOY food and live happier, healthier lives.

Take a look at my website for more on chocolate and other unfairly maligned foods:







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