If I had a magic wand, what would I want to change?

Here is a list of changes that could be introduced with a magic wand…….

  • Supermarkets 
    • Stop slotting fees and promote healthier options in prime space
    • Give a discount for smaller package sizes
    • Put healthier foods at checkouts
  • Manufacturers 
    • Stop marketing directly to children
    • Remove spurious health claims from packaging
    • Use the $40 billion spent on promotion of junk food on healthy alternatives
  • Fast food companies and restaurants 
    • Routinely offer healthier items
    • Post calories, salt, saturated fat and transfats levels on menus
    • Give a discount for smaller portion sizes
    • Publicly display the conditions under which the meat and diary supply animals are kept, transported and slaughtered
    • Give consumers information on the amount of environmental damage each food type causes
  • The general community 
    • Remove all soft drink and junk food machines from the whole community
    • Make the installation of reasonable numbers of drinking fountains compulsory for all public buildings and shopping centres
  • Governments 
    • Put real money into food education promoting foods that are simultaneously good for us and the world.
    • No longer accept political donations from corporate donors
    • Ban political lobbyists.
    • Subsidize only sustainable agriculture.
    • Outlaw factory farming.
    • Make training in environmental science compulsory for all politicians.
  • The stock exchanges and investment community 
    • Reward  corporations for long term sustainability rather than short term profits for shareholders
    Some of the above is based on ideas in Marion Nestle’s book “What to Eat”.

Puzzles. Have you ever wondered……

  • What did people do before they had plastic drink bottles to carry around? Did they die of thirst?
  • Could life ever be enjoyed with out soft drinks?
  • What did people eat before fast food?
  • What would people of 40 years ago would think of today’s supersized portions?  Would they think that this is utopia?
  • How did people survive before air conditioning?
  • Where did people go on holidays before cheap air travel?
  • Were people in previous generations ever happy since they didn’t have today’s electronic wizardry, cars and electrical appliances?
  • How did motorists protect themselves before the advent of huge SUVs?
  • How were people ever able to cram into the cars or houses of yesteryear?

Things to remember

  • There is no strong correlation between material wealth and happiness. Some of the poorest people in the world are among the happiest (Hamilton 03).
  • The best things in life are free.
  • Take time to enjoy the natural world around us. Don’t stuff your ears with your iPod phones, listen to the birds, the wind. Look at the trees and clouds and wonder at the marvel of nature.
  • The only way that mankind is going to survive long term is to move into harmony with the natural world. What this means is that we all have to consume less, much less. Consuming doesn’t bring happiness.