Coca-Cola running scared of the sugar tax

ImageCoca-Cola came out on Monday night. The world’s most valuable brand, broadcast an advert suggesting they, possibly, have a problem with sugar. In a certain first in the history of food and beverage advertising, it mentioned the o-word – obesity. This comes 126 years after Coca-Cola’s invention, many of them spent in denial of the most damning medical evidence about the “right one’s” failings over a number of damaging and addictive substances – caffeine, sugar, teeth-rotting acids and cocaine.

Read the rest of my post on the Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog

Food is too cheap and that’s damaging all of us

Editorial I wrote for the Observer

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/13/price-to-be-paid-cheap-food

Sunday 13 January 2013 The world is throwing away a shocking amount of food. A report last week claimed that at least a third of the 4 billion tonnes of food the world produces each year never gets as far as our mouths. Between 30% and 50% of food purchased in Europe and the US is thrown away. The research is questioned, not least by the supermarkets, but it does echo the results of an exercise in Britain six years ago, when researchers for the government-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) went through the nation’s rubbish bins. It concluded that we were throwing away 30% of the food we’d bought while it was still edible.

Britain – and much of the rich world – has got used to filling the fridge with what looks nice, not what it actually needs. The cost of that indulgence is, says the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, £10bn annually. Globally, the cost, in money, energy and ever-scarcer water, is unquantifiable.

Our future food security has been climbing the top 10 of current global worries. The prospect of feeding a mid-century planet of around 9 billion people looks impossible without major and potentially unattractive changes to farming and our diet. If you accept the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation’s call for production to be increased by 70% to feed the population of 2050, most of the work will be achieved just by being a bit more thrifty. All we have to do is to use better what is already there.

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