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Updated: February 17, 2014 17:07 IST
food fundas

Don’t get lured

Sumita Dasgupta
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This month Panditji says: Don’t let ads advise you...

Hey folks,

Panditji is back with his tidbits on grub, and this time he has some really spicy ones in store. Almost explosively so, he tells me. Going by the glint I see in his eyes, someone is about to be hauled over the coals. I wonder who, and more interestingly, why? Are you curious too? Then let’s not waste more time. Panditji, the floor is all yours.

Panditjispeak:

Ooooh! I am so mad. I have been pleading, imploring, even yelling about this for so long, but did anyone pay heed? NOPE. It required a government appointed council to convince us that advertisements, (and I here I am talking about the ones on ready- to- eat ‘snack’/junk food, of course!), can indeed have a lasting and decidedly nasty impact on the mind and body of a consumer. Especially the younger ones, who are always eager to try out something new. The TV screen, the newspapers, the billboards on playgrounds — fast food advertisements are strategically placed to lure the young.

It’s so easy to give in when you see them everywhere, looking absolutely irresistible. Millions of currencies across the planet are being spent by giant corporations on making these over salted, over sweetened, floating in fat foodstuff look tasty. Then money is spent afresh in creating a special aura around them which says, ‘You are smart only if you eat this. Choose home-cooked snacks and you are a boring has-been!”.

Guess how these super rich food makers ensure that the message is delivered compellingly enough to capture their target group? Yes, by roping in super stars. So celebrities from the film world or the sports arena are offered hugely hefty pay packages, simply to tell their adoring fans to eat more and more of this zero nutrition junk.

Well now at least the government appears ready for some action. The Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC), led by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, is working out a strategy to make not only the junk food manufacturers, but the famous figures hired by them too, pay compensations. In case there is any complaint against the ‘misleading messages’ sent out to the public. So why am I still angry, did you ask? Because I know who will still end up paying the real price. You and I folks, and we shall have at stake not money alone, but something far precious than that. Our health.

Pandit Gobar Ganesh

So do you think he has good reasons to be angry; or are you a little annoyed with him for raising such a hue and cry about nothing? Either way, write to him at sumita@cseindia.org. We really enjoyed reading your messages last month.

The writer is Editor, Gobar Times

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Illustration: Sreejith R. Kumar

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