Say no to sugar taxes

sugar nanny state.jpg

Drone alert in more ways than one…

Healthy Food Guide reports today that

“A petition calling for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages that collected nearly 10,000 signatures was presented to Maori and Green Party MPs in Parliament last week”

That’s on the HFG site that is so paranoid that it has blocked the right mouse button function to prevent people copying or printing its articles and recipes. Heads up, team, all that does is force people to other sites more friendly (you’re not that unique), to use the browser drop-down menu, and/or just give you a miss: most, if not all of your recipes are available elsewhere (it’s not called the world-wide web for nothing you know)…just Google the recipe title to see if you can’t find the same -or often a better – recipe elsewhere…

But…back to the sugar thing…dear food fun Nazis, please get a grip…taxes don’t stop people using commodities they want to use…increasing taxes hasn’t drastically changed usage stats for spray paint, petrol, alcohol or nicotine, nor, had the legislation been enacted, would it have stopped sheep farting…all taxes on products like these is make them more expense so that people waste more money on them (less the sheep farting – sheep farts will always be free).

If you really want to stop people using something, then ban it and make it totally unavailable, except of course, for the bootleg and black market alternatives that will spring into existence the second the ban goes into effect. Bans – certainly where the market mass is most of the population – are rarely (not really!!) effective.

Ongoing effective education is the solution. Not anti-sugar propaganda because even kids can see through that. Tell it like it is. Put the truth – not truth, not your truth – out there. Be first with the truth. It’s not perfect but have a read of That Sugar Story anyway. Damon Gameau is a bit OTT at times but his basic premise is pretty good and pretty healthy – and you don’t need any laws or taxes to make it work. Consume less sugar. Avoid hidden sugars: quick tip, if it’s in a plastic wrapper that says it’s healthy, don’t touch it…you DON’T have to give up food fun to be healthy…there’s more to healthy food than water and lentils …

(lentils get a bad rap sometimes)

Stop trying to protect everyone from themselves. Nanny-stating has an opposite effect in the long term: instead of protecting the people from themselves, the increasing absence of challenge turns them into mindless drones incapable of applying judgement, solving problems or thinking for themselves.

I caught up with an old friend last week – someone who I had not physically seen 2007 but whom the miracle of Facebook had kept me in touch with. She made the very telling comment that the more support services we offer, the more people demand AND the less capable they become of thinking and fending for themselves. More and more people expect everyone to be nice to them and for ‘someone else’ to doing all think and supporting for them as well…

The truth is that sometimes life throws up challenges; life is sometimes a bit hard; things do not always go according to plan. ‘The people’ need to make their own decisions and accept the consequences of those decisions. They need to be given opportunities every day to exercise and practise those skills. Taking away their ability, indeed their right, to make lifestyle decisions for them and their families doesn’t make us smarter or healthier as a nation…

Look askance at any politician babbling in support of a sugar tax…

 

Natural | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: natural.

Source: Natural | The Daily Post

My first thought for this prompt, since I have now apparently joined the ranks of the indoor beanie-wearers, was to simple post a shot of me and my beanie. I must admit that, even though it has only been a week or so, wearing the beanie inside feels so natural that I feel a little lost without it – as I do at the moment after I leaving it at work last night, still plugged into the USB charger…

I’m subscribed – who isn’t? – to a range of forums and sites that have – or had at some point – some fleeting interest to me. Hardy’s is a chain of health food shops and my purchase of flax seed, coconut oil and natural antallergen caps found me subscribed to their blog. Most of the time, I barely scan these things and rarely click on any of the links but Hardy’s caught me in a  moment of weakness.

This post is better written than much similar fare and it’s content struck a chord. If you’ve been following my green journey, you’ll be aware that my life has taken a turn for the better following a friend’s chance comment last year. As cynical as I might be about the ‘health’ industry, I can not deny the positive effects on me by reducing the quantity of processed food and sugar in my daily diet.

Of the three changes that the article recommends, I am already sold on the benefits of reducing sugar. It’s not hard and doesn’t require much more than a little thought: sacrifices are minimal and there are still sweets to be had: they just rely less on processed sugar. Occasionally, I miss having instantly accessible munchies in the pantry – it’s been over six months since I last knocked back a big bags of crisps – but an apple or orange fills the same gap and it’s not hard – just needs a little forethought – to bake some healthy cookies…

DSCF0101

…although growing external demand often means that there are none left for me…

Brain exercise is an area where I have been negligent…with a lot of other things going on the last couple of years, I have not been as intellectually active as I once was. As much as I love the people side of my job, it does lack on the intellectual front and I am starting to yearn for the same cerebral workouts that distinguished my Army and Air Force roles I don’t want to go back…I just miss the mental workouts…

I know I’ve said it before but one way of taking the grey matter for a run is blogging and if the good people at WordPress are happy to spam my inbox with prompts and number of times a day, that I should be taking some of those ideas and converting them into coherent thoughts and tap them out…I just have to force myself back into the habit..

The final change relates to getting enough sleep. I think that this may be a little chicken and egg, for me anyway. Since starting my green journey, I have been sleeping a lot better but not a lot longer. If I go to sleep before eleven o’clock, I’ll wake around four or five and stay awake, only starting to doze off thirty seconds before the alarm goes off…

Tips for good sleep…?

Make the bed properly…a mussy bed and slip-slidey covers are not conducive to restful sleep.

In winter, crank the ‘lectric blanket: easing between hot sheets is a pleasure I anticipate every night – although Louie has now worked out which beds are warm, which is why the ‘kids’ are now banned form upstairs after lights out.

Build a regular sleep routine. Do one thing, the same thing each night so that your mind learns this as a sleep trigger. For me, it’s to read a little each night before I kill the light; for others it might be a hot chocolate or light coffee before nigh-nighies…each to their own: just kept it consistent…

And here’s a shot of the beanie in all its high tech glory…