Sunday, 16 October 2011

All you can eat data

My contribution to Blog Action Day this year (a day late, for which I apologise) is about knowledge.

Knowledge is food.

The picture above is a genuine poster display from the lift at Caledonian Road tube station. All You Can Eat Data right next to the DEC appeal for famine relief. There is surely no need to ask: 'what the fuck's wrong with this picture'?

Here in England, we are so stuffed with knowledge that the government of the day has had to take drastic action in order to combat the rising obesity epidemic. In an unsurprising act of callous abandonment of their responsibilities, the Con-Dem alliance has advised us to control our calorie intake and move around more. And, er, that's it. Once again, though it's a no-brainer, I find myself on Jamie Oliver's side when he describes Andrew Lansley's so-called plan as "patronising rubbish" which could have been outdone by an 8 year old child. Our hopes - as he says - can only rest on knowledge, on the chance that enough people will find out enough and care sufficiently to make a change. Those bastards in Westminster have no desire to take on their buddies in the big food companies. They have no desire to do anything which would jeopardise their bonanza paydays (although at least most of them used to have the decency to wait until they had left office before creaming a profit for themselves) whilst disgracefully smearing the people they were elected to govern as somehow deserving of their fate because they can't get off their sofas and cook a nice risotto.

What are the options facing us? From the women and children dragging themselves hundreds of miles across arid deserts in Somalia and Ethiopia to find a sip of water and a bowl of rice, while lump-headed hacks persist in their denial of climate change; to the demonised lower end of the 99% trying to bring their families through on a smaller and smaller pot of money; buying the 'value' range and seeking out some decent fresh fruit and veg that's affordable, while seeing the cost of food climbing weekly. To those who form part of the 74% increase in Type 2 diabetes since 1997. To those going to the Olympic Park at Stratford next year who will watch the athletes while eating Big Macs in the world's largest McDonalds. We're all well and truly fucked.

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