The ministers of the faith are always at work, at home or on the mission field.
If the universal good is fruits and vegetables, it is expected that some would try to hijack the message for their own purposes, to water it down and dilute it.
And like the U.S., Europe and the United Kingdom have processed food manufacturers who try to snatch the halo from fruits and vegetables.
The Fresh Produce Consortium of the United Kingdom issued a news release in July that said in its lead that “the UK Government must sort out widespread inaccuracies of 5 A DAY claims which abuse consumer trust.”
The consortium, the leading fresh produce trade association in the United Kingdom, said processors were overstepping their bounds. The FPC said the Channel 4 Dispatches programme “highlighted many of the ridiculous declarations made by processors and the Government’s failure to stop unscrupulous hijacking of the 5 A DAY message.”
Particularly, a couple of short documentary newscasts illuminated the high sugar content of fruit drinks.
“It’s time the UK Government sorted out this confusion. 5 A DAY must return to its core principles, based around the convenience of eating fresh fruit and vegetables, to avoid misleading the public about the nutritional content of their food basket,” said Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of the Fresh Produce Consortium said in the release. “The Government must do more to encourage people to enjoy the benefits of affordable fresh fruit and vegetables.”
The release went on to say that research by Oxford University stated thousands of lives could be saved every year “if everyone in the UK followed dietary guidelines.” Yes, we have heard that before, haven’t we?
Here in the U.S., the Robert Wood Johnson report “F as in Fat” was another reminder of the great costs society bears because of obesity.
Importantly, the report pointed out seven of the ten states with the highest rates of obesity were also in the bottom ten for fruit and vegetable consumption. Can we assume that the ten states with the highest per capita Double Stuff Oreo consumption were also the most obese? I’m betting that is the case.
Even more alarming, researchers found the number of obese Americans could grow from 32% in 2011, to 50% in 2030.
Consumers need to be hit on the head with the fact that they better get serious about eating more fruits and vegetables and eating less empty calories. “More Matters” and “Enjoy Fresh”? Sure. But perhaps a little more hard preaching about the straight and narrow way is in order.
The industry’s evangelists must put the fear of the 2030 judgment day into American consumers. With the obesity time bomb ticking, it’s time to scare us skinny.