I read an article in The Guardian which concerned itself with the appalling levels of salt contained in certain fast food pizza chains. Appalling in the sense that some pizzas had three times the DGA (daily guideline allowance) which is 6gr, the equivalent to a teaspoon of salt.
I wrote to Papa John UK, asking them to confirm this, and if it was true, why they weren't acting more responsibly as a large company. Their response?
Good afternoon Maria,
Thank you for your email.
Papa John's is committed to our Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. promise. We are regularly working with our partners and vendors to deliver on that promise. The CASH survey provides the breakdown for a full pizza versus the individual serving. Our website contains nutritional information on all our products allowing customers to make an informed decision regarding their menu choice.
I see - everyone's going to rush to their computers and look at Papa John's website and make an 'informed' decision before heading off to take the kids for a treat. After all, what are we? A nanny state? It's contemptible bunkum, that's what it is.
It's the same with sugar. The giants Heinz must be rubbing their hands together in glee as the DGA for sugar is set at 70gr. I am just flabbergasted at this ridiculous limit.
So, what can we do? Sadly, sod all is the answer. The fast food industry brings in billions for this country and employs thousands of people. The government aren't going to interfere, are they?
As a teacher of healthy eating, I know that asking people to make small changes in their diet can be truly significant. You can't convert someone overnight but you can make food very appealing without a mountain of salt and sugar.
If I were in charge of the Dept of Education, I would make healthy eating lessons compulsory from the age of about seven. Iv'e taught kids before and the sense of achievement is quite delicious to witness.
This said, I am only too well aware that if things are different at home, it's almost impossible to stop a child or young adult objecting to junk. The most depressing sight for me is an obese mum or dad with kids in tow who you know are going the same way. We're stuffed as a nation, in more ways than one.
This article was written by Maria Kuehn and it was previously published in her site http://mindingbellieswell.blogspot.co.uk