Friday, June 22, 2007

Starter's Orders

Very interesting post on Alternet about how the US administration is actively encouraging people to eat unhealthy food by subsidising the very things they advise against eating. I thought I would see what help is on offer to people in the UK who are struggling to feed healthy food to their families.

The good news is that the NHS-sponsored Healthy Start programme offers vouchers for milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins. But I wanted to find out however how much help they could offer - so I filled in the online questionnaire making myself sound as needy as possible. And this is the hilarious outcome on the website:

Based on the information you have provided:
  • You are 16 weeks pregnant
  • You are under 18 years old
  • You have 4 children under the age of four
You should get:

1 voucher(s) a week worth £2.80 until your circumstances change.


That's right £2.80 to feed fruit, veg, milk and vitamins to my under-18 pregnant self and my four under-4 children. What will that buy? I headed over to Abel and Cole - organic and ethical food delivery company (wouldn't want to feed my innumerable children rubbish now, and I'm hardly going to have time to get out of the house and round the shops myself) and tried to decide between a melon at £2.95, 500g of peaches at £2.50 and 2 grapefruits at £2.10.

It's not a lot of help is it?

And what are they doing for big food corporates?

"since 1998 the Sainsbury Laboratory has received 6 Government grants, worth £1.1 million, from the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC). The BBSRC is part of the Government Office of Science and Technology, which answers to [former Sainsbury's chairman Lord] Sainsbury as Science Minister and has won an extra £50 million in funding since he became Minister". Just the tip of the iceberg according to Corporate Watch.

No comments: