Food marketing is eating away at me

I had some friends that participated in a Junk free June challenge once.

They posted photos of the free junk food that was offered to them that they didn’t eat. Often this was at their workplace or at a birthday party.

Brightly coloured confectionary, rich cake, crumbly biscuits, cheap takeaway food. We are surrounded by this poor copy of food that is created specifically to make us want it. Every sound, sight and smell is tailored to trigger nostalgia or a pavlovian saliva response. Remember the sound a packet of chips makes when it get’s opened? A packet of biscuits? The sound something makes when it hits the bottom the vending machine ready to be retrieved? I bet you remember that sound better than your friends birthdays. Especially if you work in an office.

So how do we combat this powerful environmental trigger? Because that’s ultimately what food marketing is. A combination of carefully timed and thought out environmental triggers designed to make you want, buy & eat.

The healthfood craze is not immune. Plastic packaged “treats” are marketed using words like clean, pure, healthy, nutritious, energy, superfood, protein, balance, vitality, vital, essential, natural etc ┬ánone of which need any facts to back them up! That ‘protein’ cereal you’re eating… it could have no more protein than that other cereal and it has more sugar. That ‘protein’ bar has more carbs than protein so you’re not balancing out your macros like you think. That ‘pure’ muesli bar is pure sugar and that ‘energy’ snack has the same amount of calories as a small donut if you ate the whole thing… but the serving size on the back is only for half of that cookie. Would you eat half a cookie?

The lesson here. Don’t fall for the buzzwords. Let them fall on deaf ears. Someone tries to market pink water to you with antioxidants – remember water doesn’t need to be pink and doesn’t need antioxidants to quench thirst. And then keep right on walking.

Be smarter than the buzzwords.


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