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How can we stop ourselves buying and eating cheap unhealthy food?

We taxpayers are paying the NHS billions on food related illness. Sugar tax has changed our buying habits a little, to really make a difference we must actually WANT to change?

Want, because evolution and constant marketing promotions mean that when we eat sugary foods or take-aways we over consume. This is because for millions of years, when food was scarce, humans evolved to overeat in times of plenty. The hormones that encouraged this behaviour are still present so no wonder so many people are overweight, when we now have sugary, fatty, food everywhere and are surrounded by adverts telling us to eat more.

Most people know the difference between good and bad foods and that they ‘should’ eat fruit and veg, yet 94% of teenagers in Wales do not eat their ‘5 a day’. The ‘should’ must change to WANT.

What’s in your trolley?

We therefore need to train our brains to say; “Stop, that’s enough”. But how?

Answer: ‘WANT’ means saving money, better lifestyle, or making money. In real terms this means more taxes, Education, Education, and Information

Education: Not boring old domestic science where each child has to take a can of pineapple chunks to school. Every school in the UK should have a veg patch to grow food, and facilities to cook it, then sell excess locally. These actions together with nutrition should be in every part of the curriculum to also make each subject more interesting. Maths, science, geography, art, history, etc.

Children suck up knowledge and will learn quicker if it is relevant to something they do 3 times a day; eat. They can be a huge influence on parents as proved by recycling rates, plastic bag use and recently walking to school to cut carbon emissions. We all know how difficult it is to change a child’s opinion once they really want something.

learning through doing

And how they love correcting the older generation. Just imagine; ‘Let me cook supper mummy, you need some healthy, low carb, food’.

This could all be financed by sugar tax and more taxes like fat and takeaway food. Small subsidies can be given to those farmers who help schools build and manage raised beds and plant fruit trees. Old people can be invited to help, to combat exclusion, especially in school holidays when valuable produce can be harvested and shared.

There are many organisations like BigBarn all over the UK getting fantastic results working with schools (video here), but often turned away by teachers who say “It’s not on the curriculum”. Arrgghh!

avoid supermarkets, their plastic & confusing offers

Once we have the education and influence from kids we need information:
1. On where to get the best food and save money by avoiding middle men and expensive supermarkets.
2. On how to cook simple delicious meals instead of buying sugary salty ready meals or fatty takeaways
Luckily we have with our Local Food Map to find the freshest, best, and often cheaper produce direct from the grower. Buying the produce and chatting to the farmer will increase our perceived value of the ingredients and encourage local farmers to grow more food.

Perhaps like local schools you can grow your own and sell your produce to locals, or join Crop for the Shop. You could even get an icon on the BigBarn map and join the Local Food Industry.

And cooking? Try BigBarn’s KIS Cookery video channel or please add one yourself. Or search the thousands of video recipes on the net.

False teeth by the age of 12? Water is free!!

Here is some more Information that may help you WANT to change:

Water is free and much healthier than cordial and fizzy drinks. Just say NO. That includes beer, wine & spirits, Dad.

Vegetables are much cheaper than meat and much healthier, so cut down on meat

Most meat is factory farmed, so bad for animals and the planet, cut down on meat to save money

If you do eat meat buy small amounts of the better, more expensive, free range, grass fed, or rare breed

It is more sustainable to eat Dartmoor Pony meat than factory farmed meat (blog here)

Saltier than sea water?

Avoid processed food to save money and avoid salt & sugar:
make your own pasta sauce, (fried onion, tomato, herbs) (olives, olive oil & pepper)
make your own salad dressing using real virgin, olive, or rapeseed oil and avoid solvents used to extract oils
make your own soup using leftovers or seasonal veg (some ready made soups are saltier than sea water)
make your own bread using good flour, water, yeast (avoid raising agent and gluten intolerance from fast bake bread)
make your own breakfast cereal using whole rolled oats, seeds, dried fruit and nuts (real healthy ingredients no additives)
make your own pizza by buying pizza bases the adding your favourite toppings
make and sell fermented veg, really healthy probiotics made from cut price seasonal veg

Wild, sustainable, meat, friendly & delicious

Eat more pulses, for healthy gut and cheaper protein. Especially British beans, peas and Quinoa

Change your attitude to cooking from ‘chore’ to ‘adventure’. Imagine you are a famous chef being filmed for TV, and speak with an Italian accent.

Cooking a meal is actually quicker than travelling to a takeaway.

Buy vegetables in bulk from the farmer and share with friends

Get the whole family cooking as a team and sit round a table together to celebrate the feast.

If you have any ideas or comments please add them below.

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