Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
USAWorld News

The Various Ingredients of Our Junk Food Culture | Food

As a retired child welfare social worker, I have long thought that the link between obesity and socioeconomic status would benefit from a little more brutal analysis (“We have to break the junk food cycle “: How to Fix Britain’s Broken Food System, November 30). Sometimes it’s not about being too poor to buy nutritious foods; it is much more about subcultures – more sociology and less economics.

So what have I been through? I have looked in customers’ kitchen cabinets to see what they are feeding their children, and much of it is indeed junk. I placed working class children in middle class foster homes where they bitterly complained about being fed organic fruit, not crisps and soda.

I have seen contact centers fail to prevent visiting parents from bringing their children the least nutritious foods imaginable. It is not a question of income; it is indeed often working-class food cultures and middle-class “benefactors”, in the secular fashion, trying but failing to tell them what to do, and encountering entrenched resistance.

It’s partly historical: manual workers, post-industrial revolution, piling up as many cheap calories as possible – white bread, sugar, jam. Part of it is the misery of being poor or marginalized, of needing a little something to cheer you up, to move it all, whether it’s cookies or cigarettes.

Partly, I’m not sure everyone knows more about how to cook from scratch, how to make inexpensive ingredients appealing. There is also something about the thought, “Why should I do this when I can get things ready?” Even food banks report that people enjoy receiving tea, coffee and sugar because it makes them feel taken care of as malnutrition increases.

These are not easy factors to undo and may require generational changes and a less unequal society. But let’s start with a lucid examination of the multiple causes.
Sylvie Rose
Totnes, Devon

Your article indicates that Tim Lang, Emeritus Professor of Food Policy at The City, University of London, suggested that the Food Standards Agency was unable to implement the National Food Strategy because, as a government department not ministerial, she “did not have the power to get something meaningful done.”

I would say that being an independent government department is advantageous for the FSA, which was established in 2000 to protect public health and the broader interests of consumers in relation to food.

The agency’s website says its “policies, decisions and advice are based on the best available scientific evidence and analysis, including advice from independent experts.” Above all, it operates in a transparent manner, with public board meetings, and undertakes to publish its opinions to ministers.

Therefore, the government should be more open than usual and explain precisely why it was willing to ignore or overrule the FSA’s thoughtful and impartial recommendations.

I think most of us would prefer any debate on the implementation of the national food strategy to take place openly, in public, rather than behind the closed doors of an anonymous government ministry.
Mike Pender
Former head of agriculture, Food Standards Agency for Wales

Got an opinion on everything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please E-mail us your letter and it will be considered for publication.

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button