Decades of poor research, a broken peer review system, false health and nutrition doctrines, inadequate regulation and a culture dominated by powerful vested financial interests have combined to make the world’s supermarkets into minefields of bad information and products that put our health, our lives and our planet at risk.
It’s time to see beyond the 2 for 1 offers, the health aura products and the shiny false promises on every shelf.
It’s time to let the real healing begin.
Melody Pattison Mehta is a global brand strategist who has worked on major multinational brands for decades. Melody now works towards bringing safety, good nutrition, ethics and environmental friendliness to the supermarket. Accompany her as she discusses the history, the present and the future of the supermarket with some of the world’s top experts in fields from nutrition to recycling, and begins to lay out a framework for how you can personally influence the supermarket to evolve into the place it should always have been.
Dr. Jason Fung - The Disaster of the Culture of Constant Eating
We are joined by nephrologist and obesity researcher Dr Jason Fung. Dr Fung is a researcher and clinician who is achieving superb results using fasting in the treatment of both obesity and diabetes. Dr Fung’s work brings together critical insights on insulin resistance, the nature of long term obesity, the weight set-point and how to alter it, and the incredible value of fasting as a treatment for obesity and diabetes. Dr Fung is the author of the The Obesity Code, and co-author of The Complete Guide to Fasting - two books that are essential reading for modern human beings trying to find their way back to health after significant weight gain.
We discuss in some detail insulin resistance and the failed “energy balance” or “caloric balance” approach to weight management as well as the issue of “weight set point” and how we can influence and reset it. We also discuss the nature of fasting and how the reality of fasting is the opposite of everything we’ve been told...when we fast our metabolism actually speeds up.
This discussion is centred on the dangers of chronically high blood insulin levels being suffered by a large percentage of the population in our contemporary society, whether they are fat or thin...and it dovetails significantly with the modern habit of snacking - a habit which has been largely driven by marketing since the latter 20th century, and which seems to have been one of the critical environmental changes contributing to the obesity epidemic.
Dr. Robert Lustig - Fructose: Why Processed Sugars Are So Deadly - #11
We are joined by paediatric endocrinologist Dr Robert Lustig. Dr Lustig is well known in the field of nutrition for his epic lecture titled Sugar: The Bitter Truth, which has attracted millions of views on youtube. The issue that Dr Lustig was calling to the world’s attention in that lecture is that when we think of sugar in terms of “calories”, we’re really missing the point. The problem with sugar is that it’s a major source of fructose, and fructose overconsumption is underpinning many of the deadly metabolic diseases of our time, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, dementia, diabetes and yes, obesity. Dr Lustig is also the author of the acclaimed book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease.
We live in an era in which, in addition to the societal obesity epidemic, there’s also an epidemic of babies being born with obesity, and also of young children developing the same constellation of diseases that we used to only attribute to alcoholism. These problems are not because unborn babies are lazy and gluttonous or because parents are giving their small children alcohol. These are issues being driven by sugar overconsumption and more precisely, by the fructose that’s in sugar. But how much is too much when it comes to sugar? And should obesity rates be the metric of success we use in the current war against sugar?
In this discussion we break out the difference between glucose and fructose and the deadly effects that fructose overconsumption causes in the human body.
Marion Nestle - Big Soda Big Obesity - #10
We are joined by academic and author Marion Nestle. Back in 2002 Marion Nestle authored the acclaimed book Food Politics, sharing its name with her popular Food Politics blog which champions the role of real food in a healthy human diet. Marion’s most recent book, Soda Politics, brings the food politics battle right to the door of the giant soft drink manufacturers and raises critical and disturbing points about the nature of marketing soft drinks, not just to an ever-more obese public, but the targeting of soft drink marketing to children. As a result of her tireless activism, Marion Nestle has been described as one of the most influential foodies in America.
We discuss the issue of marketing to children, and importantly, why soft drink manufacturers won’t stop doing it anytime soon. We’ll also touch on major gaps from a public policy perspective and how policy-makers don’t seem to have learned much since the days of tobacco marketing. And we’ll take a look at what’s been happening with soft drink sales since the spotlight of public discourse turned its attention to sugary drinks.
Anna Lappé - The Insidious Art of Marketing Junk Food to Children - #9
We are joined by author and educator Anna Lappé. Anna is the author of the lauded environmental book Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It. For those not already familiar with her fascinating career, Anna Lappé is a passionate and outspoken advocate for sustainable, real foods and systems of food production. Anna is well known for her television documentary work, and as a featured expert on numerous television and radio shows. As head of the Real Food Media Project, Anna’s major focus is activism as she builds grassroots awareness of sustainability and real foods, using the power of storytelling.
In this discussion we’re focusing mainly on issues around commercial messaging, especially for food marketing purposes, and in particular we’ll talk about the issue of targeting children with those messages. We’ll talk about some of the more subtle ways in which messaging is targeted at children, and just how this makes the current public communications environment a very difficult one for those who are trying to parent responsibly.
Gary Taubes - Why the Obesity Epidemic Won't End Any Time Soon - #8
We welcome investigative journalist and author Gary Taubes to discuss the low fat dogma that has caused supermarkets to become mainly filled with low-fat, sugary, highly refined grain and starch-based products. We’ll also be talking about Taubes’ restatement of the nature of caloric balance - most of us know it as the “calories in vs calories out” conventional dietary advice, and and how we can understand it differently without having to break the second law of thermodynamics.
In addition, we’ll be talking about the obesity epidemic and why it’s not about to end anytime soon. This is a discussion you’re going to wish you had heard when you were in your teens or twenties! We’ll also be discussing why it’s so hard to get good science these days, and why the obesity epidemic just isn’t going to end anytime soon.
Tom Szaky - The Treasure in Our Trash - #7
We are joined by Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Terracycle as we discuss what’s known as “post consumer waste”. The supermarket is responsible for a vast amount of the trash and wastage in our world, and the focus of Tom Szaky and of Terracycle is to identify the treasure we’ve invested in that trash, and to recycle and upcycle as much as possible so as to relieve the pressure on our planet and its resources. It’s a vast task, so where do we even start?
Well Tom Szaky is the guy to talk to about this. He’s written some amazing books, such as Outsmart Waste and Make Garbage Great and he and his company have received numerous awards including from esteemed bodies such as the United Nations and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Importantly, Terracycle already works with every Fortune 500 packaged consumer goods company.
We discuss some of the fundamental issues around the packaging of supermarket goods and what steps we can take, whether as a shopper or as a brand, to minimise both the short and longer term environmental impact of our personal choices. Very importantly, we’re going to talk about how we all need to start thinking a little differently about the packaging we’re about to throw away...because in fact, that’s only the start of its very long life cycle.