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Living on junk

“Why do you eat such junk all the time? Have something healthy. Like a fruit or two!”, dad says concernedly as I switch on the TV and comfort myself on the dining chair with a plate full of Maggi to binge on. The two minute noodles are my all time favorite and even act as an easy substitute for lunch. Additional junk like a pack of Lays or a glass of Coke accompany at times. Though I’m not sure as to whether Maggi, Lays or any such packed food do any good to our health, the yummy result for a zero effort often lure me into buying them.

Not only me, I’m sure most of us know and agree that such packed foods are not the right answer for a nutritious and a healthy diet. Yet, we buy and consume them. We know that all the nutritional facts that adorn the packs of Lays, Maggi, Kurkure et al can’t compete the richness of home made food or natural fruits and vegetables. Yes, we know them all. Years ago, a cola maker was banned in India and few other countries for alleged usage of fertilizers and other harmful substance in the making of the soft drink. But they bounced back into business in no time. They might deserve a ban, but as always consumer’s choice lead the way. And we, as always, buy them without even thinking twice. In fact, it is a routine in most of our homes to add such packed foods in the list of monthly provisions.

deccan-herald-cola-eynjuls

Source: Deccan Herald, Bangalore.

We take time and handpick fresh fruits and vegetables in the market. We even bargain for a few rupees with the vegetable vendor. But spend two times or more of what we spend on vegetables to buy Maggi, Pazzta, Biscuits, and other ready-to-make or ready-to-eat stuff.  Why aren’t we bothered about quality and return on price when buying such packed junk?

During any discussion on health we blame the makers and marketers of such food. During the recent #AdsWeDontBuy campaign on Twitter, I was all set to fire the marketers for endorsing such harmful food products. Then I gave it a thought.

ads-we-dont-buy-eynjuls

Give it a thought. What if every household won't buy any junk food for one day? And, can't we make that one day into one week?

Is it right that we blame makers or marketers alone? Are they the only ones on the wrong side? No. They’re doing their Business. Profits, Return on Investment, Breakeven etc matter in Business. And, so does ethics. So, to lawfully be on the ethical side they take permissions, get verifications and certifications done from various concerned departments, put a table of nutritional facts, ingredients used, etc on display. So, ethically they’re on the right track. Ethics in business rarely has anything to do with conscience, they only have to do with stamped and signed documents. Whether we accept it or not, this is how the world works.

maggi-harmful-eynjuls

Source: http://www.medimanage.com/my-kids-health/articles/maggi-taste-hai-health-not-really.aspx

Face it! If we start counting literal ethics and nutritional facts, I guess most of the edible products available in the market today might deserve a ban. And it is unfortunate that we’re living on such junk food. Though manufacturers know what they produce is not entirely healthy, they do it because they have enough consumer support, and basically they are here to earn and stay alive in the competition. And, we assured them of healthy earnings.

Yes, we assured them. The major reason why there’s a pour of such products in the market today is that they received enough acceptance from consumers. It is we who let their junk transform into a successful brand. Obviously! If the consumer rejects a product, no marketer is a fool to continuously spend millions on promoting them with rich and creative ads.

cola-reports

Source: http://www.grida.no/publications/et/ep4/page/2633.aspx

Okay, let us think from a different perspective. Because we didn’t know earlier they are so harmful, we bought and used them. Now that we’re habituated and the products are widely available with every small and big retailers, we are at times compelled to buy them. Well! That’s human tendency. And, it is not so easy to stop using things which we’ve been using from years.

But nothing is impossible if we have a strong will, isn’t it? We now KNOW regular consumption of such food is not healthy. We read news reports and articles which spoke how unhealthy they are. So, we can NOW stop using them gradually. Instead of having Maggi twice a week, we’ll have it once a week, then twice a month, and so on we’ll limit the consumption. Consumers always have the ultimate power. Social Media is an effective tool we have today. Spread the word. Governments needn’t ban them. We CAN.

Find Harsha on Facebook and Twitter

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This article is an entry for the Stayfree ‘Time to change’ contest, organized by Indiblogger. If you’re part of IndiBlogger, you can vote for my post here.

10 comments

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  1. Arti

    You just hit the nail on the head! Junk food culture is something that needs to be changes along with our attitude. Very rightly pointed out, and very beautifully presented, Harsha :) All the best with the contest :)

    1. Arti

      *changes = changed. Pls. excuse me for the typo :)

  2. ruchi jain

    nice post…

  3. magiceye

    good thinking! :)

  4. icyhighs

    But…but…junk food is awesome!

  5. Saru (@SaruSinghal)

    A topic well written and handled Harsha. I wish you win this time. Remember how I fell for the lyrical line in your last contest post. All the best dear…:)

  6. gEet

    Nice post dear, and all the best!:)

  7. Suchi

    Good writing…my prediction is it is going to get far worse in the years to come….as Indians get busier, domestic help becomes scare, more and more Indians will start to depend on what in the West is known as TV dinner…a microwaveable box with a meal for one. These are pretty horrid stuff….ladden with chemicals and preservatives….you think that those who consume these in USA or other countries do not know that? Convenience wins every time….

  8. Bikramjit Singh Mann

    Thankfully I am not a fan of junk food and dont have it …

  9. Sammy

    Yeah i agree but i love that food :)
    Il try to ignore this food 😛
    Nicely written
    Well done yaar..cheers for the article :).
    Also Check out mine.Give your comment on it.
    Are Hijra’s(TransGender) not a Human being.?

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